The haunting images take over the internet as the realization that some still fight for freedom takes residency in my head. In a world that is supposed to be more advanced both on a technological and on a human level it is hard to let the reality sink in. We are all familiar with the image of the El Savadorian father and is almost two year old daughter. She is the same age as my son. I could not imagine the feeling of desperation as he sold off all his possessions in search of a better life. Only to find themselves come to an untimely end in front of the matriach of their family.
As I write my son woke up. I laid with me and comforted him till he fell asleep. I am one of the lucky ones. Yes right now citizens of Canada complain about our government, the price of gas, minimum wage etc. But most of us have a warm bed that we call our own, if our cupboards are bare there are food banks to assist us. We even have neighbours that will give us a warm smile or that cup of sugar that we need for baking. We are free to travel and explore other countries as we lounge out in the sun. Either we are oblivious to how the rest of the world lives or we are ignorant to believe that somewhere out there a change needs to be made. I hug my son closer and cry for the utter loss of humanity. When did it become ok to glamourize death, poverty and the race towards asylum?
This sweet young girl clung to her father as he was the only true safe thing she knew in this world. They were fleeing their country in order to provide a better life for their daughter. Although their race across the river into what they hoped would be a better future resulted in the worst possible outcome it is hard not to see the message that their last haunting image portrays. You can not fault a father for wanting to protect his daughter to provide a better life for her than he in fact had for himself. To run from the only home that you know would tell us that their need for salvation was urgent.
Have you seen the commericial where people of all races, colors, sexes stand in front of the giant x-ray? Other than a few small details in the human skeleton we are all the same. We are all made of the same tiny little cells that all started from two. The idea that some of us objectify others is a terrifying thought. We brag that we are so educated, so advanced, so above it all but maybe it is because we are so weak that we decide that our voices need to be hard. I hate lumping myself into the same thinking as the left wing conformists but if I am not taking a stance to fight against these political bullies then I am just as guilty as they. When did it become the norm that life was no longer about freedom and more about dictation. We have fought from the dawn of time for our freedom but no lessons have been learned. The only consistent factor to all of this is the loss of human life and the loss of humanity.
The definition of humanity as defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary is thus:
Definition of humanity
1: compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition : the quality or state of being humane bespeaking humanity for the enemy in the midst of a bloody struggle
— C. G. Bowers
When was the last time we had a political leader that showed these qualities? To have compassion, sympathy and generosity to all of our fellow man seems to be the biggest downfall of all time. Our leaders care more about the pocket books that are lined then the actual citizens that they care for. I ask you if you had the opportunity to make the lives easier of the people you serve would you accept a comfortable living wage in order to pass on the savings to your country? Why do you need a lush salary, private jets, huge living quarters and expensive family trips? How does it help save the loss of those that are terrified and fleeing their homes? I have always been told to lead by example. Those are the greatest leaders. Even the Prince Harry and Prince William served their countries. Look at the greatest leaders of all time. Most were on the front lines of battle. How can you impose change when you have no idea how the other side lives?
Now as that young father stared down at the Rio Grande (it is believed to be the 4th or 5th largest river int he world) and instructed his daughter to hang on for dear life. The only thought in his mind was getting across and starting a life that his daughter so rightly deserved. The thoughts that rang through his mind as he struggled to stay afloat will be something that none of us can even fathom. His poor sweet angel clung to her daddy even in death. Their pain and struggle now over before it even began, the World mourns. We are quick to point the finger saying it is Trump and his government that made this all happen. The reality is we need to point the finger out ourselves. Until we are able to stand up to these people in power and put an end to their greed this will continue to happen. The loss of the Ramirez family will long be forgotten if we don’t become the change within ourselves.
Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez was a hardworking man that would move Heaven on Earth to give his young family the freedom they deserved. He sold his motorcycle and borrowed from friends and family in order to make the 1,000 miles to the border that day. As any child who is raised by happiness and love was a bright, cheery child who was the apple of her family eyes. To look at her photos now brings a pain to my heart. I couldn’t imagine the desperate feeling that her parents must have felt in order to embark on this journey. The average adult walking about 3 miles per hour would take 14 days to travel this distance. Factor in a young child and the number increases. They walked for weeks towards what they hoped would be freedom. When they got to the international bridge in Matamoros, Mexico they were told that it was closed and to return on Monday. The bridge itself had hundreds waiting to get across. Now standing in the Rio Grande America looked to be in their reach. This young family became the victim of an asulym system not prepared for the influx of Central Americans fleeing crime and poverty but also the fast moving waters of the river. Being a mother the idea of seeing that image of my husband and son locked in a final embrace would be heart breaking. What would crush my soul is having that image glamourize the race to freedom and not have a single thing change.
Freedom is defined as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action (Merriam Webster). We brag about being this country of freedom but freedom for who? The rich? the poor? politicians? unemployed? It seems the only people free to move as they choose are those in political power. We have people from all over the World running from their homes in a desperate attempt to survive because isn’t that what makes us human? Or will to survive? And yes I have lumped all America into one big cesspool of being because that is what we are. When was the last time you said hi to anybody in a grocery store and didn’t get a scornful look back? Not very often. Social media is full of people hating each other for their sexual orientation, race, sex etc How did we become such an entitled bunch of know it alls that really doesn’t know anything at all. I wish we lived in a world that if we saw a stranger crying we could give them a hug. I hate that a few entitled, pompous beings have dictacted us how to feel and act. So now once again I ask you this. Are you strong enough to stand on your own? Did you know that if we all stand up together we would find safety in the millions? Did you know: The world’s richest 1 percent, those with more than $1 million, own 45 percent of the world’s wealth. Adults with less than $10,000 in wealth make up 64 percent of the world’s population but hold less than 2 percent of global wealth. (https://inequality.org/facts/global-inequality/). What does that tell you? We let 1% of the World hold 50% of the wealth with nothing to give back. We can not steal from the rich and give to the poor a la Robin Hood but we can demand a tipping of the scales. We can do this by demanding change. Our right to vote was our opportunity to demand change. Where we fell short was the leaders that we put into power. We have this thing where we want to be lead by dictators (DIC being the operative word). Maybe it is time that we have somebody in power that will fight for humanity and the change that the world so desperately needs. Humanity will continue to fall if we don’t see this change. We all fall victim to social norms. Social media, reality TV, and people in a position of power controls the way we think in order to keep using us as puppets. We are all tired from working our butts off day after day to remain at the poverty line that we have lost our will to fight against these evils. Maybe that is what they wanted this whole time. The rich get richer and the poor get weaker. It almost feels like we are slaves to our government. We work to pay taxes and to keep a roof over our heads. The government gets richer and we can barely make ends meet. Why did our veterans fight for this? We are constantly dictated too and told how to live how to feel. For many of us we will just see the photo of Ramirez and his daughter as a tragedy and not a scream for humanity. That picture will forever be seared into my brain as I hug my son tighter. On one hand I am thankful for the life that I have been born into. Yes here there is crime and there is poverty but nothing life threatening like they had to go through. At times I feel guilty that my family has the opportunity to thrive and their’s has been shattered to pieces. I am not more worthy of a life full of what appears to be to the naked eye freedom and choice. The tragedy that unfolded that day on the banks of the Rio Grande will not be lost on me. As much as I can I will educate myself on how to best preserve humanity even though I know my voice is small. I am just one small person in this world of billions but I will be that change that the world so desperately needs. They say attitude is infectious and it all begins with a smile so I will live every day giving the world mine. I can’t say that me myself can change the world but I can change the way I think and the way that I interact with it in the hopes that maybe someday, somehow the world will take notice and Freedom will once again reign free!