Every year at this time I do a special reflection on the abundance of things in my life I am grateful for.
The list is long, and spans from the physical (health, food) to the social (family, friends, colleagues), to the mental, emotional, spiritual, and entrepreneurial. The people I get to work with every day — talented changemakers in a wide variety of fields, professions, and specialties — round out the list.
I also have been thinking about the refugee crisis our world is facing at this moment in history. The bottom line seems to be that we are all part of a human family; if we can’t accept refugees and migrants fleeing from hardship, what have we become?
I come from immigrant stock myself (my father is a Persian Jew and my mother’s parents come from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe). I am eternally grateful that we are safe, supported, and able to pursue our dreams in this country. (Unfortunately, that cannot be said for all of my country men and women but it is true for many.)
For centuries the U.S. has been a beacon of hope for those in search of a safe harbor. This season of gratitude, peace, and generosity seems like the perfect time to live up to that tradition.
PS: If you would like to sign an open letter to the US Congress about this issue, please go HERE.
The letter ends with this paragraph:
“Refugees are not the enemy. Refugees are our spouses, our parents, our grandparents. Some among us are refugees themselves; others have experienced the violence of war. But we are all writers. As such it is our duty to bear witness. Together we call upon the government of the United States to take in Syrian refugees, to act with humanity, and to honor Emma Lazarus’s words, chiseled on the Statue of Liberty: ‘A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.'”