Seems like overnight, everyone has become an expert in the ins and outs of refugee resettlement.
Well, it at least looks that way according to my Facebook news feed.
I’ll admit that I am about 98% ignorant when it comes to knowing details about refugee crises in this world.
I’ll admit that I don’t have all of the answers and admit that I couldn’t possibly have all of the answers. Heck, I don’t have many answers at all.
I’ll admit that there have been a few times where after a tragedy occurs, I realized that I lazily have used Facebook as my (nearly) only source of information about the tragedy.
I’ll admit that I sometimes read the comments on various articles that are shared on social media or statuses that have been posted by my friends or strangers and I write replies to them. (Luckily, I don’t hit “post” on most of them).
I’ll admit that I feel helpless quite often after hearing about tragedy or evil or bad things.
I’ll admit that I don’t always agree with my friends’ viewpoints on various issues.
Do you admit to any of these things or others? I’m sure my list could go on and on.
Here’s the truth, y’all. Unless you work in the area of immigration and refugee resettlement or have first hand personal experience as a refugee coming into this country, you are not an expert. Because of that we need to just stop.
Stop posting and sharing and commenting and arguing and bickering and judging and scaring and hating on Facebook.
None of us are going to fix anything by posting on Facebook. Sure, you may engage in healthy or worse, unhealthy, banter with someone known or unknown to you as you try to sway them to see you point. But–while we are all busy posting and reposting and liking and sharing and commenting and replying…
…there are still refugees, Syrian and otherwise, who are fearing for their lives.
…there are children who are hungry and alone.
…there are women being sold into sex-trafficking.
…there are towns that need rebuilding after disaster.
The list can go on and on.
So, if we’re aren’t sharing and liking and posting and commenting and arguing on Facebook, what can we do?
- Let’s all vow to start educating ourselves with sources OUTSIDE of those we see as we scroll through our news feeds. Then, check out those topics on all sorts of different news outlets, because all of them (yes, all) are biased and it’s good to read from different perspectives.
- Let’s gather our friends around a table and talk, share, agree and disagree on these topics. Amazing things can happen when you break bread with someone who has a different viewpoint than you have.
- Let’s turn to scripture and turn to prayer. I’m finding myself drawn to scriptures right now especially from the Old Testament…stories of those peoples who were oppressed and looking for hope, looking for welcome, looking for a messiah. Cling to scripture and let it guide your heart as you choose your actions.
- Enter into Thanksgiving week and the coming season of Advent by not just focusing on your own family and friends. You may not be able to do something globally (I think you can!) but you can find some way to share love and light and hope in your own local community. Just make it a priority to do it.
- Share the resources you find…put them in your own words (citing your sources, of course). Learn about various organizations around your community who are making a difference and share their websites and contact info.
- Contact your elected officials on all levels and share with them the things you have learned and the actions you need them to take.
Make a difference in the real world…not in the virtual world of Facebook.
*I realize the irony of posting an article like this on Facebook.