writing on suffering and awakening

Our behavior at the border

As I sit here watching video of our government shooting tear gas at folks trying to cross over the US-Mexican border in search of a safe place to live, I am so sorry to see that this is where we are as a people. But today, it is.

I find myself picturing a pool of water trapped behind a dam. Stagnant and stuck, over time, it grows fetid, full of rot and decay. But open the dam and let it flow free, and the water becomes a river; clear, clean, teeming with life and possibility.

The more we close ourselves off as a country, the more we become like that pool of water. But if we take the opposite approach and open ourselves up to those who want to join us, we welcome new energy and a new infusion of life into our society, to the benefit of the whole. We, too, become a river.

I don’t blame anyone for being frightened by immigration. I don’t much care for change myself, and new people coming into America is change personified. But if we deny change or try to pretend we can stop it, we deny reality. Then we’re just lying to ourselves—and what’s the point of that?

Ian Cooper