Every so often I open myself up and read the comment stream under a news or social media piece about Refuge, knowing it might hurt.

A while ago, I read these comments:

The left-wing multicults are willing to sacrifice limitless lives in the pursuit of their utopian vision.

and

Soon they will fill this truck with explosives and detonate it in a major city. Open the flood gates and just let them all in. Goodbye America!

It’s gruesome reading. But if I have learned that if can keep this practice to a slim, strategic minimum, it’s helpful. Here’s how:

  • These comments and the thousands like them are present-day reminders that refugees (whatever their skin color, religious, political, or ethnic background) have historically been some of the most unwelcome human beings on the planet.
  • Remarks like these drive me to a greater empathy with our employees. Many of them have felt these sentiments from others much more deeply, often, and personally than I can imagine. They experienced this pain in the countries they fled, and sometimes they experience it here, too. (Like me, they’re on Facebook and not immune to the comment threads.)
  • To be against something or someone is not the answer. The comments aren’t all anti-refugee. Even so, they are distinctly and angrily anti.

All of this reminds me what and who we are for here at Refuge:

We are for welcome.

We are for equality.

We are for humans, no matter who they are or where they come from.

We are for sharing coffee and tea with anyone who walks in our doors.

We are for conversations that matter.

We are for lowering our voices instead of raising them.

We are for greeting the stranger with a smile.

We are for dancing to all kinds of music.

We are for immersive cultural experiences.

We are for an outpouring of forgiveness instead of outrage.

We are for believing that people can change their minds.

We are for the process.

Thank you for being for refugees,

Kitti

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