”You show me a fighting aged male and I will show you a man who can work. Show me the man that you’re frightened of and I will show you a gentle soul who is scared. You show me an economic migrant, an invader or a crook, and I will show you a mirror. For we are all the sons and daughters of migrants. We, as the human race, have always moved. And we have all benefited from their misery.
In order for us to be rich, to buy cheap clothes and to talk on our phone, someone will slave for us. It is our ease of living that has made them poor. It is our exploitation that makes them run. Not just the West, but the rich all over the world. We are the creators of migration, the benefactors and the blind. We turn away our eyes to their suffering yet expect them to take all that comes. We buy brands that exploit, and expect everything for cheap, cheap, cheap.
But when a boy, or a man cannot see how they can survive, we expect them to drown silently in their poverty, whilst we book our holidays in the sun. And we will use our passports to fly to almost any destination on this earth. We, the rich can seek employment wherever we like, and we can just pop to Paris for a weekend away. But when the man who suffers for our opulence wants to do the same, we say no, don’t come, you should stay.
We, the creators of their misery, define ourselves as the victims of their pain. We cry and complain that someone steals the job that we’re too lazy to do. We take their oil, their minerals, their produce and their lives, yet it is ‘we’ who call ‘them’ the crooks. And it is we that call ourselves the victims of their pain. Some say that they come for our welfare state, yet we’ve met lots of people crossing this sea, and every single one of them wanted to work and to know safety.
Some talk of losing our culture but when we can turn our backs to the poor, then I think it’s a culture that we can lose. Some say that we should help our homeless first, yet when we see the destitute man on the streets, we may walk by. We each live in a blanket of self righteousness, myself included, stating that others should do something to change. Be it the homeless, the lonely or the displaced, we form our opinions from the warmth and comfort of our homes.
But unless we have walked one mile in their shoes, then don’t tell them where they should go. For we are their reflection. We were all made the same. It is by chance that we were born with opportunity, as it is by chance that they were born in the dust. And it could be by chance that our choices are taken away. Their struggle is our struggle, for if it was not them, it would be us. Do we think that leaving all that they have known is easy? Do we think that crossing that sea is a choice? We don’t know how many are lost on this journey. We don’t know the pain that they take. And if we want to talk about choices, then you should acknowledge that it is only us who can choose!
“We have one life. Let’s not waste it on hate. Only love!”