In my life I've experienced the gift and absolute privilege of travel.
But I've been around enough to know that when you leave your comfortable spot on this earth and venture elsewhere, you start to realize a few things...
First...our world is small.
It really is.
It may not be small in square miles or hours spent on an airplane, but it is tiny in our connection with the people with whom we intersect.
They are like us and we are like them.
(We all want that picture of the Mona Lisa!)
Whether we are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist...
Whether we are black, white or brown...
We want happiness.
We want love...peace...a warm place when its cold and food in our bellies when we are hungry.
Most of all, we want a safe place to live our lives and raise our babies.
This is an absolute.
I won't begin to try and understand the motive of the people who are filled with hate and want to destroy the world we live in.
I'm not a historian or a politician.
But, I do believe that desperation breeds desperate behaviors.
If I were a mom or dad running from war...I would be desperate.
If I found no safe haven...I would become even more so.
My family - my children...they are ME.
What else is there when it comes down to it?
What option are we giving people/families/humans when we say we won't help?
This is a picture of a Syrian refugee camp from the US State Department.
Refugee camps are fertile soil for terrorists and extremism.
They will not make the problem go away.
I understand the fears for our nation.
I really really do.
I live here and I love my life.
But, our safety as a nation is not as simple as arming ourselves with weapons and closing our borders.
I have walked along the history of the bad things that can happen when we start to really hate...
I don't know what that answer is, but I believe it starts with an open heart for those who are truly desperate and in need.
It has been said that fear and compassion cannot live together.
But courage and compassion can thrive...
"There but for the grace of God go I"