Step into their shoes [You must read this]

Written by Bikof Mania-MariaDuring all these days, I read comments and criticisms here and there, acquaintances and friends keep on asking me their questions, many of which full of ignorance and hatred…

I was trying to hold back, to not answer to them, to not take a stance.. BUT..me, us, we live with this for the 5 past months, we live it in Lesvos, we are part of a truth that most of you will never hear about, cause guided information is always more precious. What can I tell you, for you to believe what kind of people were getting off these boats on the shore? How can I transmit to you their anguish, their fear? How can I make you feel the lifeless breath, the heart that beats like crazy, the tears that won’t stop?

How can I make you step into their shoes? Whatever is the title you give them.. Immigrants, refugees…to me they are humans, humans whose dignity is lost during the journey, when EVERYBODY tries to take advantage of them, when their lives are in constant peril, when their children are crying helplessly.

How can you, me, the friend, the neighbor, my children’s teacher, feel what these people feel? Those people who survived a thousand waves, who buried friends, relatives, lost their homes and jobs and are constantly found in the hands of exploiters? How can we be them for even one minute? WE CAN’T, WE ARE NOT EVEN CAPABLE TO THINK how it is to walk around in donated clothes, to wait in the bread lines, to live in tents set on the concrete, to not take a shower in weeks, to give birth in the mud, to get sick and die chasing a dream, the last hope for a safe life?

In front of all these people, I feel tiny, I feel for them, I empathize with them, I support them, but I don’t have any other way to make the fear and ignorance disappear from all of you.. Don’t listen to all the “Cassandras”, look at them for what they are, fellow humans, like you, like me, like everybody, who want to leave in peace and safety…So much fuss for people that wouldn’t even fill half a stadium, so much fuss simply because each one of you is becoming, willingly or not, a pawn in the hands of those who control us and sell us out daily.

Me, Mania, a mother of four…the only thing that terrifies me and which I hope will never happen, is having to live even one day from their lives… Wake up, get over the fear, and stretch out a helping hand…Today to those people, tomorrow to your neighbor who is hungry.. The same people are to blame for his situation as well.. So stop the criticism and help, now, for real, for what matters. To fill a bag with pasta, won’t open the heaven gates for you, it won’t even be enough to give you a night with clear consciousness… Open your arms, your thoughts, your heart and try to feel for your neighbor, he feels like a refugee even though he is of the same nationality.

[Translation from Greek to English: I’m possible-Greek text can be read here]

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