How I’m handling the Syrian refugee crisis

I am shutting down. I read the news. I look at the pictures. I see the babies limp in their mother’s arms and it chills me to the bone. I don’t know what to do. So I turn off the news. I pray and I pray and I stop reading and stop looking.

This doesn’t feel right but it makes me feel better; for a moment. Think about how often we do this. Not just on a global scale, but every day. We don’t like feeling hurt by a friend, so we ignore it and decide not to take their calls for a few days. Your partner irritates you some how? While some of us fight, some of us ignore it and become passively aggressive.

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Shutting down doesn’t help us in the long term. Ignoring the refugee crisis doesn’t help. I care about this issue and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if sending money is the way to go. I am not sure – yet.

What do I know?

I know I need to face this horrible and sad time in our history. I need to be aware, I need to be compassionate and I need to navigate through the yuk.  I’m sick of reading about the problem – I want to read about some solutions. Until I find a solution in all the reading and research I’m doing, I am navigating a way through this crisis.

I still choose not to get tied down to the television or the internet. I still scroll and pass through political commentary and criticism.

I look for gratitude in everything as often as possible – in my own little world. If I can find gratitude in my own little world, maybe those in my own little world will find gratitude and so on and so on.

I’m practicing compassion in my own little world. If I practice compassion in my own little world, maybe those in my own little world will practice compassion and so on and so on.

I’m working (oh how I’m working! OY!) on forgiveness. This is so so hard. If I work on forgiveness in my own little world, maybe those in my own little world will work on forgiveness and so on and so on.

You see where I’m going here, right? Let’s be smart and diligent and aware. Let’s make some good decisions and help where we can. But first, let’s be kind, let’s be compassionate, let’s be grateful and let’s learn to forgive. In our own little worlds.

It’s a slow process, but it is progress. It’s moving toward love and moving away from fear. I want to believe, I have to believe, I choose to believe – by keeping myself open to kindness and compassion, gratitude and forgiveness, I am helping. It may be small and it may not be the solution to end the refugee crisis.

But it will make me feel better and it will send some positive energy and love out into the world. And maybe, just maybe, if we all made some small changes and loved more instead of feared, the little changes would be big ones over time.

Gratitude softens our hearts. It allows us to be compassionate and forgiving. It helps move us toward love.

How are you practicing your gratitude today? Are you still with me on this #30daysofgratitude trail? I sure hope so!

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