What can the values of refugees teach us?
By: Yasmina Hage/ Arab America contributing Writer
Every day people around the world make the most difficult decision of their lives: whether to leave their homes in the hope of finding a better life, free of violence and safer. These people are what we call refugees. Their situation is unfortunately difficult and shows us that we have a lot to learn from them. Despite the more or less complicated conditions they have lived through, they have been able to keep or learn incredible values and qualities.
A difficult situation for refugees
Children, women, and men are fleeing violence, war, hunger and extreme poverty. There are some people that also leave because of their gender or sexual orientation, for example. Also, many refugees have lost loved ones due to wars in their countries. They have left their whole lives behind, often with just the clothes on their backs. However, leaving the country to avoid all this does not necessarily mean that the problems are over.
In fact, after leaving their country, many refugees live in miserable and unhygienic conditions. They don’t all have the means to take care of themselves, to buy food, or even to have a roof over their heads. In addition, they are victims of racism, xenophobia and preconceived ideas. Firstly, many people think that all refugees are poor. However, this is absolutely not the case. Secondly, even a refugee who is highly educated will be discriminated against because he will be accused of stealing the jobs of local people. Finally, they sometimes have difficulty integrating into the host country because of the language, for example.
What are the values they teach us?
Refugees are motivated. They want to work, have a better life, they dream of lots of opportunities, and they want their children to go to school. If they take the risk of leaving their country, which is not an easy thing to do, it is because they have the hope that they can realize their dreams elsewhere. They do not remain passive in the face of this challenging situation by self-pitying. They give themselves the means to succeed. Many refugees already experienced what it was like to have nothing left, have lost everything, and to have to start all over again despite difficult situations. As a result, nothing can stop them anymore. They are determined and take every opportunity available to them with a big smile and are grateful for all the positive things that can happen to them. So, they know how to enjoy life and stay optimistic.
I think we have a lot to learn from the refugees because compared to them, for many, life has been merciful. Therefore, we give more importance to what is not going well rather than what is going very well. We always see the glass half empty, and we are never satisfied. Yet, we all have the potential to live a good life. All we have to do is change our point of view, learn to be more grateful, and appreciate what we have. But that’s not all.
Like refugees, we all have to learn to pursue our dreams and never give up even when things get tough. In life, everything is possible, but we must give ourselves the means to succeed. There are, for example, refugees who started from nothing and are now famous artists. They are the perfect example of “when you want to, you can,” even if the road is long and full of pitfalls.
Refugees also teach us values such as patience. In fact, they are in the perspective where they say to themselves: it’s not going well today, but we’ll see what the future holds for us. “All things come in good time to those who know how to wait. »
In addition, they show us qualities such as the ability to live in a community. They are full in the refugee camps and have to share small tents while some have a large family. Not everyone can live like this and keep their patience. Another quality is kindness. When they see other refugees without money, they give them money and help them when they themselves have almost nothing. They are brave and strong because not everyone can be so hard-minded. In fact, it is not easy to keep these values and qualities after what they have gone through. Strong and brave, too, because even though they have lost family members, friends and are no longer in their country, they keep their humanity and hope.
An Outside Perspective on Refugees
What always stands out when people go to visit refugees who do not have much money is the happiness, joy, good humor, and kindness of these refugees. In fact, people are always shocked and touched to discover this aspect of refugees. After all that these people have gone through, all the problems they may have encountered in life, they are still very joyful and kind. These refugees enjoy the little things in life. They know how to stay happy and enjoy all that the world has to offer them. After what they have experienced, they only want love and peace. People always say that after seeing refugees, they start questioning their sense of priorities. They love that despite all the horrors they have been through, they are such beautiful people inside.
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