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A World Without Color

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Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels

  • Writer's pictureBernard Jan

Refugees and Solidarity

Photo by Bernard Jan, Refugees at the Croatian-Slovenian border Harmica
Refugees at the Croatian-Slovenian border Harmica

It is only when you see in person the misery and humiliation of teenagers, mothers and fathers with children, young men and whole families fleeing from the hungry mouth of war and rotten political systems, which have swallowed their world and lives in darkness, that you can truly grasp the hopelessness of their situation and the enormity of suffering they are going through on their long, long escape to freedom.

Refugees are not a problem, they must not be treated as issues but as one of us. We are all humans and we all deserve the equal right to life in happiness, freedom, hopes and dreams without bombs, shattered homes, missing or gone our beloved and dearest ones.

In spite of some isolated cases of hatred that appeared on the Internet, I am grateful to Croatian people for opening their big hearts and homes and extending their generous helping hands. I am very proud of every single person who volunteered or donated something for our refugees brothers of different nations, colors and religion, but still brothers, who fed them, washed them, offered them a free ride a few miles closer to their desired destination.

Spending one afternoon at the Croatian-Slovenian border Harmica with the last remaining refugees who were waiting for Slovenia to open its border so they could continue their 20-days-and-longer exile journey was an experience I will never forget. And I can only be sorry I didn't help and give them more while I was there. Their gratitude for every bottle of water or a fruit or a piece of clothing was so sincere, big and heart-warming.

At the end of a day I could not ask myself this: If simple, ordinary people individually or as members of civil society associations managed to organize themselves following the call of their hearts, doing the right, humane thing, why politicians cannot do that? They can build walls between people, saw the seeds of hatred, secure their borders with steel and iron fences, army and police, play ping pong with the wretched who are marching to save their lives, not letting them cross their territory on their way to freedom. They can point fingers and sharpen their tongues on each others while posing in front of cameras, throwing accusations this and that way. Is the fear of terrorism so justified, omnipresent and real that we cannot see right from wrong, let alone show an act of sympathy and humanity where it is needed and appropriate? What is the purpose of politicians and governments if they do not have ways, means and enough goodwill to do what their people did while they were fighting for a bigger piece of media cake? Would the world be better without them? Because, today, they seem so futile. So useless.

We are not made to hate. And we proved, time and again, that humanity did not die in us. Good luck to all of you who still have many miles and rivers to cross to get to your new homes. I wish you find them soon, welcome as you were and will always be welcome here.


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