It is common for us to go through everything we have lived during the year when the latter comes to an end. It is common to remember the joyful moments, as well as the ones which we thought we would never get over. Thinking of 2017 on a global basis, my mind turns to political, social and cultural conflicts. It was a great year, but there is no denying as to the range of battles a lot of social groups had to face. One of the main topics I can think of is the refugee crisis. “It is not really a 2017 protagonist issue”, you may think. Well, there is where the problem lies. The refugee crisis goes back to 2015. Approximately two years have passed and this unfortunate complication is still going on and is still affecting many lives out there.
To understand this subject we have to let go of our privileges, we have to open our minds, we have to pop the bubbles that surround us. What do I mean? The minute we come to this world, we get unconsciously embraced by “bubbles”. These bubbles consist of the limits we have to our realities. There is the bubble of, for instance, not knowing many people from a different school; the bubble of not knowing many people from other cities, states, provinces and you name it; the bubble of not knowing many people from a different country, and so on. The point is: these bubbles act like barriers. They hold us back from getting to know other cultures, from living other realities, from discovering there is more to the world than we know. They deter us from being more empathetic, and that is a big issue.
It took me some time to get the hang of it, to completely comprehend that even though I will never fully understand the struggles refugees go through – fortunately -, I can still do my part and try to help by opening my mind to what actual refugees have to say about it. Listening to their stories, their sufferings, their conquers. It all contributes to popping the bubbles I have around me. Once I had a clearer overview, I got to see the prejudice surrounding these people… the stereotypes… how terrorism is a current association, sadly. I got to see it involves more factors than I used to think it did.
It bothers me that some countries’ policies wind up getting in the way and making everything worse. Will some politicians never pop their bubbles and get rid of their sense of power? Shouldn’t we all set our efforts into being more understanding and being more human? I guess, from all I have seen, it is intrinsic to the human being not giving value to things and experiences until they happen to us. We underrate it without even thinking twice… without even thinking once.
2017 is coming to an end. The world keeps on turning. We keep on walking. But matters such as the refugee crisis slow down our journey and at times even set our walking backwards. It is worrying. As an issue that came up in 2015, going into 2018, it upsets me. And the world ought to know it. The world ought to think about it. We ought to say it. 2017 is coming to an end. Wars are happening, people are dying, individuals are fleeing their homes. It was a great year, but changes are necessary. And it is a fact, we can only make change happen if we have enough compassion not to be held back by our rooted ideals and prejudice. We can only make change happen if we have no “bubbles” limiting us. Let that be a New Year’s resolution. Not only for me, not only for you, but for every and each one of us. The year is changing and so should we.