On my way to work today, I chanced upon an interesting conversation on the radio. I found it thought-provoking primarily because the hosts of the show seemed to know very little about the kind of reality that other people face, especially those around us.
The conversation was built around the news story on immigrants off the Libyan coast that died in a shipwreck. One of the questions boggling their minds was, “Why were these immigrants that desperate or remotely interested in seeking greener pastures?” They acknowledged that some of these immigrants may be running from war-torn areas. On the other hand, they wondered whether or not the immigrants did enough research about the economic state of the country they were migrating to and whether or not the immigrants could not find the opportunities they seek in their home country.
It was interesting – in a sad way – to listen to their opinions. It’s easy for us who have access to good food, water, electricity, internet, data and all else, to speak that way. It is almost too easy to sit in our comfortable eight-to-five jobs, and criticize immigrants who seek greener pastures. For the fortunate (seemingly) many, there probably won’t be much better for us in a foreign land.
But let’s take a moment to think about the many but unfortunately insignificant who literally strive daily to find something to eat by nightfall. It is easy to underestimate such a struggle when finding 2ghc to pick a trotro isn’t an issue. There are people living in our beloved motherland who have nothing and are living in the worst ways you can imagine. Consider someone living in such a dire situation for years unending, would it be so hard to imagine why they would be desperate for ‘greener pastures’?
The radio host, in his rant explained how he couldn’t possibly understand why a pregnant woman, children or men would see bodies of immigrants washed to the shore, and yet be desperate enough to sit on the very next ship that docks on shore. To be honest, a man acquainted with going to bed hungry will view the next ship as his ticket out. Someone in a pathetically devastating situation would not see the bodies being washed to the shore as a red flag, but as a prompt to want freedom and better living situations bad enough to survive all the odds.
This thing called hope is hard to kill and it drives a lot of things. It pushes the unemployed lady to send in another application, it forces the farmer whose last crops were pest infested to start again… it gives a person the desire to seek greener pastures, no matter how bleak the odds are and this thing called hope should not be trashed or belittled, for the sad reason that our experience and insight do not go past the trajectory of our forearms.
It is perfectly okay to be comfortable in your state and not hope for much more. Similarly, it is just fine to be extremely comfortable and hope to get a little more. In the same vein, it is justified and completely understandable to have nothing and want some. Hope is the only thing some people have to hold onto. Although the places hope may lead these people are regrettable, it has led others to greatness and much better things.
When hope is lost, all is lost but where there is hope there is life.
Just a few thoughts that have been weighing on my mind…