Maybe it just hasn’t happened to me yet.
I feel like I AM the default
I am the product of what society hopes for
I am the success story of a loving home
I am the pride and joy of a loving marriage and committed relationship
Two parents, one home, one sibling
My first pet, Pencil, followed by hamsters, fish and finally puppies after puppies after puppies.
Friends, sleepovers, sharing, playing, popsicles, bicycles
Holidays, parties, sports, trips
Awards, grades, scholarships, degrees
The luxury of religion, the non-neccesitation of it
Praying for sunny days
Why pray at all
Singing to find closeness, fill those emotional corners of my psyche
Communing. Maybe this time it will feel different…needed
Maybe it just hasn’t happened to me yet
Maybe it will soon
Do I want it to?
Last night, a friend of mine went with me to see a movie, “The Good Lie.” You may have seen a preview or have heard about it. I wanted to go to support the sponsoring group, which was a local refugee resettlement center near Athens. I’ve developed a relationship with the center over the past two years through my research and some volunteer work. The friend who went with me is a refugee, himself.
Needless to say, it was quite the emotional experience for me. I found myself wondering how anyone could watch this movie and not feel as passionate about refugees as I do. After understanding just one story, how can anyone not be forever changed?
On the way home, I told my friend this. He said, “I guess that means you are passionate about it.” I think he’s right. If I cannot even empathize with others who feel differently, maybe that is passion?
What inspired the above poem was a brief conversation he and I had in the car on the way home. Most of the conversation was in silence. The silence spoke for itself after he told me, “I…think…I am very lucky…I must be very lucky. I am in school…I have friends…like you, Savvy…I can speak some English pretty good…that’s what I think. I must be pretty lucky, huh? More lucky than other refugees. I mean…it makes me sad though because it made me remember coming here and the same things happened. But it makes me saddest for the older people, like my parents and grandparents, who tell us their stories of having to run to the camp…it just makes me sad, you know?”
Silence followed this as we both just thought inside our own minds. Me in mine, he in his. My friend feels lucky to have the opportunity to get an education. He feels “lucky” to be able to pray freely for peace for his family, friends and country. He feels like he has been given a second chance and wants to make the most of it.
I am so blessed, simply to know him and his family. As I sort through my own thoughts about my life, I realize I have been given the opportunity to see my life differently – framed by his story, by other refugees’ stories. And because of this, and only this, I am the lucky one.