My apologies for not posting regularly the past few days – it’s Labor Day Weekend here in the US and I’ve been enjoying the last few days of summer. Yesterday, I went to the National Book Festival in DC. Among the many cool things there, I attended a panel by The New York Times’ Nick Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn. Kristof is consistently brilliant and he does an amazing job of shining light on problems that are too often underrepresented in traditional media.
Fittingly, I think his column from today is certainly worth the read. While the Syrian refugee crisis is hardly an obscure issue, it is a timely one and, as usual, Kristof’s take is excellent. The refugees fleeing their country are not doing so out of a deep desire to live in some other land, but rather because they have no other choice. They are stuck between the barbaric actions of ISIS and the indiscriminate killing of the Assad regime.
The horrible truth is, these people did not seek this outcome. I was fortunate enough to be born in a country not rocked by war and instability, and therefore I can’t even to begin to imagine what these people are going through. Yet, it is everyone’s duty to show solidarity toward the people of Syria – be that in the form of ending the brutal Syrian civil war or helping to accommodate those people seeking merely to live their lives in peace.
When I used to work at the United States Senate, my boss, Senator Joe Manchin, used to say “if you can count your blessings, you can share your blessings.” I think that phrase is very relevant today. I would therefore urge everyone to reach out to your elected officials to ask them to do more. Also, consider donating to charities working directly with these refugees. The International Rescue Committee is a great charity that I have donated to.
I think Kristof is right, this could be us. Since it isn’t, we have an obligation to act.