Immigrants Have a Place in Our Hearts and Country

Immigrants Have a Place in Our Hearts and Country February 15, 2021

Monday’s meditation for freethinkers

We are all immigrants or decedents of immigrants. This applies to everyone living in America, as well as those in many other countries in the world. The only exception may be the continent of Africa, where it is believed humanity’s roots began.

Immigrants migrate for the same reasons they always have, to survive and thrive in a sanctuary of safety. There are thousands of them now living under plastic tents near America’s southern border. Thankfully, due to the return of compassion by the one who now sits in the Oval Office, they again have a place in our hearts and in our country. / Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Immigrants migrate for the same reasons they always have, to survive and thrive in a sanctuary of safety. There are thousands of them now living under plastic tents near America’s southern border. They come to seek asylum. They come seeking opportunity.

Curiously, there is an interesting correlation between caring for the plight of immigrants and the benefits to our personal well-being. And it begins by simply  visualizing who they are and why they come.

A quote from the topic “Working with Imagery” from the book Mindful Compassion by Paul Gilbert, PhD and Choden.

“. . . compassionate imagery can work in the same way: if we focus our minds on kindness and caring, this will affect our feelings and stimulate our bodily and mental processes in particular ways. In fact, we know from research that if we focus on feelings of caring and being cared for, this can have a range of beneficial effects on our sense of emotional well-being.”

Visualize Caring

This connection, between just visualizing caring for immigrants and how it benefits our emotional well-being, is both interesting and perplexing. The relationship almost doesn’t seem fair. How is it that if we just focus our attention on the suffering of others that we reap an emotional benefit? Yet, it’s how our minds work. There is a correlation between what we turn our attention towards and the personal qualities it instills within us.

These days, however, we don’t have to use our imagination much at all. We just need to look at the topics in our news feeds to witness the plight of immigrants from around the world. And merely looking benefits both us and them.

Immigrant songs

Over the years I’ve enjoyed two contemporary songs that raise awareness on the struggle of immigrants in America. Enjoy these at your leisure. The first video is a live recording by Texas’ own Robert Earl Keen. It begins with a funny story you don’t want to skip. The second video is by the Los Angeles hip hop / rock band Ozomatli. The song is called “Jardinero” and is featured on the soundtrack to the film A Better Life.

About Scott R. Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister and now writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of several books, as well as the previous owner of several hospice agencies. You can read more about the author here.

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7 responses to “Immigrants Have a Place in Our Hearts and Country”

  1. All 4 of my grandparents came here as children/young adults, but they came from Europe, at a time when simply arriving in the USA pretty much made you a citizen. Between the color issue (transparent, LOL) and the area they came from, there wasn’t anywhere near the amount of suffering as the people of color.

    Like so much of Trump’s actions, the immigration policy was intentionally inhumane.

  2. You bring up an interesting point that’s often overlooked. Which is the influence by America in other countries that produce the harsh situations that forces their citizens to look for safety and opportunities elsewhere. Consider as well the war on drugs. It’s a vicious circle. Many Americans are hooked on drugs supplied by countries down south. Drugs are highly criminalized here, but drugs also provide a huge source of revenue for these countries and their citizens. America’s war on drugs plays a huge role in the violence to which many of these immigrants are fleeing or seeking asylum.

  3. Central America in particular has a history of electing their own officials only to see the USA come in and take them out. St. Ronnie Ray-gun secretly sold weapons to Iran to funnel the money to the Contras in Nicaragua who were paid mercenaries to depose the leader the Nicaraguan people had elected to lead them. That same money also funded the murder squads in El Salvador. The USA destabilized our neighbors, leading to many people having to flee for their lives.

    Then there’s the whole climate change problem, where people whose ancestors farmed the land for centuries are finding their land more and more unsuitable. These people are also fleeing for their lives.

    Then Trump brutalized them when they make it here. Children torn from their families for sometimes years and abused in holding pens will be scarred for life.

  4. The kicker is … that’s OUR money that is funding these kinds of operations around the world. We’ve even helped build the cages and pens for the children. It’s our hard-earned tax dollars that are being misused for these horrific reasons. Which is why we have the right to speak out like you have done here.

    I suppose it’s admirable that our government considers itself to be the vanguard of democracy, and that we must send in our troops at the drop of a hat to defend or promote democracy in other countries. But rather think this is used more as an excuse or a reason to get overly involved in the affairs of other countries.

    America should take a nice hard look at the countries around the world that serve as better examples of democracy. Countries like Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and so many more. These are the countries that don’t maintain or feel the need to spend precious tax dollars on a military force.

    It’s complicated I know. But it would sure be nice if so much of our tax dollars didn’t got into the military, and was used towards bettering the lives of our own people.

  5. I look to the Scandinavian countries, who manage to provide a good life for their citizens without over-spending on the military. Think about how close that part of the world is to Russia, and yet they manage to get along just fine with the military they have.

    It devastates me that my tax dollars are being used to brutalize children and rip apart families.

  6. It’s too bad we can’t decide where we wan’t our tax dollars to go. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

    Some would argue that the countries representing Skandinavia don’t bother building a strong military force, because their allies have strong militaries.

    I do think it would be interesting to live in one of these countries because they are so secular.

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