When I taught high school, near the end of the course we had awards day, and I gave each of my students a candle, which was the most important award I gave out. It symbolized my belief that they would each make valuable contributions to the world. Cory Scheviak, a former student, unintentionally reminded me of that award when he posted a drawing by Penny Redshaw of a piglet holding a lit candle. He posted it in reference to the current discussion of the refugee crisis and our response to it.
“When you no longer burn with love,
many others will die of the cold.”
I am saddened more than I have been in a long time by the fear-filled responses of so many Americans and many of our leaders to the unavoidable risks inherent in helping others. I believe we live in a great country with a legacy of liberty and compassion and acceptance. We honor and confirm our greatness when we extend a hand to those in need, and welcome them to our shores.
Yes, I am fearful that there’s a chance a terrorist would take advantage of our very strength to attack us. But I am more fearful that should we let the candle burning inside us go out, we will lose our greatness as a nation.
We have the resources to safely admit and care for many refugees fleeing terror, and as our National Anthem celebrates, we are “…the home of the brave.” Let’s act like it.