Canada has a population of just over 36 million and has invited 25,000 Syrian refugees to call Canada home.
Our News media is, I have no doubt, much like yours in that “gloom and doom” continually hold the headlines. Because of this totally unbalanced presentation of current events, we can probably be forgiven for having a very poor perspective of our world.
We (here) keep hearing about early morning shootings and stabbings in Toronto, so it would seem quite natural to assume that Toronto has some serious issues. However, when the criminal activity in Toronto is compared to other major cities around the world (and adjusted for population differences), then it becomes a pretty law biding city. As always, it is simply perspective!
I was really pleased to recently hear about two “good news” happenings! The first was a story about a Mission near us which is affiliated with a local Baptist church. Apparently, a Syrian family was having difficulties adjusting to our culture; learning English; accommodating our climate; finding a home; getting their children into school, and finding work to get things rolling financially.
The woman was talking to some people and it was suggested that she go to this local Mission for some assistance however, she had some serious reservations because she knew the Mission was Christian while she was Moslem. As a result of a lack of alternatives, she did eventually contact the Mission and asked what she needed to do to qualify for their assistance, given their different faiths. It was explained to her that she had to do nothing, as Christian teachings stress helping others regardless of who they are etc.
They offered her a program in which she immediately received the necessary basics for her family, plus support and education over a 12 month period which is designed to have them fully adjusted to living here and independent by the end of the program. That woman recently expressed her gratitude, on behalf of her family, for all the Mission did for them. She never expected such a warm, compassionate and caring society as she experienced here!
The second news item was based on a Syrian family who were brought over under the Government’s refugee program which, again, took care of their immediate needs and then coached them through getting established here. The man soon became competent with speaking English and was employed shortly after. The interesting, and rewarding, aspect of this story is that he has recently advised the Government that he no longer needs financial assistance, and has asked them to discontinue his benefits! Such honesty, and a clear appreciation of the help he received.
I am extremely happy to be living in a country where these kinds of stories do surface. We hear the usual complaints of immigrants taking work away from Canadians, or working for less etc. etc. It does seem to me that we are living in a country which is at peace, and that alone should surely be a reason to invite people from war torn countries to live here. Since when did not helping others become justified based on our own selfish needs and expectations. Since when did we forget to treat others the way that we would like to be treated.
If you were living in a war torn country, how would you like other countries to react to you and your family? Would you like them to “turn their backs” on you and leave you to fend for yourselves, or would you like them to “open their doors” and give you and your family an opportunity to live in peace?