Jingle Bells?

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 pleasedย  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 becauseย  she knew the Mission was Christian while she was Moslem.ย  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?

Food forย  thought.

24 thoughts on “Jingle Bells?

    • Thank you Charmaine. We need to promote the question “How would I want to be treated if I found myself in difficult circumstances?”, and hopefully the answer might just change a few perspectives. With the current situation in the US, there are a few million perspectives there that badly need changing!


  1. Better be careful, Colin or the US will build a wall around you guys too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ In all seriousness, thank you for sharing some feel good stories in an otherwise heartbreaking situation for the refugees of Syria. If only more people would be open and not so suspicious and actually embrace the tenants of their own religion rather than embracing fear of the unknown where other religions are concerned.

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  2. Those are such wonderful stories which proof that God is not part of religions but the energy they are supposed to act from. It often depends on the people behind such institutions and I know that the conservative Catholic church can be stubborn and ignorant when it comes to other religions. I am always so happy when the opposite is proved!

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  3. I wish it was general practice for the media to give one “good” story for every “bad” one. That would at least balance out the karma. I think it is people’s feeling of lack rather than feeling of abundance and thanks that cause them to tightly grip what they have or perceive as theirs instead of sharing. As Lexi said during her campaign, “I have looked in the pantry and there is plenty for all.”

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  4. The Muslim / Christian story warmed my heart. So often people are judged based on religion; a deeper look will prove there are good people of every faith.
    How frightening it must be to be in a foreign country where you don’t know the language! I’m glad both of these (and hopefully many more) families found help!

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    • I can clearly remember my adjustment from the UK to Canada, and I had no language barrier to consider and minimal culture adjustment. I can only imagine what it must be like with such language and cultural differences!

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