What if you became a refugee all of a sudden?

I remember being invited at an American Red Cross event about refugees 12 years ago. “They literally have to collect all their memories in two plastic bags and run to save their lives.” That is the only phrase I remember from that speech.

Nowadays, the refugee wave strikes big and has reached my country. I see hundreds of them stuck in the port city that I live. Some of them are laughing thinking this could be an adventure and I really admire their courage. Some of them look lost, as if they do not know where they are going to end up, that is probably true. Some look like they are still there in the country that they loved, but saw bombarded and flattened.

I keep thinking what if I were in their shoes?

I cannot imagine being forced to leave my country. What would I take, what would I leave behind, where would I go?

I am not so sure I would like to go to any other place where people live; after all most refugees fled because of some people’s ego. I place myself somewhere near nature far away from civilization. I guess I would take my prayer book and an icon and some of the books to keep me company and some clothes, but really it is hard to imagine the materials that would stay with me for the rest of my life.

Leaving behind my entire world as I know it would be difficult, but I guess nothing is more permanent than a constant challenge to live each day at its fullest no matter the circumstances…


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