My experience as an immigrant

It is futile to enter debates about politics on Facebook. People have made up their mind. And the conversations end up heated and unproductive. Possibly even damaging.

My rule of thumb in life has been: if you don’t ask for my opinion, I don’t need to offer it.

The other day I briefly shared about my experience as an immigrant in the states, during Obama’s presidency. I felt welcomed, appreciated, integrated. I saw first hand how Obama’s policies and steady leadership brought the country out of the 2008-2009 economic crisis.

Again, it was my personal experience, struggling to find a job for half a year after a contract ended, seeing business go bankrupt and people being laid off by the hundreds. It was a hard journey upward, for everyone. But our leaders never instigated hate, but they steadily inspired empathy, collaboration, trust. And it started from the top. What Obama said made a difference. How he said it affected the general population discourse. And I decided to apply for citizenship. It was a smooth process, and I felt respected, appreciated, welcomed.

To be honest, it boggles my mind when someone is trying to convince me that my experience is not valid, quoting random things out of context. That’s not a conversation. That’s hate speech trying to shut my own personal experience down.

No, thank you!

How to we bridge the gap? How can we help each other see reason? What mirror do we reflect our beliefs in? How can we search our heart? Where does our intuition stand on the matter of politics. Do we cover our ears when it comes to hard facts?

I live in Romania now. For the foreseeable future, while we finish up our second adoption process. The pandemic has us lay low… each in their own present homes.

I am worried and saddened to realize how many of my christian friends here listen to biased TV shows portraying the current US president as God sent. I can see how their perspective is askew but it’s more worrisome to see how easily the media can lie and the people gobble it up. Also, many people, if they don’t have an opinion, they borrow the opinion of someone they trust without question. But debating with people we trust brings forth more fruit.

Even if I had no opinion about politics, I would honestly be afraid to draw this man’s attention to me, if I were nearby. He is a megalomaniac abuser who justifies his direct and personal abuse as “boys will be boys”. As a woman, and mother of daughters, his example on the matter worries me deeply.

If this perspective of mine is offensive to any of my friends, and they would rather unfriend me, so I wouldn’t make them uncomfortable, I think we have bigger and heavier difference of opinions to tackle, which are deeply personal. About faith, sexism, racism…

I pray for wisdom and empathy. I pray for courage to confront our own sometimes limited perspective. I pray for a humble heart. A free heart. A free mind, only free as long as it’s subjected to God.