What’s your current title in life? It doesn’t matter whether we are elderly or teenagers, each one of us has titles, it could be a personal or a professional one or a combination of both. It’s the one word that people use most often to address you; professor, physician, mother, student and the examples are endless. Did you ever imagine loosing all your titles and being defined by one word over the night? Though most of us understand that we guarantee nothing in this life, yet we tend to neglect this horrifying fact. Yesterday, my year ten students invited ninety Syrian children to a fun day at our school. Observing the blond little souls standing at the entrance, feeling shy and wearing innocent smiles, my soul was stormed. These lives, aged between four and fourteen, had lost all what symbolised security for them, they left their past behind and their present was summed in one word: “Refugee.” Now, will you be courageous enough to close your eyes for a couple of minutes and just imagine what if you were the one who had lost all what he possessed, who had to flee his homeland to save his life and who had to accept anything life would bring to his feet just to remain alive, how would you feel?
Saluting the children before leaving, I asked them if they had fun and they answered excitedly that they did and that they wish to come again but next time to swim at the pool. What a wish? Many of us have access to pools and don’t use them out of boredom, laziness or lack of time, while others just hope to swim once.
I went home devastated after suppressing my feelings from the very first moment I met them. My heart was mourning all the time and I had to wear a smile, laugh and invite them to play while my mind was wondering. How were they able to enjoy the games, the food and the show after all what they had been through, how were they able to enjoy mindfully the present moment forgetting their torturing past and obscure future?
Sleeping with my tears rolling down I woke up having one thing in mind; humanity. It’s the ingredient that we all need to weave in our children’s minds. It’s the culture we must all embed in our educational systems. We must resist turning any innocent soul into the seven letters of refugee.