Saturday, May 13, 2017

Adrift

By Jon Dunnemann

Adrift
by James McQuaid
If we really are who we say we are then why doesn't it show more? We call our country the United States but by all indications we continue to live in so many divided states of contradiction. It is as if we are afraid to get close enough to be personally touched in a deep and lasting way. Are we just desperately wishing for things to remain as they were yesterday without complications, without heartache, and without any added sacrifice on our part of either our energy or our time? We can't effectively grow like that and neither can this country that we all claim to love. The power of our conviction requires an unending inertia.   

If you and your parents have lived here for a long enough period of time and have gone through the American education system, been exposed to the teachings of the Judeo/Christian Church, and are familiar with their offshoots which include the Boy Scouts or the Girls Scouts, and the YM/YWCA then there is a very good chance that you were taught in all of these settings that we are supposed to all be pulling together in the same direction in an effort to avert and avoid the mire and muck that we are bound to come upon at some juncture both individually and collectively. Yet even now, in these days we are left to ponder, is all this reasoning still true? Did we earnestly mean to advance these important principles?

Permit me to propose to you that the answer to this question is a resounding yes. For this reason, now is the precise time at which I would like to remind you America that we've got company in our nation: 
In 2015, 1.38 million foreign-born individuals moved to the United States, a 2 percent increase from 1.36 million in 2014. India was the leading country of origin for recent immigrants, with 179,800 arriving in 2015, followed by 143,200 from China, 139,400 from Mexico, 47,500 from the Philippines, and 46,800 from Canada. In 2013, India and China overtook Mexico as the top origin countries for recent arrivals.
While most of these new arrivals are immigrants new to the country, some are naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, and others who might have lived in the United States for some time prior to returning in 2015 (http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states#CurrentHistoricalNumbers).
Source: Migration Policy Institute (MPI) tabulation of data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 and 2015 American Community Surveys (ACS), and 1970-2000 decennial Census.

Like those before them, most of these newcomers to our shores travelled light bringing with them only their most precious hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Therefore, let it be clearly understood by all that most immigrants do not leave their native country as a result of having too much freedom, being too well feed, having an over abundance of opportunity or because they are being overly well-treated. No, they were and continue to be more willing to risk their lives at sea to come to our nation where second chances are a real and active possibility than to die from constant abuse, disease, fear, hopelessness, servitude or starvation. This is the case because on the basis of our declaration of independence, our constitution, and our acclaimed hospitality we have historically projected freedom, hope, and a welcoming invitation to people from other nations everywhere in the world: 
“Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
― Emma Lazarus 

As we have done in the past, we should continue to take stock of how we are counted upon to set aside an open seat at our table where one may join us in a feast of perpetual succor. We must do this because like the newcomer, the majority of us were all once adrift and without a place to call home. Were it not for the goodwill of others, prayer, and faith in God Almighty we might easily have perished.

Behold, that in this very hour someone else stands at the door and knocks. Will you you open it or will you persist through a spiritual blindness that results in their being ignored and shutout? I wish to appeal to you to always act in the same manner as you would desire for God to act if you were the one who was actually knocking and desiring of comfort, mercy, and safe harbor!!

Spiritual Jazz

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