The world is truly a mess (to quote newly elected US President Donald Trump) and getting scarier by the minute with bad news pouring out of every corner of the globe. Growing up, one laughed at the idea of bottled water and now that we’re here in the 21st century, it’s all become frighteningly real, with disappearing Delhi winters, global warming, rising intolerance… just name it! We’re living in the kind of world that enlightened beings once warned about bringing children into.
With Trump’s single ruling blocking immigrants and raising doubts on pretty much anybody from seven countries entering the United States, the world’s tenuous balance threatens to tip over the edge. But, soon after the ruling, something miraculous happened, as we all saw. A judge stayed the order, making sure that people with valid visas were not thrown off planes. At the airport, they were met with lawyers who turned up to help those detained, and once out, they fell into the arms of a welcoming crowd, some of them immigrants themselves. As the world watched, hope swelled once again. All it took was a few people who stood up to be counted.
In an age where nightmares score over fairy tales, a little courage is all it takes to be heroes, who are needed more than ever to trump (pun unintended!) the antagonists. New York Times journalist Ellen Barry posted on her Facebook page, “My daughters just demanded to see a picture of Ann Donnelly, the judge who ordered the stay. Here she is, in case your daughters want to see her.” That’s the stuff heroes are made of. When American writer-scholar Michael Heyman arrived back in his country, he was met by volunteer lawyers. He remarked on Facebook, “They asked me my nationality, if I had any trouble, and if I saw any trouble at immigration with anyone else. Thank you to these lawyers who are volunteering to do this. I didn’t see any trouble at Logan, but it’s good to know that these folks are around to help if anything pops up.”
These Americans realised it was time to wear their heart on their sleeves as they turned out to make sure virtual strangers got the homecoming they deserved. If that’s not the sign of something being right with the world, then what is?
For every Mickey and Donald ruining the show, there’s a Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM, who welcomes to his country those fleeing persecution, terror and war. Whether it’s actor Sushant Singh dropping the “Rajput” in his name on Twitter to protest the attack on filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali by a fringe group, citizens signing online petitions to highlight issues before authorities, Ashton Kutcher tweeting that his wife and actress Mila Kunis arrived to the US on a refugee visa, billionaire tech giants speaking out against Trump’s ban, every little bit counts.
In a world that sometimes makes no sense, it’s compassionate voices that restore sanity and blur boundaries of conflict. It’s time to stand up and be counted… we’re all we have.