I am a creature of habit and rarely venture outside of my bubble. For most of my life I’ve lived in comfortable ignorance of everything going on outside of my own little world, not thinking very hard about things that didn’t effect me directly. If I’m being honest, living this way made me happy. Keeping up with the news is upsetting; something bad is always happening somewhere, and I will be the first to admit that it is way easier to just not pay attention to it.
The problem with this mentality, of course, is that most people don’t have the luxury to ignore what is going on because it is part of their daily lives. When Americans hear about the plight of people in Syria we don’t have to worry about it as much because it is happening so far away from us. Watching what’s going on on the news makes it feel so much less human; it can be easy to forget that there are real people behind our screens that don’t just cease to exist once we change the channel or close our browser window.
As embarrassing as it is to admit, this fact did not become clear to me until a few days ago when I first got the chance to have a real, face to face conversation with a Syrian refugee. I will never forget the stories I was told and the emotions I felt while I was sitting in that room.
I want everyone to experience this, and I can only hope that the stories we will share on this blog in the upcoming weeks will help make it possible.
As hard as it is sometimes, it’s important to realize your own ignorance. There is no shame in admitting that you are ill informed on a topic, because this is often the first step in educating yourself about it.
If you want to learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis to get more context on the stories we will be sharing, check out this website.