One of the many compelling issues now facing society is that of immigration and the ongoing crisis of assisting refugees. While many around the globe are willing to do all that they can to help, some choose to look away. It is not my intent to make the case for what countries or individuals must decide to do but instead to focus upon the richness of culture and diversity that can be brought into our lives.
All around the globe, we have seen immigrants flooding into neighboring countries to flee war, economic collapse and even natural disasters. While completely understanding the need to have a process, to secure the host countries for the safety of all, what is incredibly difficult to grasp is the intolerance of some for people of different cultures being offered safety and freedom based upon who they are and their country of origin.
Clearly, the inability to house or feed so many immigrants is a practical issue but to deny help because someone is “different” by definition of race, religion or culture should not be the deciding factor to turn people away that are simply trying to survive or find a better life. Being “different” is part of the richness of our world. Don’t we all have pride in discovering “who” we are, who were our ancestors, where did they come from and what blood runs through our veins?
If you search the internet sites for DNA testing, you will find that people around the globe are searching for their roots by the tens of thousands. Not surprising, most of us find that we actually represent many cultures. I remember well a few years ago anxiously awaiting the email that would arrive in my inbox telling me the secrets of my past. After what seemed to be “forever” it finally popped up with a message “your DNA results are complete.” Clicking on the link as fast as I could to reveal the long awaited answer…who am I?
As many American’s, all of my roots came from “immigrants” … My ancestors were very much as today’s immigrants and refugees leaving their native lands to escape religious persecution, famine, draught, economic issues or conflict. My ancestors first arrived in America 4 and 5 generations ago, becoming preachers, farmers and soldiers, all contributing to their new homeland. a German Jew on my mother’s side, English, Irish and Scottish from both sides of my parentage, a tiny bit of North African, Spanish and Italian. I realized my DNA was much like a colorful quilt, a quilt of many colors, many textures all woven together to create me, their ancestor, their granddaughter many generations later.
My Ancestry.com DNA Results:
North Africa (1%)
- Great Britain – 82%
- Ireland – 6%
- Germany – 4%
- Scandinavia – 3%
- Iberian Peninsula – 2%
- NW Russia – 1%
- Italy/Greece – 1%