We have all seen the pictures, a child’s lifeless form lies broken on the shore of Turkey. Face down in the sand as the waves brush up against him, on the shore of the nation that did not want him. There are many shores this child could have washed up upon, and each of those shores are along the borders of nations that show more compassion for this empty shell then they did or would have when it contained the spirit of a living child.
Aylan Kurdi was just one of millions of refugees fleeing war torn nations around the world. A refugee crisis of such magnitude, we have not experienced it’s like since the Second World War. 60 million displaced people, almost double the entire population of Canada are fleeing death, famine, pestilence and war. A literal manifestation of the Apocalyptic Horsemen chasing families from their homelands with only what they can carry on their backs, often snatched up in a moment as they flee what approaches.
Aylan Kurdi has become a symbol of indifference. He, his brother and his mother all lost to greed and self interest. The greed of those violent oppressors who are causing the exodus, the greed of those human smugglers trying to pack a few more bodies onto an overloaded boat. Gambling lives for a few more dollars. The indifference of nations, unwilling to confront the cause of the exodus, or deal with it’s tragic results.
There are 3 factors that have led to this child’s death. A war of obliteration in his homeland, where a death cult marches across the landscape murdering and annihilating anything that stands in its path. ISIS, with it’s claims of establishing a nation by the mindless eradication of what has stood for thousands of years. Before losing his life this child lost his home, his heritage, his past.
Second, those fleeing the carnage are greeted at the border, not with open arms, not with compassion, but with mistrust and fear. A fear worn by soldiers like a cloak sewn by the opinions of the citizens of the nation. They will take our jobs, they will change our way of life, they are a threat to our security. Before losing his life this child lost the compassion and nurturing, we provide our nation’s children.
Third, Aylan Kurdi’s family had options, with a family member in Canada willing and attempting to provide them a safe haven, they applied to our nation for help. For one reason or another that help was not extended by our government and Canada closed it’s heart and border to this child. Before losing his life this child lost his hope.
With few options left, this family boarded a boat in the faint hope of reaching a land that would take them in, and instead were lost at sea. Lives extinguished, they became simply flotsam on the ocean.
But were they not that already? Human flotsam on a sea of indifference? How many of us actually cared about this child while he was alive? How many of us have watched video of a tide of humanity crushing up against a fence or a gate on the news? How many of us have seen the overhead pictures of boats packed shoulder to shoulder with desperate people where even one wrong move would toss them all to the mercy of the waves? How many of us have seen the pictures of this child’s body on the shore?
We as a nation can not solve all the problems, but we can solve some. We have the room, we have the opportunity. Lets start caring about these people while they are still alive.
Aylan Kurdi has died a tragic death, I for one will not post the photos of his lifeless body, though it is unavoidable in the links I have included on the family’s immigration papers and the story on our lack of commitment to refugees.
His family deserves peace, and after such a troubled short life, so does he.