Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

“Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.” Oscar Wilde

The nightmares I wrote about last week haven’t let up. I’ve explored what I think is triggering them. If you read last week’s blog, you know it’s complicated and has many tentacles. Perhaps, it’s me. I could be making things worse than they need be. In fact, I’m sure I am. 

If I just settle back into some routine, maybe these recurring dreams will stop. But that would be a simple solution and I’ve never done simple.  

Maybe it has nothing to do with me at all. Audiences and journalists alike have asked me some great questions about The Brink of Freedom. This probably has my brain working over time so rather than focus on my nightmares, I’m going to share with you the number one most popular question I’ve been asked after my readings and my typical response. Then you can see me tackle the same question in an interview I did with Tracy Koga of Shaw TV Winnipeg.

The single most asked question: what can we do as individuals to help refugees.

It’s such a hopeful question, isn’t it?

It tells me the majority care about the plight of refugees. In fact, they care so much they want to know how they can personally make a difference, now.

My answer: First be aware of the situation. Read European and other newspapers, educate yourself about who the refugees are and why they flee. This has been an ongoing problem for years in Europe and it is only coming to light now in North America (mostly when a death or multiple deaths occur).

For Greece, who sees some 7,000 to 9,000 refugees every single day, it is an ever-present daily issue.

With awareness comes understanding of others. And with understanding comes vigilance. And by vigilance I mean questioning those who tell you that security has to trump decency and compassion. These people would have you believe that in and among the families coming into Europe or Canada, a terrorist lurks. Question this assertion and think it through for yourself.

No terrorist who has many other means to enter a country would risk life and limb to take the same journey asylum seekers take. So push back when governments and others tell you this.

Write letters, show your support for taking more refugees. We’re a big country capable of doing more. Tell your politicians you want your country to do more.

And finally, help if you can. Part of the proceeds (until the end of the year) from sales of The Brink of Freedom will go to the Red Cross, directed specifically to the work done by the Red Cross for refugees arriving in Greece. It likely won’t be a lot of money in the end, but it’s something.

Make a positive difference any way you can.

And there in that line above is the real question at the heart of my recurring nightmares: am I doing enough. I guess I’ll have to figure that one out for myself.


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