Originally when I sat down to write this weeks blog post, it was going to be titled “Our children“, and it was going to be political. A harsh, sad, and passionate plea for a change in the way we treat refugee families seeking asylum in our country. Make no mistake, I will still share my feelings on this tragic subject however first, I want to talk about what I learned at the Harry Styles concert last night.
First, let me just say that Mr. Styles puts on one hell of a good show! I was worried that it was going to be another teen-pop fest, with boy band dancing, and bubblegum-pop music, the likes of which would rival his One Direction days. It was refreshing, to say the least, that I got more than expected and then some. Besides the obvious, and most important part, spending time with my daughter, and her bestie, listening to music that she loves, and listens to in “times of great distress”, teen speak for having a bad day, I got to experience the enigma that is Harry Styles.
As a forty-two year old woman, who by the way is single, I’m only slightly mortified by the fact that I think this man of only twenty-four, which is a smidgen less than half my age, is completely, and utterly handsome. Harry Styles is debonaire, suave, and he exudes an innocent charm. Please understand this opinion is formed purely based off of his mannerisms on stage, what I have seen in the media. Obviously I don’t know Harry Styles personally, otherwise there may be some conflict; with my robbing the cradle and him being my son-in-law…
Anyhow, if that wasn’t enough, something I didn’t expect was to find out that Mr. Styles only has one album out, and he actually had to work to get where he is today, BUT for me, I was impressed to see that he had partnered with Nalgene and Reverb to host a Green Tour. Concert goers are educated, to the extent they will retain, about the mission for, and importance of, a more ecologically sound environment by reducing the impact the tour will have on our environment; for the sum of $20.00, you can purchase a water bottle which can be filled, refilled, and refilled again at the portable Reverb water stations located around the stadium. As a parent, the $20.00 was worth the donation to avoid standing in lines at the concession stands, and paying $6.00 x 3 people, per bottle of water (that’s potentially $36.00 for 6 bottles of water). As an avid recycler, composter, water drinker, and shop local advocate, not throwing numerous plastic bottles in the recycling bin felt great. To take it one step further, by partnering with Reverb, Harry’s entire tour is “Green”; locally sourced foods for the catering room, biodiesel fueling, composting, recycling, carbon offsets, and more. After some research, I learned that this has been a regular thing with many touring artists since 2004. Why is this the first time I’m hearing about this? Simple, none of the concerts I have been to in the past fourteen years have participated; Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, One Direction, radio station sponsored concert festivals, etc… Why are more artists not participating in this “Green” initiative? But I digress.
Getting back to the subject of refugee children being separated from their parents, part of Harry’s concept is to “treat people with kindness”, and to voice his acceptance of ALL people; his concert being a safe place to express your self as an individual. This was refreshing to me, and this being Pride Month, there was a huge show of support for the LGBTQ community. What stuck with me was the message of treating people kindly. While I sat there observing the young people around me, I noticed the lack of adult supervision. Now I admit to being a helicopter mom, but realistically, is it a smart parental decision to let two seventeen year old girls, who have never drive into Boston alone before, or who have never ridden the commuter rail, attend a concert at the Garden by themselves? Not in my opinion. Granted, they will need to learn someday, but for me, last night was not that day. It blew my mind at the number of teenaged girls running around Boston, the Garden, and on the commuter rail alone in only groups of two or three.
While parents are physically having their babies ripped out of their hands at the border, people who live here already, are voluntarily letting their children roam free hoping that they don’t get lost, mugged, rapped, murdered, and even kidnapped. It takes a lot of faith in humanity to let your children out into the world today. From April 19, 2018 thru May 31, 2018, 1,995 children were separated from 1, 940 adults at the U.S. – Mexico border by our own Homeland Security Agents. Every year, over 300,000 Americans under the age of 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade. Roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in America. If our current administration continues to allow this separation of refugee families, there will be an estimated 15,520 refugee children placed into the hands of DHHS this year alone. Lets not forget to mention the socioeconomic impact on our nation, its finances, and our overall belief in the political system.
To no fault of their own, these refugee parents are effectively shipped home and left to the agonizing task of trying to find their children. Wondering day and night, whether they are warm, clothed, fed… or even still alive. As a mother, this breaks my heart, and makes me want to hover even closer. As a mother, over my dead body, are they taking my child, and make no mistake, I would move heaven and earth, to find my baby, and God help the man or woman who gets in my way. For refugee parents who may not even speak english, and have no resources, this could all prove to be an insurmountable feat. Thanks to humanitarians at heart, people are willing to help because lets face it, what our President is mandating is beyond disgusting. There are so many other ways that the deportation process can be carried out, and being kind to our fellow humans who are fleeing persecution, is a start. There is a difference between doing your job, and doing your job with kindness, empathy, and compassion.
The Bible says, in Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” There is always the potential for these displaced children to grow up hating our Nation because of the way our government has treated their families. Perhaps if we take a different, more humane approach, these children will grow to love our Nation instead of hate it. Heaven forbid we be responsible for creating our own destructors later.
Be kind to one another.
Until next time…
*Photo Cred: Me