Yesterday, as a new U.S. President took the oath of office and throngs of protesters gathered in the nation’s capital and across the country, I had a sweet reminder of how important and rewarding it is to have something to fight for, not just something to fight against.
My kids and I spent the afternoon in Clarkston, Georgia just doing life with a few refugee families. Clarkston is a unique place that TIME Magazine called “the most diverse square mile in America.”
While there, I had the pleasure of watching my 10-year-old son make friends with a 4-year-old boy whose family had just arrived from a refugee camp in Jordan earlier in the day. My son does not speak Arabic (yet) and his new friend does not speak English (yet), but within minutes they used the simple tools they had in common–laughter and a playground slide–to make a connection. The liberty and happiness were palpable as the sun shone down on us yesterday.
As the kids played, I sat with a group of moms. We were from all over–Sudan, Chad, Burma, Malaysia, and the United States. We shared a couple of park benches and a lot of conversation, and what we had in common shone brightly amidst the diversity of our clothes, hairstyles, languages, and cultures.
We are united in fighting for our children to be happy and healthy. Each of the moms who sat with me has made difficult choices and sacrificed what is familiar for the promise of something better. Their examples inspire me. I hope that our small efforts toward offering friendship without judgment inspire them for what we can build together as a community. We can fight together for all of our children.