One or the Other?

You've probably seen this (or some variation of it) on social media...

Call me stupid (and I very well may be) or naive (I definitely am), but I don't see how one relates to the other.  Does this mean that if I chose to support a refugee I am NOT supporting a veteran?   If I'm pro-veteran, then I must be anti-refugee?  If I have two homeless people (assuming the refugee is also homeless), I should put one above the other because one has served in the military?  I am NOT putting down ANYONE who has served (or who will serve), but it just doesn't make sense.   Are we making all veterans’ saints and all refugees sinners?  Let’s forget the refugee bit here. What if I asked if you'd put the needs of a homeless veteran before a homeless child?  

Warning, I'm going to use a bible passage here. (Oh dear Lord, she's getting preachy again...when did this blogger turn into a holy roller?)  It's from Matthew 25:  35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Nowhere does it say the stranger was a veteran or a refugee or a man or a woman or...well you get the idea.  It's not about looking at skin color, sex, background or any of that.  It's about helping fellow HUMAN BEINGS.  (And you certainly don't have to be Christian  to do that.  You don't have to believe in any deity to be compassionate.)

Even a five year old knows that if you've got a bar of chocolate and two hungry friends, you split the bar in two and share it between the two.  Half a candy bar is not going to sate anyone one, I realize that, but it WILL help to curb the hunger.  It will HELP.  And helping is what it is all about.

It's not about who you are or aren't.  It's not about putting one "above" another.   It's about helping as best we can.  It's about making the best of situations that have no easy answers.  (They may not have answers at all.)  We should not ignore the needs of the one over the other.  We should see the bigger picture and TRY to help. (I'll be honest, I don't know if we CAN solve the problem of homelessness.)  It's about not looking at an "either or" answer.  Its cliché, but we do need to think outside of the box.  (And I am as guilty as anyone for not doing just that.)

When it comes to those who are in need, be they refugees or veterans, children or adult, man or woman...We need to realize that the answers can't be found in black or white, but most likely in shades of gray.

Update:  Just saw another one:

Call me naive (again).  I don't believe COUNTRIES hate America.  I believe there are people (perhaps many people?) in who hate America.  But I don't believe that if you live in an Middle East country you automatically hate America.  (Does living in America make you automatically love/hate the Middle East?)  Which brings me back to the original question:  why is there a question of choosing?  Must we abandon one thing for another?  Why can't we show compassion for both?

Compassion:  it's what we ALL need now  in order to look past the black and white and see the many shades of gray.


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