Another day and another tragedy in the Mediterranean as yet more migrants risk all for a new beginning in Europe. And despite the growing number of tragedies still they come; such is their desperation that it is still worth the risk.
Meanwhile our politicians speak of stronger border controls and others of reducing the aid budget – we don’t want them here and we are not going to help them there. The fear is peddled of a tide that will overwhelm us and undermine our way of life.
Yet how do we justify holding on to all that we have, when others have so little? As long as we have so much and others have so little, mass migration will always happen – no border is strong enough to keep out the desperate. By what right do we feel we can say they cannot have what we have got: we will not share our plenty in your time of need. Perhaps we need to learn to live with less in order that others may live with more. Is wealth for possessing or for sharing?
What is needed is not ever higher fences and stricter controls but more generosity, more openness to the needs of others. Perhaps in the encounters that follow from this, we will begin to discern new ways of being and of doing. Perhaps in learning to live with less, we can find more equality and a better life for the many.
It is in welcoming the stranger, the alien, the widow and the orphan that we can learn and grow and truly become one human family.