I wrote the following on Facebook yesterday.
My home is sanctuary for any and all who need it. I was raised by both of my parents to give everyone a chance. Race, creed, color and gender were not to be used as determining factors but rather a person should be taken on face value and, at most, measured by their actions. Never judged. We always shared whatever we had with those who had less. We invited strangers into our homes to share meals and holidays. We were encouraged to work in our communities in ways that made life better for all. Of course, we're not paragons of perfection. We all have biases. It is important to see past that to the value each life has.
Historically, Canadians are peacekeepers. I cherish that role. It took me to Germany where there were constant reminders of desperate people believing the disguise evil quickly shed. I grew up hearing first hand accounts of the war, and how it affected ordinary people.
I was five years old when we moved there and what I learned dug deep into my soul and grew roots. I knew and loved individuals, families and businesses. The war wasn't some dusty dry recitation in class about evil people. Most of those I loved had been Nazis, or silent. They kept their heads down and tried to survive. Their shame and regret were palpable. But history could not be altered no matter how much anyone tried to rewrite it.
My home is a sanctuary. I welcome all who are in need. I always have. I always will. I'm not blind to hate, not blind to fear. I've experienced both from opposite perspectives.
Love trumps hate. Canada has her problems. We will never all agree on the best way to meet common needs for security, for shelter, for equality, justice or business. But if we continue to deny fear and hatred, we have a shot not only of surviving but thriving.
Today I went to our local mosque to offer support and to learn more about being Muslim as they opened their doors to celebrate #WorldHijabDay. It was an incredible experience. My niece and I were shown different styles for wrapping the scarf and each gifted with our own. We had our hands dyed with henna. The Iman spoke about everyone being free to choose whether to cover their heads, necks and shoulders - or not. He took questions from the curious and answered with a great deal of openness and honesty. We had a tour of the mosque then sat as a group in the women's prayer room and learned more about Islam. The five pillars of faith are remarkably similar to Christianity.
In one of those nice tricks of synchronicity that I so adore, I tripped over this shirt at the bazaar.