Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All

“Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All” is a phrase we hear and see a lot this time of the year. It’s displayed in lights, sung in songs and printed on Christmas cards.  But what does that phrase truly mean or in today’s society does it mean anything at all? And who, if anyone truly works towards those lofty goals of world peace and extending goodwill to all?

peace

Rebellious Humanitarianism –As we prepare to leave for the border I am confronted with the stark contrast of the love and joy that come with Christmastime and the thundering call for exclusion of all “others”.  On the one hand I was raised to treat others the way I want to be treated, yet extending dignity and basic human rights to the “others” is considered a form of rebellion. At what point did humanitarianism become an act of disobedience? If humanitarianism is the promotion of human welfare, than using the term rebellious humanitarianism suggests that not all deserve health, happiness or freedom in every situation.

Religious charms that were carried by a female that perished in 2012
Religious charms that were carried by a migrant that perished in the Texas Borderlands

Radical Hospitality — I recently read a letter from the Colibri Center for human Rights that talked about giving radical hospitality.  About going beyond all expectations to do what is right and not necessarily what is easy. Hospitality refers to the warm reception of guests, visitors, or strangers. Radical means advocating for change in a political or social context. Putting the word radical in front of hospitality sends a clear message that hospitality in certain contexts is not extended to all. That not all are welcome here.

Prayer card
Prayer card  that was carried by a migrant that perished in the Texas Borderlands

Political Caregiving — In the Forward to the book “Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation: Perspectives from Forensic Science“, Dr. Robin Reineke speaks about caring for certain groups of people in a way that makes caregiving political. That advocating for  marginalized groups by providing dignity in life and in death is an act of social justice, and can bring to light accountabilities that are being hidden from the masses. To care for someone is to protect them. However, in certain contexts providing care goes against the state and suggests that not all should be cared for.

Cross that was carried by a migrant that perished in the Texas Borderlands
Cross that was carried by a migrant that perished in the Texas Borderlands

So – all are not welcome, not all are deemed worthy of health, happiness and freedom, and not all deserve care and protection – unless you are practicing rebellious, radical or politicized acts of kindness.  Tomorrow the Beyond Borders Team will embark to the Texas Borderlands to volunteer our time in working towards Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.

We hope 2018 brings you and your loved ones health, happiness and feelings of safety and freedom.

~KEL

 

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