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  • Edición impresa de Septiembre 9, 2010

In this lasting journey that we all travel here we have the opportunity to reflect about how we want to be treated and how we treat others.

Keeping a minimal stance of respect towards everyone would guarantee that many of the violent things that happen everywhere would stop.

The news about the many immigrants killed in Mexico, and the way they are usually treated, makes us think about how foreigners feel in U.S. and what kind of treatment they receive.

In this uncivil jungle that we have all created and participate in, we dare think that we are above reproach, but the word respect entails more than just being civil to each other; it implies acknowledging the very valid differences that exist in the world.

Humankind has construed race, gender, class, sexual orientation, national origin and other categories. Those categories that we build as a means to understand the world that surrounds us, later on and especially through the years, become set frames that people assume as the only truth and reality. Based on those categories we judge, decide and draw differences that separate us from others.

Throughout history there have been migrations. The change of powers, climates, catastrophes, persecutions, etc. account for the displacement of big groups of people. Usually the host community belittles the new arrivals, and subjects them to things that they themselves would not want to suffer or have their relatives suffer.

Going back to the case of the 72 immigrants killed, and as we also ponder about the immigration issues in US, we have to keep asking ourselves about the human rights that are involved in each case pertaining to immigrants.

According to the Bible we are all sojourners in His land. Nevertheless we claim property of the land and the resources. In order to guarantee those property rights we create the laws that enforce and protect our interests.

Has the thought ever assaulted you, that you have more than enough but you are always wanting more? Isn’t that the principle that moves this economy? While in some parts of the world people buy shoes, clothing and food above their needs, in other parts of the world people go without the basic necessities.

We always need more land, more cars, more benefits. It does not matter that in order to have those excesses we are taking away from other peoples their land, their resources and their right to determine how they want to think and live.

Respect is more than been polite, it is being aware of the right of others. When we acknowledge that right we also are aware that the environment in which others live is important and as sacred as ours is.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is no more important than the many that go unnoticed in many places in Africa. The right we have to our beliefs is just as important as the beliefs of others. The right to have the land protected from overexploitation and single-crop farming is the same as the right that we also have in this country to have safe food and water.

 

 


 

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