A mother and her child walk into a respite shelter in New Mexico.
The last few weeks, after coming home from emergency deployment on the border, I’ve found myself really struggling to look at the news or social media. But, with the nature of my job, I have to follow news organizations and commentators on every platform every day. This means that I feel like I’m flooded with bad news all of the time.
Border-related news has always upset me. I’ve felt strongly about the border crisis and how we, as humans and U.S. citizens, are better when we treat others with love and understanding. This shouldn’t be a political stance, it’s a humane stance.
With all of the bad news, I sometimes feel like building a nice little fortress around myself – a quiet place where the 24-hour news cycle doesn’t intrude and Twitter is only filled with cute dog videos. I recently shared these feelings with a friend and she stopped me mid-social-media-scroll. “There’s a lot of bad out there, but there’s also a lot of good,” she reminded me.
Despite how political the border crisis has become, these cities have put politics aside and asked, “How can we help?” They saw suffering and a chance to be a good neighbor, and they opened their arms. The simple act of offering these families the luxury of a shower and a bed to sleep in has more power than we know.
I also think of all of the individual kids I met and all the families Save the Children is still working with in these transit shelters. The thing is, while we can’t change everyone’s situation or go back and change their past journeys, we can make a huge difference for those we meet. If I can help lighten their load, even for a day, it’s still meaningful. If I can help make someone smile, even if it’s fleeting, it still matters.
Growing up, I had this Mother Teresa quote written on a bookmark that I used to carry around with me. “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” In moments like this, where I want to change the entire world, I’m reminded of the small, but mighty power of showing compassion and humanity to others.
Editor’s Note: This is the final blog of a 4-part series around Save the Children’s work at the border. See below to learn and read more about Save the Children’s work at the border.