Happy and Grateful

happy and grateful

After my trip to the Bryce Canyon I suddenly realized that it might be my last visit to the Southern Utah and Northern Arizona area, and there won’t be any new photographs to share, so I just wrote a blog and used my old pictures taken with a modest camera 7-8 years ago, before Nikon D 700 was released 🙂

But before I proceed with sharing my travel experiences, I want to tell a few words about another kind of travels.

Thousands are fleeing Islamic state and illegally cross the borders throughout Europe.  Wealthy Gulf countries, their Muslim brethren, refuse to take them; just some of the wealthy are willing to provide monetary help here and there.

Most of European nations ( and I don’t mean the Governments but people) have made clear they don’t want to see any newcomers in their countries, crisis or not. The poorer is the country, the louder the protests. Western Europe has not exactly thrown wide open its doors to the migrants too. Crisis turns into catastrophe.

I understand local residents who are watching with horror the Youtube videos of the migrants pressing forward, fighting with police, stealing unattended personal belongings when passing through the villages.  I understand their feelings when they read that some, already settled refugees, refuse to do hard agricultural works that are offered to them.  Local residents are afraid for their security, their own job, their national identity. Oh I understand them all right, no doubts about that. But will their hate help? Will their hate change anything?

We are not the Governments, the Banks, the Billionaires.  Let the influential institutions do their job ( there is no overnight solution, so be patient ). But to give a desperate, frightened, hungry, vulnerable,  language-less, right-less individual something more than hate – can we do it? I know that many griefs are self-inflicted. But please feed the hungry before questioning the causes of his hunger.

Eastern European residents – I know you have very little, but don’t you have almost half of your population scattered around the world and given a chance for a better life, even that you are not exactly welcome.  So, even if you don’t welcome refugees – don’t hate them! No country will prosper if her people hate others.

Don’t blame these poor souls for wanting to live in a different place than their own sorry country. Be grateful for your own good fortune, even if it is a very small good fortune. Live up to your religious beliefs, and if it doesn’t work out, stop waving the religious flag whatsoever – you cannot be born a Christian – you can only become a Christian, and it is not my job to remind you what it means.

The world is changing, the Governments have to deal with different problems than 50 years ago. I hope they do something about the refugee disaster before the winter falls. Europe is hardly a long-term solution. These people have to be settled somewhere – I hope they will, in their own land, in a safe, just place, with the help of the rest of the world. Help, not hate. As to those who are going to remain in Europe –  I hope they learn their lessons, and stay happy and grateful.

If people only knew how much they can achieve by just being grateful.

This post is dedicated to 09.11.01.

IneseMjPhotography This is my post # 100 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend ye all!


  1. What a wondeffult post, Inese, with so many vital issues raised. The refugee problem is huge and so many people are really concerned about it, one way or another. The situation of many of these people is perilous. They have met hate and hostility at every turn and denied entry to many countires. The whole situation seriously needs looking into by governments that adamantly refuse to help in any way, financially or otherwise. We cannot turn our backs indefinitely on starving, desperate people.

    1. Absolutely agree with you. Who can blame them for looking for peace and better life? Who can blame them for trying to survive by all means? They are unwanted – don’t they know it? Of course they do. We have our own homeless and poor – we sure have, but there is no excuse for hating and assaulting these people even if they are unwanted burden. Feed first, then ask questions.

  2. I fell behind,Inese, on reading your posts. I apologize for this. I felt we were building connections. My work at a warehouse for auto parts brings me in contact daily with those who have come to America and wish for freedom snd a better life. Although they may be different from those refugees tou mentioned, they are so much better and harder workers than some I know here. Filipinos, Africans, South Americans and others I mention that my mother’s parents were immigrants. My grandma came from Germany and my Grandpa came from Sweden. They met on a street corner, He was attending the NY technical school passing out flyers for socialism. He admired later in his life, Adlai Stephenson. He said, “If we can not take care of the ‘least of these’, (meaning our tattered and handicapped – now we call disabled) we are not following the Statue of Liberty’s credo or what our country was founded upon. I have hope sometimes, when I meet good people struggling and taking on 2 jobs but worry about selfish ones who don’t realize the world is packed with people who need desperately to work, learn and care about each other. We may be crowded but we must try to fit in together. Thanks for this great essay, Inese. You have a heart of gold. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Glad for your grandparents, their hard work was rewarded.
      I am certainly not passing out flyers for socialism 🙂 Growing up in the Eastern block country, I well know what Social Democrats have done to the world in the 20th century. ‘Democracy’ sounds good, until it gets out of hands, which it usually does, Soviet Union being a fine example. I support common sense 🙂 Absolutely agree with you that we have to fit in together – so many people live in inhuman conditions, and it is not right.
      When your grandparents came to America, there was no other way but hard work. Now there is another option – social allowances. Many people have never worked, neither did their parents. As to those who do work and pay taxes – their jobs are not secure. Now, on top of everything, there are these refugees, who will stay, who won’t work because there are no jobs for them. I cannot exactly blame local people for being unhappy with this situation, because it is out of control, and the governments fail to sort it out. Hatred, it is what scares and upsets me, the beast-like state of some human beings who otherwise look like you and me. Absence of compassion and empathy scares me. My heart is not of gold 🙂 I just have empathy for half of my species, and sorrow for the other half.

      1. You´ve written a wonderful post here, Inese! And I am also deeply moved by your comments. Absence of compassion and empathy do really scare me, too, as much in daily life as in this particular situation, and I feel so miserable when reading articles about xenophobic actions against these poor people who only want to live somewhere in peace:( Here in Berlin the discussions become more intense by the day, you can hear people talk badly about refugees in public on underground stations or in supermarkets. A couple of weeks ago I was nearly hit by a glass bottle that was thrown by a very drunken man 😦 At first I thought it was meant for me, but realized quickly that he´d intended to strike the African man walking behind me. Luckily he missed both of us. We all stood motionless, with mouths open and couldn´t really understand what was happening. The drunkard went quickly away before anyone could get hold of him and we all went our ways but it did more than left a bad taste in my mouth. As you said in your post, I understand people being afraid of change for the bad for themselves, but there are thousands of refugees here now, and none of them tried to harm me nor attempted to steal away my job. I already noticed that compassion becomes more and more rare these past years but now it seems, it´s only getting worst and I can´t get my head around it 😦

        1. Thank you for your comment! I think that it is a very complex issue, and the governments handle it very poorly. Refugees are housed and financially supported, they have a very good start, but local people and any ‘economic’ immigrant from a poor country ( who often has even less in their pocket than a refugee) have to work really hard to stay afloat. There are reasons for the local residents to be unhappy, but I just want to say that hating other people won’t resolve the problem, hate produces hate, and in general, hateful people won’t succeed in anything in their life. Middle East and North Africa countries are notorious for their governments not giving a dime for the wellbeing of their citizens. I cannot blame people who are looking for a better life abroad. It is a natural surviving instinct. I blame the Governments, I do.
          Compassion is a rare thing in the Middle East too, as no one wants to take refugees there. Also, people know what they are entitled to, but don’t know what is a “thank you”. As I say, a very complex issue for the Governments to work on. Meanwhile, we all – and I mean ALL – have to act human.

          1. You are absolutely right and I couldn´t agree more! This whole sad development was predictable decades ago and no one in charge seemed to have spent a fleeting thought on it – and now it´s way too late! But I won´t give up hope that somehow there is a way out of this mess. In the meantime I hope that more and more people will come to the same conclusion as you did, that hate is useless and will only make things worse. In the end we´re all humans and if we don´t act accordingly, it is bound to end badly not only for the ones that are now suffering but for all of us.

  3. How encouraging! I need to work on this myself- being more grateful. I do well and then I have little downpours where I get out the umbrella instead of dancing in the rain ;))

  4. Congratulations on your 100th post. I agree with you that hating refugees is not the answer. I think they very first step towards solving the problem is for politicians and ordinary citizens in the various countries involved to stop thinking in the abstract. From some of the comments I’ve seen on online newspaper threads, it seems that some of those citizens forget that the refugees are just people, not some terrible force of nature.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Agree with you. Abstract thinking and generalizing are useless. If you buy a meal for a desperate family, you make a change in your own personality, and you will think twice before sharing hysterical posts on Facebook. I know that the situation is close to disaster, I am not neither stupid nor delusional, but will it help if I just acknowledge this on my page without any constructive action. It is our land. We all have to help these humans, and we all have to watch for the signs of trouble and report if necessary. It is too late thinking in the abstract – it is a harsh reality, and it is happening now.

  5. Important post Inese. The worst here is that most of the real refugees don’t come so far because they can’t afford this travel, which means that many of the people who escape and reach Europe are more migrants than refugees. The people in Europe wish to help the real refugees if possible. An example here: Many reached first Austria and Germany which opened their doors to help, nut many of those refugees wanted to go more north. Then they reached Denmark but would not let them register there because they wanted to continue to Sweden because this country offer more help.
    This looks more like migrants to me…
    We need to help the people who are in real need, agreed. But this is difficult when they often don’t come and ask for help.
    Europe receive many, many migrants, who wish for a better life in Europe.

    1. Irene, they are getting financial help from their wealthy neighbor countries. These neighbors rather pay for the boat than take them in.

      No way I support settling them in Europe forever. There is no room for them, for most of them. The Governments should join their efforts, clean the Gulf area from ISIS and help people return and start all over again under the close control of the UN.

      I don’t blame these people if they choose countries where is a better support. The same as us, they want to live like humans. Strict emigration laws would help immensely if they were already in place , but still there is a lot the governments can do. As to us – if we just hate them, it won’t solve any problem. We can feed them and give them shelter and clothes. When there is nowhere to travel anymore, they will stop, and then the Governments should be ready to act.

      1. Yes, this is very complex Inese. There are no space for all the people, who would like to live in Europe. But there are rules for the Governments, how to act, when so many refugees and migrants are trying to get into Europe. This time the rules were totally overruled, which don’t help neither the poor people or the Europeans, as still need to try to make a living in their countries.
        By the rules they need to ask for asyl in the first country, as they reach inside European Union (EU). Then the Governments talk together and help after possibility.
        What would really help were if we stopped selling them weapon etc. Without weapon – no war.

        1. That’s a good point, Irene, the weapons. And UN control over the area. When there was control, their countries were prosperous. When control started to weaken, the ISIS and alike started growing like the mushrooms after the rain. Clean up the area and return the people to where they belong. Give them a good start financially. It would be my solution, but who knows how to handle it. All is up to the Governments. The only thing I really want to convey in my post is – don’t hate these people because they are living creatures, collateral damage in the religious war. When we hate, we damage ourselves, directly. We cannot see solutions with our eyes full of hate. Our Governments have to act, it is why we elect them and pay them.

    1. Thank you Patrick! I am not happy with all this nightmare, and I really want it to be sorted out soon, but hate is not an answer to our problems, right? We have to do our best, not our worst in this situation.

  6. I agree with you Inese, solidarity has to be a bigger importance than hate. Although I think once you feed the hungry (urgency) you can help them better teaching them to get their own food. Several people leave my country when the war was so hard because the terrorists, but sadly so many of those weren’t hungry but just wanted comfort or hadn’t will to work. The rest, as my parents, just worked harder.

    1. I know what you are saying. I don’t blame people for wanting more comfort, but many people think that somebody owes them this comfort, that it is an entitlement. Which is wrong. A European taxpayer provides the money for the refugees – it doesn’t grow on the trees. It is why people are mad when the refugees refuse to go and work in the agriculture. Local people work there, and many Eastern Europeans, but the refugees from Africa and the Gulf countries find it humiliating. Really? It makes me angry too, but then I think that it is the Government’s business to fix the legislation concerning refugees. If there is no other job for their current qualification, they MUST work at the farm during the day and get some training in the evening, otherwise they will be sent back in say a year, because that’s the law. The law should be made clear. Government has to take care of all that, but we, people, have to stop hating and help them settle and learn language, and feel safe.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You are right – as bad as the situation is, hate won’t help things get better, but by hardening our hearts we destroy ourselves as human beings. We have to be realistic and positive at the same time.

  7. Oh, I love this post. My ancestors came to Canada from Ireland only a few generations ago and I know I would not have the wonderful life I have had they not taken that trip across the ocean. It was nightmare for that first generation in this strange, formidable, yet beautiful, land. But they survived and I am reaping the benifits of that.
    I hope that Canada will take in more rufugees and do it quickly. It breaks my heart to see the children crying. I am also quite disgusted with the lack of participation from wealthy muslim nations. And that so little is said about their callousness. Thank you for this.

    1. Thank you for your comment, John! Ireland is among the very few countries that responded with compassion. They remember their family history. They know what it means to be in that boat! Proud for my country!

  8. Amen! Our president has pledged to accept a significant number of migrants. Of course he’s being attacked by conservatives for this. I wonder where their compassion has gone. Maybe it was never there.

    1. It is great, your country has her responsibilities in helping Europe with this crisis. Still, it would be the best option that their own country would be liberated and rebuilt, and they could return to their own environment. It would be healthier for both the World and the East.

    1. Thank you for your comment! We have to be realistic in this situation… I pray that these people could be restored back in their own country, but with the help of all the world’s community and governments.

        1. I am afraid the land has to be cleared first…
          I have read that a billionaire from a rich neighbor country offered to buy an island for them, give them jobs and help them out. He even asked Greece and Italy to sell him such an island. He might find some land for them in their own area, and the world might help. I do hope for a good ending.

  9. A thoughtful post and a necessary reminder of our responsibilities as human beings. I wonder at the utter waste and horror of war and why it continues to be the choice of peoples and nations all around the world. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. Cannot disagree. It must be related to some inner, hidden hate that just takes a different, pervert form. And mind you, they don’t do it themselves. They send the others to kill and to die. The young ones. What a pervert world this is.

  10. The refugees issue today is truly sad and frustrating at the same time. I guess it is time to realize that what happened in other part of the planet may impact those who lives in other area. We are all connected as living organism in one planet and this is no longer my country or your country, but it is our planet and together we live here. I can’t believe with the selfish acts by certain States, just to avoid the social costs that might burdened their countries’ future. But you are right, just being angry and hate would not help the situation..I do hope there will be solution to this matter and more states take responsibilities and sharing the matter. Bringing the peace to the middle east perhaps that something they should do as soon as possible.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Indah. I was very disappointed with the response from so many countries, especially from the ones that know the meaning of a word “hardship”. I agree with you that only working together people can make a difference. If I cannot make much difference, I can at least stop hating, and think of some constructive actions. Yes, Europe is overpopulated, yes, hundreds of thousands of existing refugees and migrants are a pain in the backside because many of them are demanding and arrogant, and they don’t fit into existing society, they live like temporary visitors with no intention to stay long, but they are humans, and there should be solutions to the problems, and I am sure the governments work on it. Meanwhile, we have to wait and be human to those who are in a very inhuman position right now. We are losing our human face, and it is a bad sign. Never know what the future holds for us. We might need a refuge ourselves one day.

  11. I found that the people were more willing than the Governments in this issue though you’re quite right that people fear for their livelihoods with the refugees coming to places which already have poor employment levels. There have to be some safeguards for locals too.
    The issue of the war sending us the refugees and ISIS could be settled by the other countries in the region but they won’t do so because of their religious differences and the fact that if they get the West involved it’s they that will garner the hate again. and not the Arab rulers. The more the West go in, the more friends ISIS and other groups win. It’s an in-house problem that should be dealt with in-house.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    1. I so agree with you! Yet, it is too late, they have already left their house and came into ours… Now the governments should work on helping them return – and make a room for them in their own environment. Until then, they are here, we want it or not, and we have to show our human side. Hate only creates hate.
      And yes, people in the UK, Ireland and Austria responded more humanly than many other nations. Proud of them.

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