Americans have big hearts. I've seen depths of sharing and care that truly instill a sense of pride for our culture of hospitality and welcoming. But when it comes to immigration, Americans are sometimes lulled into the false sense that we are the world's care givers and that others simply take and take and take from us. Americans are often surprised to hear that Mexico has immigrants not only travelling through the country, but going there to live and work. Many stereotype mexicans as the receivers of kindness, without recognizing the sacrifices and kindness that they offer the world's immigrants.
Caring for a stranger, and opening up your heart to the empathy of another's suffering is one of the deepest strengths of human society. It is that empathy that has led to the end of slavery, and that may one day lead to the end of the persecution of immigrants, and the world's poor. I appreciated this post at Immigration Orange where Kyle highlights the generosity and kindness of women sharing what little they have with immigrants in their community. If only city governments like Hazelton, PA could find it in their heart to be as humane.