A Sea of Humanity


“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”.~ Mahatma Gandhi

Last week I had an opportunity to experience a sea of humanity in Los Angeles, CA. I flew from Nicaragua to march in solidarity for human rights and immigrants throughout the world. It was one of the most meaningful days of my life.

750,000 people of all races, nationalities, genders, and ages marched through the streets of Los Angeles. The reasons we marched were as numerous as the problems we face throughout the world. Yet, it was as if we were floating in an ocean of serenity, swaying and bobbing peacefully… gleefully… shoulder to shoulder…heart to heart.

a-sea-of-humanity

I took the Nicaraguan flag and displayed it proudly for my Nicaraguan and expat friends. I am an immigrant, too. When we moved to Nicaragua 13 years ago, we spoke no Spanish and were the only gringos living in our tiny village.

It was a humbling experience when our neighbors shared what little they had with us. Now, 13 years later, we consider them a part of our extended family. I marched in solidarity for them.
img_0971

Have you experienced living in a neighborhood where you are the minority or an immigrant? Before moving to Nicaragua, we lived comfortable middle-class white lives. I taught in many schools with a diverse population of students. But, I always wondered how I could show them that I truly cared.

My friend, Jennie, who attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C. explained her feelings eloquently:

How could I show my minority friends and neighbors that I care about them? That I disagree with Trump? Sure, I could be kind to them. I could bake them cookies. And those things are good. But you know what they need? They need solidarity. They need those of us with white Christian privilege to stand WITH them. One hundred and seventy years ago after being driven from their countries, my ancestors arrived in the U.S. only to be driven from state to state because of religious differences. No one stood up for them, despite their appeals to the government. How would my life be different now if someone had? If millions of people sent a message to the government that freedom of religion means freedom of ALL religions?image-1-2

So, I stood, marched, danced, and chanted WITH them in the sea of humanity…in solidarity…because I care. Joy washed over me, and several times I couldn’t hold back the tears! This was a powerful display of unity like I had never seen or experienced before!
image-1-3We created a peaceful ruckus which reverberated throughout Los Angeles. And not one fight or arrest. In fact, the police joined us in the march!
image-1We laughed and cheered as we walked side by side with signs of “UGH”, “Love not Hate”, “The time is always right to do what is right”, “Love Trumps Hate”, “Left or right, we all see wrong”, and “Men of Quality respect Women’s Equality.”

It was a march FOR and not a protest AGAINST. We marched for equal rights, environmental protection, women’s rights, health care and reproductive rights, freedom of speech and religion, and compassion for immigrants. There were so many reasons we marched and I couldn’t possibly read every sign.
img_0976The march renewed my faith in humanity for we are all in this together. Humanity is an ocean of compassion and a diverse sea of tolerance. I will swim in this benevolent sea of love forever!

As a side note, my blogging friend, Kris Cunningham, posted this video Look Beyond Borders. It touched me deeply and I am passing it on to you!

 

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27 thoughts on “A Sea of Humanity

  1. Congratulations on attending the LA march!!! I’m an USA immigrant living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Many of us are incredibly ashamed and outraged at our home country and so we organized a Oaxaca sister march in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. It was an amazing experience; just days before, we expected perhaps 100-200 and were stunned by the response. Media and police put the crowd at 2000-3000 and we were met with thumbs up, clapping, and big smiles from our Oaxaqueño neighbors. Now we immigrants need to figure out what to do next. For photos and more on our march, you can check out my blog post: https://casita-colibri.blog/2017/01/21/womens-march-oaxaca-presente/

  2. What is happening in our country is beyond horrifying. I keep feeling it is a bad nightmare and I can’t believe it is reality. But I will not stop fighting for the injustice that is going on.

  3. Thank you for posting this! I marched in Austin Tx, with my family! It was a great experience, and definitely we need to do more!
    Where did you get the art for this? Is it posted somewhere on the web?
    Joe

  4. Wow, that is SO cool that you did that!! It’s wonderful to see so many people working for what is good in the US people and people everywhere.
    I think our experiences as minorities and immigrants in our adopted countries are different though. I think all of us have been welcomed and accepted with open arms. And, we weren’t fleeing from an unbearable or life threatening situation. I don’t think most immigrates in the US are accepted in the same way and it must be much lonelier and more difficult for them. I’m glad to see so many kind hearts who participated in the demonstrations and hope they can help, though it sounds like few who need the help will now be able to seek refuge in the US.

  5. How sad that people would turn your post into a political forum: one anti-Trump rant and other supporting a morally bankrupt human being. I’m glad you enjoyed your experience in LA and I hope that our Prime Minister also takes the moral high ground, today.

  6. One of my most humbling experiences as a traveler, especially through small villages in Central America, was the feeling of standing out because of my blond hair – of being a minority. What was different was that people treated me with kindness rather than suspicion and I loved the video you shared because it showed, beneath appearance and despite the language barrier, that we have much more in common with people than we think. So glad that you had a chance to experience the Women’s march last weekend and I’ll be looking for ways that I can participate in the continued fight for equal and civil rights as well as an inclusive society which welcomes refugees. The last week has shown that the fight is far from over and nothing can be taken for granted. Anita

    • Exactly, Anita. I participate in my daily actions like calling my representatives, writing letters, signing petitions, and attending marches, but there is so much more we can do. I think the biggest part I can play is to help others understand that we are more alike than different. I want to close the door to division, but oh man, it is difficult. But, I will keep plodding on because we do truly live in a sea of humanity where a few drops of dirty water will not destroy the ocean. Thanks for your thoughts. Hugs.

  7. Beautiful, Debbie. You have definitely straightened your backbone and displayed honorable respect for those who have no voice or little voice. Unless we’re native Americans, our own family trees pulled up roots from elsewhere and sank them in the melting pot of hope. The history of the horrid slaughter of ‘savages’ who rightfully owned this land is one that should force us all to look inward,and be grateful that Native Americans don’t hate us all…

    If one day another country attacks our own; if our cities are bombed and mothers and children flee for safety, what are the options?

    In Costa Rica I was the lone ‘outsider’ and the community accepted me, helped me, and were kind. In Ecuador I receive the same unconditional acceptance. I think the biggest problem our world faces is that too many people think with their egos and not with their hearts.

    You, for sure, have your priorities in the right place and are selfless.

    I am proud to call you my friend!

    • Oh, Lisa. Thank you! You definitely understand. Living abroad as a minority has opened my eyes to the many problems immigrants face. Yet, I had a choice, where most of the immigrants do not! They live in fear of deportation and a hate filled world where others only look at their outward appearance. That is why I reposted the video that you and Kris put on your blogs.
      It is so difficult to bring our troubled world together as a sea of humanity. That’s why I write my blog! I believe in those who cannot speak out for themselves and will always advocate for peace and understanding in our troubled world. Hugs to you mi amiga.

  8. GREAT for you and MORE THAN ANYTHING …YOUR” KNOWLEDGE ON TRUMP ”AND WHAT IS”” REALLY GOING ON !!!!!””

    I find the American people to be so UNEDUCATED when it comes to knowing what the hell is REALLY GOING ON ..!!!!
    .
    THEY DO NOT INVESTIGATE , STUDY , ETC. ETC ….
    AND THIS IS WHATS HAPPENING IN THAT SAD COUNTRY RIGHT NOW ….

    Until people there ..WAKE UP ….AND””’ STUDY””” AND DO THEIR ””OWN RESEARCH”” ,,,
    nothing will CHANGE …NOTHINGS GOING TO GET …BETTER ….

    Its UTTERLY AMAZING THAT PEOPLE THERE BELIEVE ALL ON WHAT THEY ARE READING AND HEARING … ON THEIR TV AND NEWS MEDIAS!!!!

    PLEASE……DO YOUR “”””””OWN HOMEWORK “”””””AND THEN U WILL LEARN

    THE ”””’TRUTH ”””’

    STOP BEING LAZY SHEEP…..!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unfortunately, this time ,,it may be “too late” for the States and they will have to learn …the hard way..
    I hope not….AND DO pray they will hear the ”””TRUTH…NOT ALL THE LIES!!!!!!”””

    WAKE UP AMERICA’S PEOPLE BEFORE YOU SUFFER EVEN MORE……….

    I woke up,,,and left the country, so happy I was led out… now …

    before the shit really hits the fan as I expect it will ……have to happen …

    SAD ……BUT …..TRUE…AND I STUDY!!!

    MUCH LIGHT TO YA ,
    Heidi Lane

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Heidi. While, I do respect your thoughts and opinions, my goal in writing this is to attempt to open a door to respectful dialogue among all people in the world.
      I want to hear the concerns of my friends who do support Trump and listen to their concerns with understanding and no judgment. Many of my friends have valid concerns and worries on both sides of the political spectrum.
      Am I angry? Sure! But, I want to redirect my anger in a positive active direction. Like I said, we are all in this together. Hugs and peace, Heidi.

  9. Good for you for following your conscience. I, however, support Trump and think his only reason for all these immigration issues is to keep crime and drugs out of the US. You can’t blame him for that. I don’t think he’s against legal immigration or against any particular religion as long as people aren’t criminals and drug smugglers. No country I know of has open borders except us. This needs to be cracked down on. There isn’t a country in this world that would put up with as much as the US does when it comes to immigration, but all that has to change. Everything is in turmoil here. There are far too many people coming in here illegally and drugs are pouring into the country. I really think Trump is on the right track and trying to straighten all this out. And it’s long over due, if you ask me. I know there are many honest, hardworking people who want to come here looking for a better life. That’s fine if they want to come to the country legally. Any other country would expect the same thing.

    That’s just my two cents and I realize it’s not your view, but hopefully you won’t hold this against me.

    Sunni

    • Sunni, thank you so much for your honest and heart-felt thoughts. I believe we need more people like you in our world. People who will openly express their concerns without hate, without fear! I have wanted to start a discussion with my Trump supporter friends, but It is difficult. Most people shut me down, block me on Facebook, or respond with ugly hatred.
      We, as a nation, are horribly divided. If we could only start a conversation and discuss our fears and our concerns with kindness and understanding.
      I embrace you as a friend. Our political stances are miles apart, but we can close the gap by understanding one another. You, my friend, have opened the door. Thank you for that!

      • I totally agree with you there about having open discussions to sort everything out. We are divided and I think discussing our fears and concerns with kindness and understanding is sure a step in the right direction. I’m always open to listening to different viewpoints. We should never expect for everyone to share our views and all our views are just as important as the stranger standing beside us. I would never shut someone down if they had a different opinion than me. That’s just life. There are always going to be people with an opposing point of view and that’s okay. The very best to you. We must all follow our heart and conscience even when it’s different from another.

  10. So glad you had this experience. I marched in DC and it was an amazing and transformative experience to be surrounded by so many, many people who all want the same thing – respect, dignity, and a chance to live their lives according to their own values. I took a bus to DC from central VA and many of the people on that bus are coming together to form an action group.

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