6-Year-Old Opens Heart & Home to Syrian Refugee in a Letter We Can Learn From

Because of the situation in Syria, there are more than 11 million people looking for homes. Dealing with a crisis of this scale is going to take sacrifice and understanding from all of us, which, sadly, is something many adults don't seem to understand. But a 6-year-old boy named Alex understands, and his letter to President Obama offering to take in the Syrian boy from last month's famous photo is going viral because of it.

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President Obama read the letter to the United Nations summit on the refugee crisis in New York, and that speech -- plus a video of Alex reading his letter himself -- is going viral:

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"Those are the words of a 6-year-old boy," Obama said. "A young child who has not learned to be cynical or suspicious or fearful of other people because of where they come from, how they look, or how they pray."

Obama urged the UN -- and us -- to be more like Alex. And you know what? He's right. It's so easy to think about how refugees will "displace" Americans or eat up our taxes or use our bicycles when we could be playing on them instead. But Alex wants to share his bike. His willingness to offer up what he has and accept the boy in the photo, Omran Daqneesh, as a brother should be a lesson in kindness. Everybody needs to learn from it.

Of course, most people in the US opposed to accepting more refugees haven't even gotten to the point where they need to consider their kindness or generosity -- they're still stuck on the part where they assume letting in refugees means letting in terrorists.

But of the 10,000 Syrian refugees already admitted into the US in the past year, not a single one has committed an act of terrorism. Zero. As for the other 110,000, they're statistically also very unlikely to be terrorists, which we learned this week after the overwhelming response to Donald Trump Jr.'s tweet comparing refugees to a bowl of Skittles. 

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So Obama's talking to them. He's talking to the international community, who hasn't exactly jumped at the opportunity to help the refugees. But he's also talking to parents, who should try to raise children to be as open and accepting and generous as Alex is.

If we can do that -- raise kids to want to help people -- maybe we won't see another crisis so resoundingly unaided as this one. Maybe.

 

Image via President Obama/Facebook

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