Friday, September 4, 2015

Don't Fail Aylan

Although summer doesn’t officially end for another few weeks, and we’re still expecting triple digits here in central California, kids are back to school and most people are in fall mode. I’m ready for cooler temps, knee-high boots and soccer season.

We didn’t make it to the beach this summer, but that’s okay. We visited lots of friends with pools and had plenty of swim time. For several summers, though, we vacationed in beautiful San Diego. What a gorgeous city! I could live there.

While in SD, we went to Sea World, Legoland, and visited the U.S.S. Midway. We went for a ride on a friend’s boat. We visited the boardwalk and played games and ate ice cream. But what we all enjoyed best was the beach. Lying on the sand, digging our toes in, and watching the ocean – so relaxing!

The kids would bury each other, or Jayson would help them build a sandcastle. The beach, to us, is the epitome of summer and relaxation.

This is what the beach looks like to us, and most everyone we know:

Across the world, the beach represented something very different for two brothers, very much like Silas and James. Their names were Aylan and Ghalib. This is what the beach looked like to Aylan:

On the beach, Jayson finally got to turn off his phone and his mind from his work duties and play with his little boys. This is what the beach looked like to Jayson:

And this is what the beach looked like to Abdullah Kurdi, Aylan and Ghalib’s father:

War, suffering, pain, terror and destruction forced the Kurdi family to escape Syria. They tried to go to Vancouver, where Abdullah’s sister lives, but Canada denied them entry, even as refugees. And so the family was on a rubber dinghy crossing the Mediterranean Sea in desperation for a better, safer life – somewhere, anywhere.

Remember our friend’s boat in San Diego? Here’s what it looked like:

And Aylan’s rubber boat – not a toy boat he may have played with in the bath or outside in a puddle, but the boat that his family was on trying to cross the sea to Greece; the boat that capsized and drowned both brothers and their mother – here’s their boat:

Don’t turn away. This is reality. This is MY reality. This is YOUR reality.

Now do something. If you don’t know what to do, email me at

Marcel Duchamp said, “I feel shame, not for the wrong things I have done, but for the right things that I have failed to do.”

Don’t fail Aylan. Don’t fail humanity.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

No comments:

Post a Comment