What is worse than having to make the least-worst decision? Saturday was spent in despondency, but not Sunday — Sunday was game time. Houstonians from all nations were there alongside us; police officers were friendly and helpful; taxi drivers honked along to our chants; NFL fans took pictures; and we chatted with newly-made Muslim friends, listening to the stories of how their community has been affected by the travel ban.
Houston came out that Sunday with hope, love, and compassion.
President Donald Trump's recently signed executive order enacting a travel ban and a freeze on refugee resettlement hit on so many of my own core values, and I felt the enormity of the impact for so many people. They were caught and promptly jailed; my mother and brother were released after a few days, but my father remained in a labor prison for 18 months.
My parents first tried to flee their home country of Vietnam in 1977, while my mother was still pregnant with me.
My independence as a Christian has helped me to improve my education and broaden my view of other opinions.
I am the type of person who likes to walk the walk, and take action in my life.This weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about the Syrian refugees in particular. She launched into a two-minute monologue, which clearly wasn’t going to work on a 1-by-3-foot sign. As we watched an incredible performance by a local lion dancing troop, I was struck by how very Houston this all was. I was worried about whether it would be safe for them.Their dreams of going back to Syria have diminished, as are their hopes for resettlement. Ultimately I decided it was important that they see their own parents' values in action. So I asked her questions: What does she believe in? Here I was, eating Chinese dim sum with my Irish-Polish friends, watching a cultural performance at a restaurant owned by Vietnamese refugees before going to a rally for immigrants happening right next to the pre-Super Bowl festivities at Discovery Green and the George R. I’m not going to paint a picture of us walking boldly and confidently towards the rally, however. Standing up and voicing a strong opinion is uncomfortable. But once we were there, my heart swelled with pride.In order to complete this personal evaluation, I will split my life into three categories: spiritual, mental, and my view of life. Both my parents were raised as strong Christians, and I've been brought up the same way.In my younger years, religion was a significant part of my life.And they saw thousands of people wanting to do the same, peacefully and urgently.Then they got an artisan popsicle from a local vendor and went to the Super Bowl celebration at Discovery Green. Judy Le is the president and co-founder of Take Root Leadership Consulting and Coaching, and is an instructor at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. I have spent my entire life making sure that my parents’ sacrifices have been worthwhile.My refugee experience is no different from the millions of others. Imagine every Syrian child in a refugee camp holding that sign. Before we went to the rally, we met up with our friends for dim sum to celebrate the Lunar New Year.I feel more independent as a Christian, and can explore my own beliefs without feeling pressure from others within the church.My independence has driven me to study different religious views on such topics as creation, evolution, and interpretations of the Bible.