While not the normal format for “I come from,” the language barrier and the other issued presented a problem with getting out todays story. Based on the realities of the situation from where john comes from, there will be no picture, nor a country name. “John just comes from…” Here is a small part of his story.
What struck me with all the people who didn’t wish for their images to be shown is they all had to suffer a bit in some way to leave a place, come to a new place where there is no guarantee that anything will be better, and they all have a look inside their eyes after seeing the not so great of mankind.
The look is simple to see, yet provides a sense of irony.
The people that have experienced the not so great behavior of man want freedom & peace.
Those that have personal freedom & peace, don't seem content with it and seem to want more "stuff" for themselves.
John came to Switzerland via one of various hot spots of political and ethnic unrest upon the planet. On one side of the equation were his countries military, on the other; the region he came from was considered a terrorist place.
“If I didn’t leave my country, I would be killed.” Sums up johns last thoughts on his experience to leave where he is from.
As an analogy, it would be as if everyone residing in New York State was given the same classification within the larger context of the United States of America. If you came from New York, you would be killed. While it doesn’t logically equate, it is how it is within some parts of the planet operate with fear of that which is different from what is recognized as the norm.
The path to leave his country was precipitated by the military showing up to his parent’s house and shooting his father 6 times. John’s father lived, but he had to endure months in a hospital to recuperate. That was the action where john knew he had to find a way to leave his country, with documentation in hand he left.
To get to German class, John first takes whatever work he can find in Switzerland. Most of the time he arrives in class tired as he works in the morning making rice or basic food at a restaurant while looking forward to one day becoming a chauffeur.
We can communicate in a few words of English and the rest of the time we look at each other in complete befuddlement as the German teacher tries to get us to magically understand the German language, or confuse us further with the geography and history of the cantons of Switzerland. We both agree that learning german has been more difficult than we anticipated.
John has left. I am alone in the classroom. My eyes well up as I know that all I am doing is scratching the surface to the real stories that are behind my classmates. Part of me is ashamed that I complain about small things in my life, part of me thanks god to be born into a country like the United States where we have such great freedoms; yet, I am beginning to doubt many people inside the USA really understand what they actually have.
The common thread with each of the people is that they are simply human; they want peace, a normal life. To have a job, have a place to call home, make enough money to eat and above all have peace. It isn’t’ complicated.
Until man finds a solution for greed, power and corruption, there will never be this peace upon the entire planet.
Until then, I leave you with john’s last words today, “I don’t want any problems. I just peace, raise my child and have a normal life. “