THE HUMANITY OF HENRY
Those who know me know that I do not affiliate with any one particular political group, although my voting record would classify me as a staunch "Republican." Normally I don't get into my personal life as it's just that..."personal." But yesterday something really hit me that I wanted to share. Those in WPM and iA know that I spend a lot of my time working out of my house and therefore as we're having renovations done it's been filled with skilled tradespeople over the past three weeks. Over the past couple of days a fellow who goes by the name of "Henry" has been working on our new walls. Henry is from Honduras and doesn't speak any English. I noted that he had been coming to work (in an active construction zone) wearing a pair of old dress shoes that did not fit. His heels were hanging over the crushed backs of the shoes, thus wearing them like one would wear slippers. This troubled me. I mentioned it to my wife and we decided to provide Henry with the means to obtain satisfactory protection for his feet.
As I sat in my office looking at the money set aside for Henry I began to reflect at what this man has gone through just to work on our walls..did he leave a wife and child behind, did people try to rob him, how long had he traveled, were people skimming his wages?...all to be here in North Carolina and try to earn money. Now, is Henry here illegally...I don't think so as our contractor is very diligent about that, however, I found myself (as a man, and as a person) not caring. I put aside any political ideals for the moment and asked myself...would I have the courage to go several countries away (not just to another state) to provide for my family, subject myself to a bureaucratic nightmare in a land where I don't speak the language, where my own people might very well take advantage of me, etc. Would I? Could I? Suddenly Henry became more of a hero to me than anyone I've met recently and coming up with advertising strategies, clever creative or website modifications began to pale in comparison to what this man had gone through just to sand dry wall. Many have been the evenings when I looked on television at folks not dissimilar to Henry and thought less than positive thoughts. Henry has changed that...maybe Henry was God's way of saying "Dave, give people the benefit of the doubt the way you did when you were younger and far less cynical." Perhaps... Now, don't get me wrong, I believe that people who are here should be here through legitimate means. I, however, cannot begrudge anyone the desire in wanting to come here, and on a human level can understand that if our government is too inept to give them legitimate means, (and based off its track-record ineptitude seems to be the currency of the realm in Washington) might seek other methods of entry. Is that wrong, YES, but thanks to HENRY at least I have a bit more of a human outlook on the situation. Now I would just challenge our lawmakers to get a grip on the situation and allow hard working folks like Henry legitimate means to achieve their portion of the American dream..open an Ellis Island South at the Texas border, staff it, re-open Ellis Island NYC and open an Ellis Island station San Diego. Jobs would be created, optimism would rise on both ends of the political spectrum, others seeking to come here would see that they have a legitimate entry point (I mean, think about it...if you lived in a foreign land and wanted to come to the U.S. where would you go?!? Exactly, I don't know either...there is no place that says "ENTER HERE.")
In closing out this rambling post I have to say, "Thank You God," for through your messenger, HENRY I heard your voice and now feel a bit more like I did when I was younger! It's refreshing and enabling. It's prompted me to write my congressional officials...not to provide "amnesty" mind you, but rather to seek to push for a series of legitimate entry points and a process by which brave souls like Henry can come to this great land and become solid, contributing citizens!