Listen. Relate. Love.
No one can truly understand how someone feels. Feelings are unique to the individual.
What we can do is relate and I can relate to persecution. My family left (fled) Iraq because of persecution. Persecution that claimed because we were different, we were less than, we didn't belong. We didn't deserve to live. Persecution that led to the deaths of friends, family, and the destruction of my entire country.
Berbere has always been a melting pot. Our employees, friends, and customers hail from around the world. From Europe to Africa, Asia to South America, all have suffered persecution. The stories are largely the same.
In my years of traveling, I've found a few things to be constant. Once you get past the basic needs of food, drink, and shelter, all people generally want the same things - opportunity, consideration, respect, appreciation, and above all else, not just to be heard, but to be listened to.
True listening is powerful. It strips away fear, prejudice, hatred, and replaces it with relatability. Relatability that over time becomes familiarity. Familiarity that ultimately becomes love.
I for one want to take a step closer to love by listening during this time. I hope you will join me.