The art of understanding

By Magda Cavuquila. Agda, 18, studies at the Methodist University of Angola. She is majoring in architecture and, in her spare times, enjoys writing and painting. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“You have to understand,

No one puts their children in a boat,

Unless the water is safer than land” – Warsan Shire.


The first thing that came to mind when I read this were immigrants. Lately there’s wars sparking up everywhere in the world, and the one who suffers the most is the civilian population.

There’s an immigration crisis going on in the world, and often in the countries where immigrants flee to, they are not welcome there, the locals think they are going to “ruin” their country.

There’s an immigration crisis going on in the world, people need to understand, you don’t leave your country, your home town, everything that’s familiar to you, for the sake of it. There’s no fun in putting yourself and your loved ones in canoes to cross a blood hungry sea or hide in trucks to flee whatever it is endangering one’s life.

Immigrants are not trying to “freeload” in your country, people are trying to live. Some have to flee wars, other persecution, only to go to a new country and deal with ignorance and animosity.

Obviously there are legal steps to follow, but when yours and your loved one’s life is at risk, you do whatever it takes. And they do it, because they see no other way out. Because that seems the lesser of two evils, because sometimes responses in two or three business days can determine one’s execution date.

A few years back some pictures of some immigrants trying to get to Italy, I believe, through the Red Sea was all over the internet. It showed in flesh the horror those people have to go through, but one of them particularly scarred me, it was the picture of a young boy, blond, he was wearing a stripped blue and green t-shirt and beige pants, if my memory serves me right, his body was floating head down, he had died on the travel. His body was still there on the shore, they never showed his face, nor revealed his name, so a kid once probably full of life was reduced to nothing more than a faceless corpse. Now I wonder, do you think his parents dared to go on this journey, just because they were in the mood for some pizza? His momma wanted to know how an Italian stud looks like? Or his dad felt the need for a change?

Where’s the humanity? If we as a society have lost all of our love and compassion for other to such a point where we can’t even begin to understand, or pretend we do, someone else’s pain, just because they don’t look like us, just because their complexion is different than yours, just because they have sworn to a different flag… then I guess there’s nothing more that can be done for us, we have reached our peak, and things are only going to get worse from now on.

I once read that love can be more dangerous than hate, I guess it’s true… or maybe hating it’s just easier. Maybe it’s just easier to call people names, outcast them and mistreat them, because the alternative is scarier… you would have to love then.

Because you would have to take their pain and make it your own, you would have to open up yourself and your country, you would have to let go of things, you would have to look at your ignorance, racism and prejudice dead in the eye and admit you were wrong… because you would have to understand.

And now we form an uroboros of our own making, how do we make people understand? I don’t know what those people go through, maybe I will never fully understand their pain, but I sure know how the leap of desperation feels like, when you meet between a rock and a hard place, when you either stay in land and burn or go to the water and drown.

5 comments on “The art of understanding

  1. Teresa on

    How do we make people understand? That’s the ultimate question isn’t it? How do we make people use their heart and brains the right way?

  2. Retired Batman on

    Every coin has two sides…
    I’m not saying I disagree with you, but if we’re being realistic, we should know as well that sometimes illegal immigrants can worsen a country (because not all of them get honest jobs )and decrease one’s economy (because they’ll work and send the money home)

    • Gabriela on

      From that perspective, the people employing them also save in taxes and tend to pay them less them they do to registered employees. The point wasn’t in supporting illegal immigration, it’s more focused in understanding what makes one immigrate in the first place


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter!