I’ve been thinking a lot about approximately 90 people who were willing to risk their lives by travelling in a non-air conditioned semi truck trailer for hours in the Texas heat. Aside from having no seats, no seat belts, and no air conditioning or moving air, the ride would have been dreadful as the trailer is designed to carry many thousands of pounds, not a mere fraction of the total load-bearing capacity. The trailer would have bounced heavily whenever it hit an irregularity in the road. If these poor souls were travelling in darkness, the discomfort would have been greatly magnified.
About 10 people died and many more may be permanently disabled due to lingering effects of heat stroke. Did these people understand the extreme risk they were taking when they climbed aboard the trailer? I suspect not.
A refugee is, by definition, “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.” We’ve seen millions risk their lives to flee Syria by taking overloaded boats to Europe. Thousands have perished after spending their life savings to buy a trip seeking refuge.
Is what the people in the semi truck were doing a close parallel to other refugees? I’d argue “yes.” While these people entered the U.S. illegally or, worse, were victims of human trafficking, an argument can be made that they are seeking refuge in the U.S. having left an intolerable situation behind them.
We should let each person explain what motivated them to come to the U.S. Some may truly be refugees and, therefore, be entitled to U.S. support.
I’m grateful I’ve never had to face such a challenge. I have real compassion for those who face these challenges. I hope the U.S. will also show compassion.
Thought for the week:
“Those who keep learning will keep rising in life.” – Charlie Munger
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Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.