Monday, January 28, 2008

Life, or Something Like It

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

The DREAM Act. Also known as the Love Act, the Hope Act, the Life Act, the Laugh Act, the Breathe Act, the Be Act, the Free Act, and so on. These are all things we would truly be able to have if the DREAM Act were passed. But you think, silly girl, laughter knows no bounds. Neither does love, or hope, or life or any of these things. These are all things you can do now; immigration isn't stopping you. Ah, au contraire, mon frere.

This battle is not simply over just a piece of paper, but the things that piece of paper represents. You see, without that piece of paper, living life is simply hard to do. You are suddenly not 100% human, as if humanity is something that can be rationed. Suddenly, your voice is harder to hear, as if expression is something to be looked down on. Your face is ripped of its defining features, as if your identity is something to be erased and forgotten. Slowly but surely, faced with rejection day by day, pieces of your being are torn away, until nothing is left but your body, now an empty shell.

Tell me how do you love when love has been denied to you? How do you live when your fate rests in someone else's hands? How do you laugh when your voice has been silenced? How do you hope when your future seems bleak at best? How do you jump, shout, play, or dance? How do you be when your very being is on trial?

This is about more than just a piece of paper. This is about the sanctity of life. This is about human beings - young, eager, promising human beings asking for nothing more than control of their lives back. This battle knows no color, no race, no nationality. It is life we ask for, and that is all.

All for an insignificant piece of paper. What a shame.