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Why How We Behave at the Border Matters

Children at the border
photo credit: John Moore/Getty Images

I was truly moved by the First Lady this morning. She spoke eloquently about immigrant children separated from their parents at the border. Mrs. Trump, following similar guidelines of other former first ladies, urges us to govern with heart.

This crisis at our border is not about politics; it’s about us—our behavior and our core values. It doesn’t matter what laws we have on the books, who put them in place or when. Children are being hurt right in front of our eyes, and we must not allow it.

In a lifetime of teachable moments, I most cherish these precious and rare opportunities to share something of human value empowering the best in us; moments that attest to our highest purpose which naturally inspire our spiritual growth.

This is one of those.

Our values are expressed by our behavior and we can’t ignore the consequences of our actions. The way we behave impacts the behavior of others, which in turn influences their treatment of others. We choose how to create our world.

Because behavior doesn’t occur in a vacuum, it makes a public statement, serving as a lens into our heart that showcases our values. Our actions, even small ones viewed as inconsequential, can have profound consequences. No one is exempt from the impact of his/her own behavior. Sadly, learning to take personal responsibility for how we behave may be one of life’s most urgently needed but difficult to learn lessons.

When we allow what is happening to innocent children at our borders, when we hear doctors and psychologists describe the lifelong damage it causes and remain silent, and when our response to such cruel behavior is to do nothing or worse, argue about who’s fault it is, what does that say about us?

As a spiritual teacher, I counsel against accepting less of ourselves, and to demand more. Each of us makes that choice and our behavior tells the world the choice we’ve made. And, in the end, our behavior reveals our humanity and core values defining our moral compass.

Whether we are red or blue, black or white, rich or poor, young or old, we must choose to protect innocent children being ripped from their mothers’ arms. Here’s a moment to make our world a better place, defined by the best we have to offer, instead of debasing the world with the worst .

It’s what these children and our future world deserve.

Deborah King