I was speaking to a fellow employee the other day when she told me a story. I have not made any effort to verify the facts of her story because the story is not the point.
She told me about a couple who had recently arrived from Syria. They were just two of the 25,000 people that Canada had recently given refuge to from the war torn country. The woman was pregnant and after arriving in Canada and being relocated out west had given birth. There was a problem and the child required urgent medical care only available at the Toronto Children’s Hospital. The child was sent to Toronto where he/she is receiving treatment.
“And who do you think is going to pay for that?” she said rhetorically after relating the story to me. (I knew the question was rhetorical because she kept talking.) “You know it won’t be them. They don’t have any money. They come to this country and take advantage of our health care and housing and jobs… they should have to go to the hospital in the country they came from and get the baby treated there.”
I was floored by what I was hearing. I stood there stunned. I couldn’t make up my mind where to start the rebuttal. Sometimes there are moments when you have an epiphany, you can see the big picture and truly understand something to its fullest extent. I had one at that moment. After this woman had said her piece I realized just how many generations mankind still was from where it needs to be.
What caused this epiphany? I’ve known this woman for more than two decades and I’ve even met her partner… That’s right, she’s gay and if she doesn’t get it…
Note: I did not let her comments go unchallenged and I’ll spare you the ugly details but as she left the room I said rhetorically, “Did you know that a person is a citizen of the country in which they draw their first breath?” (I knew the question was rhetorical because she didn’t answer)