Op-Ed from Lisë Stewart
The guard barked at Sophie, as she clutched her two young, terrified children. “Which one?!” “Which one!!?” Confused, not understanding, she asked what he meant. “Which one do you choose to live?” Frantic, crying, pleading…as he threatened to take them both, she let go of her little girl and screamed as the guard whisked her away, while the little girl shrieked and called for her mother. In the end, both of the children were taken and Sophie never saw them again. Her little boy was sent to another area of the camp and although she begged and did everything the cruel guards told her to do if she ever wanted to see him again…she never did and was told that he eventually died.
Watching this movie, Sophie’s Choice, at the tender age of 22, I was distraught. So distraught, that I had to leave the theater, sobbing and gulping for air. My boyfriend at the time tried to console me by saying, “don’t worry, it’s just a movie”. But, you see, it wasn’t just a movie. It told the story of something that really happened to people. And, it is happening now.
We are the Galliard FAMILY Business Advisor’s Institute. And the formation of this institute stemmed from a life-long passion for preserving families, and the businesses that they share. Our mantra has been, saving the fate of business, one family at a time. Loving families, regardless of their form, are the key building blocks of a healthy individual, a healthy community and a healthy country. Family businesses continue to form the backbone of our nation’s economy. However, the key word here is not business, but family. Psychologists know that the parent/child bond and sibling bonds are deep, instinctual and necessary. The emotional damage of forced separation, fear, stress and sense of abandonment can sentence a child to a life of permanent mental health issues.
Regardless of what side of the political debate any one person finds him or herself standing, children should never be used as political pawns. We stand for families.
I urge you, please let your elected officials know that other means must be employed to settle the immigration debate. Let your voice be heard. Families must be kept intact and children must be reunited with their parents. The family unit is the fertile ground, which nurtured with love and opportunity, fosters compassion, creativity, entrepreneurism, fellowship and commitment to the greater good. These are the foundations of our country and our humanity and we must never lose sight of this, regardless of the debate or the problem to be solved. We are better than this.