When Feeling Necessitates Action

(An important message from a wise person who I am fortunate to know)

When feeling necessitates action

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) – June 25, 2018Browse Issues

Section: IL Opinion

Page: P8

When feeling necessitates action

Since becoming aware of family separations at the border, caring for my 18-month-old daughter has been an exercise in compartmentalization.

While changing her diaper, I push away thoughts of the migrant children sobbing in “tender age” shelters.

As she splashes during bath time, I wonder if the migrant babies are bathed in tubs or showers, if they are afforded time to play, or feel safe enough to do so.

As I try to feed my picky eater, I jerk at the memory of the woman who had her breastfeeding baby taken out of her arms.

My heart plunges. Desperation builds in my chest and becomes hard to contain.

Recently, President Trump signed an executive order to reverse the family separation policy that has shocked the nation. This order, however, does nothing to change the administration’s zero-tolerance policy and doubles down on the criminalizing of asylum-seeking families. It exchanges mandatory family separations for mandatory family incarcerations. It is deafeningly silent on reunification of the 2,300-plus children who have been taken from their parents. It is simply not a solution.

As I gingerly close the door to my baby’s bedroom, I surrender to tears I’ve fought back all day. Sometimes the body betrays the private ache of the soul. It lets out a sob or a gasp — unsolicited, loud and surprising to all. More importantly, it reveals that sometimes feeling necessitates action.

This is undoubtedly one of those times.

Valeria Cueto


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