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The treatment of refugees in Europe is deplorable. Thousands of refugees sit outside borders, many without access to running water or toilets, and brave extreme temperatures, while waiting to be let in. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the “number of migrants, including refugees seeking asylum, who have arrived in Europe by sea so far in 2015 has surpassed 430,000… double the amount of arrivals in the Mediterranean for the entire 2014” (IOM). Also, many refugees have lost their lives in attempting to get into Europe, and others have fallen victim to human traffickers. Crowded conditions in camps and inadequate health care further aggravate the condition of the refugees. Similar to homelessness, the longer the refugees are displaced, the worse their condition becomes. Therefore, providing refugees with an adequate, decent shelter is imperative. More importantly, humans are of inherent value. They cannot be treated as mere statistics. Consequently, the European refugee crisis is one that questions the morals of our society. It is a question of whether or not to take in a stranger, even if it calls for sacrifice and giving on our part. In a world filled with bitterness and concerned with individual gain, the act of selfless giving restores trust and strengthens unity.

According to the article “Speer’s daughter and the Syrian refugees” by Abby d’Arcy, Hilde Schramm is the 79-year-old daughter of Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer” (d’Arcy). Schramm is also an example of what it is like to take in refugees. Schramm has decided to help two Syrian refugees, Nizar and Ahmad, by sharing her home, her kitchen and bathroom for eight months (d’Arcy). The resulting scene is one of harmony, with each one benefitting from the other. According to d’Arcy, Nizar is overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the people he has met here, while Schramm started getting back pain and Nizar and Ahmad have been invaluable, helping with the housework and doing her shopping. “They are willing to do a lot for me,” she says. “I almost have to be careful it is not too much” (d’Arcy). In brief, selfless giving fosters trust and care among one another, restoring peace.

This example of selfless giving is an outlier. However, if everyone was willing to bear some inconvenience by taking in a refugee, what emerges is a scene of harmony on a much greater scale. The result of spending one’s self, for the sake of another, brings forth a peace, and unity among cultures that no government policy or peace talks can establish.

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