The Month of Love, the Year of Love

The Month of Love, the Year of Love
Published first in The Echo World February Issue
February is the month of love thanks to St. Valentine’s Day. We speak of hearts and give chocolates and roses, make romantic meals or go out to nice restaurants.  We find ways to express our love to our spouses, significant others, sweethearts or crushes.
But what is love? In Quechuan and Aymaran  languages of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia there are over 100 words for different kinds of love, I’ve been told by friends who speak these languages, such as: the love for a mother of her child, the love of the young, and the love of a sunset.
In contrast, in the English language we have to use many words to describe different forms of love.
Wikipedia states:  “Love is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment. It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.” It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals… Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts. Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.”
Spiritual teachers of many religions and alternative, spiritual paths state that love is the most important thing in the Universe. Some say that the reason humans were created was to increase our unique abilities to love and thereby our love to the Universe.
I have been blessed to spend time with many dying people. When they come close to death almost all speak mainly about those they loved and those who have loved them. Having just recently lost a brother and a sister to death, I have fought with my own regrets of not having found better ways to let them know how much I loved them.
So this year I have resolved to express my love better to my wife, Sofia, my son Henry and daughter Sophia, my remaining siblings Spider and Elizabeth, as well as to all my extended family and wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
I want to start living, this resolve by stating I have quickly, as the co-publisher of The Echo World, come to love our community: the writers, artists, poets, photographers and other contributors, who share their unique experiences, as well as the advertisers who make it possible for The Echo World to exist financially. But most of all our devoted readers, those I have met and those I have communicated with and those I will never know. I love you all and thank you for being in my life.
PS the last photo above was taken by Sofia Karin Axelsson at a ritual Lodge preformed by Rachel Mann PhD.

Why Immigration Should Not Be Limited.

 

Why Immigration Should Not Be Limited

What is wrong with President Trump’s Immigration Policies?

The three most important people in my life today are immigrants. My son, Henry Miguel, and my daughter, Sophia Zila, were both born in Peru and are Native Indian Peruvian. My wife Sofia Karin was born, and until recent years, lived in Sweden. Without these three people my life would lack its deepest and most meaningful love. My wife and I operate LangevinAxelsson Marketing, a social media promotions and public relations company. We also publish the monthly alternative health and self-improvement magazine The Echo World. My wife works hard and contributes to American society, but she was not born here.

My daughter is a kindergarten teacher in Fresno, California and has been teaching young children for four years. She speaks Spanish as well as English and that greatly helps her getting the kids she works with on the right path in education and more meaningful lives. My son is in sales in San Diego. Just as my daughter, he is bi-lingual and the products he sells help people live better lives. The process to make my children US citizens was long and drawn out, expensive and difficult. They were one and two years old when my former wife and I adopted, and obviously not a threat to anyone. Still it took a massive amount of time and effort.

The path to have my wife become a legal resident in the USA was insane! We both have Masters degrees, have worked in many professions that require high quality skills in interpreting social policies, and still the paperwork was daunting. We are both white, and I’m a third generation American. My wife is from Northern Europe, from a country that is considered to be one of the least threathening countries in the world. To put it short, we were in a very privileged situation. Still it was a frustrating, long and drawn out process, as well as expensive and difficult.

I have great sympathy for people who come to this country speaking another langue than English, with little education and limited resources. Coming through the legal immigration process must be very overwhelming. If I could not find any work in my country of birth and if the prospects of getting a well payed job was there if I illegally snuck into Canada or Mexico  … I certainly would be more than tempted.

When my children were still young I worked in Norther California as a therapist. Many of my clients were illegal Mexican immigrants. The vast majority of them had good jobs, families and were sound contributing members of society. They all paid their taxes and had insurance on their vehicles. They were good responsible people.  Yet most of them lived in fear that they would at any time be stopped by the police for whatever reason and risk being separated from their families and deported.

Wikipedia states that:

“The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has estimated that 11.4 million illegal immigrants lived in the United States in January 2012. According to DHS estimates, “the number of illegal immigrants peaked around 12 million in 2007 and has gradually declined to closer to 11 million. In 2012, 52% were from Mexico, 15% from Central America, 12% from Asia, 6% from South America, 5% from the Caribbean, and another 5% from Europe and Canada. Illegal immigrants work in many sectors of the U.S. economy. According to National Public Radio in 2005, about 3 percent work in agriculture; 33 percent have jobs in service industries; and substantial numbers can be found in construction and related occupations (16 percent), and in production, installation, and repair (17 percent).”

That is many hard working people who would leave big holes in our work force if deported.

In 2012, an estimated 14 million people lived in families in which the head of household or the spouse is in the United States without authorization.  That is a lot of people who live in constant fear of being separated from their families and deported while contributing to the good of our society.

President Donald Trump not only wants to build a wall between the USA and Mexico, he is also working towards exporting all illegal immigrants. We have all taken part in the disatrous refugee policies of late. He has barred refugees for 90 days from entering the United States, from seven predominantly Muslim countries : Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. More than 100,000 visas for foreigners inside and outside the United States have also been revoked.  Trump has stated that this has all been done to protect Americans from the threat of terrorist attacks, as well as American jobs. Does this make any sense?

The threat of terrorism is more than loaded.  What might be the reality behind all the propaganda and fear talk? Most Americans see people representing the fanatic bransh of the Islamic faith as the main group to pose a threat of terrorism, and Americans usually identify Islam primarily with Arabs. The truth is that two-thirds of Arab Americans are Christian. The vast majority of Moslems in the USA are also well educated and work at highly skilled jobs.

After sifting through databases, media reports, court documents, and other sources, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, has arrived at a striking finding: Nationals of the seven countries singled out by Trump have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.

Zero.

Six Iranians, six Sudanese, two Somalis, two Iraqis, and one Yemeni have been convicted of attempting or executing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during that time period, according to Nowrasteh’s research.  Zero Libyans and zero Syrians have been convicted of doing the same. “Foreign-born terrorism is a hazard,” Nowrasteh argues, “but it is manageable given the huge economic benefits of immigration …”

As for refugees, Nowrasteh writes, Trump’s action “is a response to a phantom menace.” Over the last four decades, 20 out of 3.25 million refugees welcomed to the United States have been convicted of attempting or committing terrorism on U.S. soil, and only three Americans have been killed in attacks committed by refugees—all by Cuban refugees in the 1970s.

I feel strongly that what we have is fear, misunderstandings, hate-fueling and unsound immigration decisions. I urge everyone to take the time to research the facts and then have empathy for people you do not know, and in whose shoes you have not walked. Immigration is not a simple subject. For me personally, it gave me my most loved ones, and I believe that it is enriching USA – today as it always has. Let’s not stop it out of baseless fear.

 

Continue reading Why Immigration Should Not Be Limited.