The situation between Belarus and Poland is a complicated one, and the conditions of migrants from Belarus trying to enter the EU via Poland is even more so. Yet this complex political chess game forms the background for what I want to share, an example of human courage and solidarity. In this case one where poles are risking their lives to help the migrants. The article in The Guardian used fake names to protect them. Jakub, 38 has helped and hidden about 200 migrants. Others have too. They do not compare it to the Holocaust, but are aware of the parallels and inspired by the fact that many poles hid Jewish children. Jakub’s uncle was among those, so to him doing what he does is personal. The Polish authorities could arrest them because helping migrants is illegal. Regardless, people like Jakub roam the woods looking for signs of life such as discarded nappies or huts made from tree branches, bringing water, food, the offer of shelter. It’s dangerous for the migrants too. If caught they are sent back to the sub- zero temperature forest. They are all courageous, and show us that courage is not only for heroes.
We have come to have this negative picture of human nature, and of course we are all flawed. Still, because this picture is reinforced by so many films, computer games, cartoons and the like, we forget the other side, our better angels or whatever terms anyone wants to use. But it is that other side that helps us go forward, so when I encounter it I want to highlight it. That’s why what Jakub and those like him are doing in Poland is worth knowing about. They remind us that humans are more than their down side.