Almost 50 Bangladeshi evacuees from Libya used a rope to jump ship as their ferry docked in Souda Bay, Crete, Saturday night. According to officials with the Greek Coast Guard they chose this route to avoid being sent back to Bangladesh, adding that there may have been discrepancies with their paperwork. Three evacuees were found dead, another 33 were found alive, more than half of them suffering from hypothermia and dehydration and taken to local hospitals. The search for the remaining evacuees continues.
Imagine the fear that drives a man being taken to safety to abandon ship and jump into dark, unknown waters. Can any of us even begin to understand that kind of desperation? To be confronted with the object of their fear, in this case being sent home, giving in to that fear, and for a few, paying the ultimate price.
Francis Bacon said, "It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear." Most of us desire many things and admit to fearing few, yet, if we were confronted by our biggest fear would it outweigh our desires? How far would we go to escape our fears? And, how many of us would find the courage to overcome our fears?
These Bangladeshi evacuees were being rescued from an increasingly violent civil war in Libya. They escaped the horrors of this conflict only to become victims of their own personal fears. I will never be able to do more than surmise that the horrors of what they would have faced upon their arrival home were equal only to those that they had escaped. May they now rest in a fearless peace......................