Where Will My Hope Come From? – Chheng’s Story

Chheng’s story is so powerful. Her messages about kindness and hope, and taking time to understand the consequences of trauma (individual and collective), are crucial reminders of our obligation to care for each other.

I sincerely hope more people have a chance to read her story about trauma and resilience. Her eloquent words can touch so many hearts. I’m grateful that Diane Lefer and Chheng have given me permission to reblog this post.

Nobody Wakes Up Pretty

The images of Syrian refugees in the news made Chheng break her silence and remember what she prefers not to think about: surviving the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the atrocity carried out against refugees by the Thai Army, and the challenges of resettlement in the US. I am grateful to her for speaking and being willing to share this. I learned from her and was inspired. Read her story here.

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23 thoughts on “Where Will My Hope Come From? – Chheng’s Story

  1. We often forget that civilians are casualties of war. The people living in war torn nations are just like us. They want to be able to provide for their families, to feel safe, respected, loved. The buildings being bombed are often people’s homes. They are not leaving because they want to, but rather in an attempt to survive. We must give them shelter.

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      1. I had never heard of this organization before you posted about Chheng. It is very humbling to learn how people have overcome incredibly great odds,to not only help themselves, but to help others. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What can we do? Try to sway public opinion in favor of aiding the victims of the Middle East, by either providing material aid directly to them in whatever safe zones may exist in that region or by accommodating those who out of desperation leave the region altogether and find their way into countries where stability yet reigns. Of course, I as an individual do not have the reach or influence of the mainstream media, but there are blogs such as this one where information can be relayed, and then there are the people that I personally know and can directly engage.

    But the other thing that must be done is to try to inform ourselves about the reasons for the destabilization of the Middle East and other regions around the world, and then to share this information with as many people as we can. Most people are unaware that our Western governments — just as it was in South East Asia, in Vietnam, in Cambodia — are the single greatest purveyors of all of that human misery.

    Just a couple of suggestions, then, as perhaps a beginning for some in a quest for greater insight into the more substantive reasons for all the dislocations and misery:

    “Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror” by by ANDRE VLTCHEK

    URL: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/02/southeast-asia-forgets-about-western-terror/

    For some insights on the Syrian or Middle East refugee crisis:

    “The Refugee Crisis: Understanding the Globalist Weapons of Mass Migration Campaign” by Scott Creighton

    URL: https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/the-refugee-crisis-understanding-the-globalist-weapons-of-mass-migration-campaign/

    “The Empire Files – The Censored Reality Of The Refugee Crisis” — Abby Martin

    URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xccLCZH0KVo

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful discussion, Norman, and for sharing excellent resources! It is true. There are two challenges. One is to deal compassionately with the immediate needs of refugees now, and the other is to raise awareness about the causes of the massive flight of people from their homes. As you so eloquently argue, our educational system and media bias have blinded us to the role the US and Europe have played historically and continue to play in pursuit of empire and control of resources.


        1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Chheng. I apologize for taking so long to reply to your earlier comment. I’ve been busy shoveling snow and cleaning my house after my granddaughter’s week with me. I am deeply grateful to you for your kindness. ❤


  3. Carol, Thank you for sharing this. I have thought often lately about the flight of people from Cambodia and the Hmong people also in view of what has is going on with the Syrian refugees today. So many innocents just in need of a little kindness and understanding. Wishing you peace and happiness this holiday season.

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  4. Thank you dear friends! For all the beautiful things that you have said – so rich in personal caring and thoughtfulness. I think listening to stories such as mine can be quite a difficult thing to do and I am grateful for your willingness to bear witness, to open your heart and be impacted, and to ask the question, “what can we do?”

    I think Carol said it best: There are two opportunities: one is to deal compassionately with the immediate needs of refugees now, and the other is to raise awareness about the causes of the massive flight of people from their homes. Thank you, Carol.

    I’ve also been able to embrace the idea some time ago that maybe what we are here for in life is not to change the world, not to change everything around us, but maybe to do what we can for the people who cross our path. And if we can, we should try as it will lift us to the highest expression of ourselves and we will find we are each other.

    I want to especially thank my friends, Diane, Darla, Rachel and Barbra Jean who encouraged me and helped me to get this narrative written. Diane has been collecting stories from asylum-seekers and refugees as part of the Community Stories project of California Humanities. Now that you’ve read my story, please check out some of the others at the website she created: http://secondchancesla.weebly.com/.

    I’m so grateful for each of you. For your kindness and the respectful way we reflect upon these important issues and move forward together in hope!

    With tremendous gratitude and respect,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your gracious comments, Chheng. I am so grateful you were willing to share your story. You touched so many hearts in the process. Your resilience, compassion, and the work that you do to help others are so inspiring. In these times, what you have to say and teach others through your experiences and work is especially important. Please know you are always welcome to post your thoughts on this blog. It is an honor for me to offer another place for you to share the gifts of hope and kindness that you share with others 🙂


      1. Sometimes just the perfect message is sent at exactly the right time. I am overwhelmed by your kindness and encouragement. Thank you so much!

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