Early in my China adventure I shared a significant and magical moment with you, an experience of being a stranger in a strange place. An experience of being the other.
This remains a significant reality for me as my own Jesus-centered spirituality is based on his teachings on the other. However the original thought has evolved a little. Here's what I'm thinking at the moment.
Unless you have been the other, you can't love the other. Not really. Oh, you can appreciate them to some degree, but you will never fully understand them. Until you have been the other, even for a brief period of time, it's too easy for us to see others as simply extras in the movie of our own lives. They walk onscreen, exist for a few minutes, then disappear from our reality, our storyline, even as they disappear from our sight. Intentionally being the other will make you more human. And humane, come think of it.
To be sure, some of us don't have to go anywhere to be the other. Right in our own cities schools, places of work, sometimes even in our own homes, we just don't fit. But for many--those who are comfortable in their own world--it will take an effort for you to be the other. You will need to go and be the other.
So go. And be.
Have you had an experience of being the other? How did it feel?