DINK #204 Us Versus Them

Posted on : 10-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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My best friend in college (hello Cynthia!) is part Syrian and part Irish. Yes, she is a true fireball and has always attracted people to her spirit like bees to honey. I remember when we’d go to her parent’s home for the weekend; there was always a huge amount of activity between her four brothers and parents. I remember there always been great food from Tahini to Babaganoush to Grape leaves stuffed with goodies. Usually on Saturday mornings during our second cup of coffee while half way reading the paper, someone would inevitably start up a dialogue about something. When the conversation escalated into a debate the voices got louder of course but all in good fun. Cynthia’s dad would act like he was really serious about something as he waved his hands in the air but then if you caught his eye you’d see the gleam of happiness and he might wink back at you.

Fast-forward a few decades when I met my husband who is Israeli. I remember the first time I visited his family in Israel, we went over to his grandmother’s home to enjoy Shabbat with his mother’s side of the family. There was at least 25 people walking around grabbing chairs, tablecloths and silverware and making the finishing touches to the meal, which included Tahini, Babaganoush and stuffed Grape leaves. It was during the meal as the discussions got going and opinions got louder that I had a strong sense of Déjà vu. When one of David’s uncles who had been talking the loudest, turned to me with a happy gleam in his eye and winked…I definitely knew I had been here before.

Over the past three years I’ve made friends with many Baha’i, several of which escaped from Iran during the Khomeini regime. Again, I feel a strong connection with their culture because of the level of their passion for life and each other and because they are so fully engaged in the art of living. The common theme that I have experienced in all of these people is a depth of passion and love that we don’t often express in the culture where I grew up. At the same time, I have grown up with a level of trust about most of the people who live in my country that I don’t think my husband’s parents or my friend’s parents grew up with.

Somewhere in all of these experiences are the building blocks for a bridge between the communication gap of warring cultures. I know that the desire for mediating peaceful communication is huge in me, I have been told that I’ve expressed that since I was pre-verbal (yes, Freud would have had a hay day with me). So since I’m probably not going to be mediating warring countries to sit down and talk out their differences, at least not today, what I can do is take this passion and look into my own day-to-day life to see where I can help create peace in my own world.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see”

What change will you be today?

Comments (1)

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