A few weeks ago, I spent a considerable amount of time with relatives of mine who live around the world. Among the masses of our tribe, I caught up with an Israeli man living in Manila and a Russian woman now residing in Italy. Others were living in countries far from those of their birth. Each had a story.
But we are not alone. Off the top of my head, I realized that I now know Italian businesspeople living in Canada, American embassy staff in China, Indian travelers in Singapore, Filipina nannies in Canada, Canadians teachers in Mumbai, Dutch humanitarians in Nepal, Russian activists in the Netherlands, and an Ethiopian policeman living in Israel.
What does it all boil down to? As I wrote above: we are not alone. Not alone in our yearnings, our dreams and desires. Not alone in our struggles, our journeys and our need to connect. Not alone in our wanderings through the proverbial (or verbal) desert, nor alone in our curiosity about the world and its people.
We are not alone in trying to put food on the table, look out for the ones we love, figure out how we can make an impact on our world. And we’re not alone when we find ourselves in distant lands, seeking the old and familiar amidst all the strangeness and newness; new odors and letters, norms and sounds.
We are not alone because the Russian in Amsterdam is like the Russian in Ubud… who is, in many ways, like the American in Guangzhou or the American in Jedda, who in so many ways is like the Indian in Singapore or the Indian in Minneapolis; all far away from what is so deeply entrenched and familiar, yet deepening their understanding of the world, of difference and sameness at once.
We are not alone because, if an Israeli lives in Manila and a Filipina lives in Montreal and a Montrealer lives in Dubai and an Emirati lives in Bangkok and a Thai lives in Israel, then perhaps, an invisible thread ties us together, closing the loop between what otherwise creates impermeable boundaries between us and them.
~ Healing Pilgrim (a.k.a. Amit)