Being immersed in a new culture reveals that some cultural customs are bad, some are neutrally different, and some are good… sometimes better than they are in our own culture.
Quite honestly, something in this culture grates on my nerves. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, I find it inexpressibly irritating.
As I walk along the street, I meet passersby who look like they lead normal North African lives. Then without warning, one of these normal-looking people veers in my direction and holds out their hand for money. It’s as if seeing me, a foreigner, makes them remember they are not satisfied with their normal lives.
Irritating? Quite. I am a victim of racial profiling.
Well, today as I walked to school, I began to rethink this irritation of mine. What if, instead of looking at me and recognizing their lack of money, they looked at me and recognized their lack of something much greater, Someone much greater? What if, by seeing me (not as a foreigner, but as a friend), they realize that they are not satisfied to live a normal life?
And when that happens, will I be ready or will I be irritated to share what I have?