Xenophobia

According to Meriam Webster dictionary the definition of Xenophobia is, ” Fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”

The more that I have been privileged to meet and talk with people who are different from me the more enriched I become.  I wrote in my last post regarding our eternal search for peace and the shortcomings of narrow religious dogma’s role in preventing us in obtaining our goal.  On the other hand faith can aid us tremendously in finding our elusive peace.

The Bible quotes Jesus, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so must you love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  (NIV)

When I became a christian the captivating draw for me was the love and concern that fellow christians showed for me.  My life experience has illustrated time after time that we members of the human family are all seeking meaning in our lives.  Nothing says that you care for a person that comes from a different faith than yourself or a different ethnicity than your genuine desire to learn about them and your interest in their well being.  We all hunger for respect and worth.

The famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “I really do not care how much you know until I know how much your care, about me.”

I traveled with Professor friend of mine who was of the Hindu faith.  What a wonderfully compassionate and sweet gentleman!  I drove him all over Springfield, Illinois in the mission of finding a restaurant where he could be served a vegetarian dinner.

During Mary Jane and my travels to several European countries the concrete fact that always emerges is that people are consistently helpful and kind whatever language, culture, or religion that they are part of.

We visited Tunis, Tunisia soon after the Arab Spring.  One of the kindest tour guides that we have ever met led us through the city.  This man wept when he spoke of his love and appreciation for the United States!

I had the privilege of working with an African American colleague on my leadership staff for several years when I was at Southern Illinois University.  She was one of the wisest women that I have ever known!  She told me once that she thought that I had come from another planet because she had not worked with someone who she could not detect prejudice in.  I was honored and humbled by her sincere comment.

Harsh words that are full of hate…misogyny…xenophobia…speech that marginalizes is frightening and it matters.  Words matter!  Political candidates that cavalierly say destructive comments to the cheers of thousands…is chilling!

We must listen to the easy promises of people who “on the face” seem to have very quick full-proof answers.  We must ask how are they going to accomplish the trite self assured answer they give to solve desperate complex problems?

Have you ever been marginalized?  Have your ever been the person who was left out?  Have your ever been on the outside looking in?  Remember that feeling the next time you see the homeless, the handicapped, the foreigner who has been chased from their home by violence…fear…genocide.

This Sunday morning as we go to our individual churches to worship Christ with our friends and neighbors…speak to the lonely new person who is setting in the back of the sanctuary… who does not have the best clothes…who needs a shave and a haircut…who is quietly watching the religious program…speak to Jesus.

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15 responses

  1. Beautiful pictures sir..hope I visit these places some day..

    1. Scotland and Hawaii. 😃

  2. Thanks so much for following http://fonzandcancer.wordpress.com I really do appreciate it – Fonz

  3. Well written, and so important these days too with so many refugees coming to our countries. Many people welcome them and care for them, but many do not.

    Today I read in the paper about a man with his two teenage girls walking into a shop. Outside there was a woman sitting, begging. (We have many of those from Rhomania) The two girls spat in her face and laughed, bent down and took her money…while the father did nothing but laugh. I could hardly believe this to be true – people do not do such things here! But the woman who wrote this had seen it happen herself, but could not catch the girls or the father because she had two little children to look after. Instead she hugged the begging woman and comforted her, even filled her mug with new money.

    How do people sink so low, what kind of father was that man? I do not know how I would have reacted had it been me watching this.

    1. The callous in -humane behavior of some toward their fellow man is frightening to me. In the United States we are experiencing a candidate for the republican nomination for the presidency who is extremely authoritarian and engages in bullying speech during his campaign rallies. This hate speech incites some in his very large rallies to destructive behavior toward the objects of his tirades.

      1. Are you speaking of mr Trump? A dangerous joke is the general opinion over here.

      2. Yes. I agree completely. However I fear how large the group of people who are voting for him may be. He does not represent the majority…but will good people withhold their vote in apathy? The reaction to his rhetoric is surprising and disconcerting.

      3. The whole thing is frightening. Let us hope people pull themselves together and do the right thing – vote for another candidate.

  4. Thank you for the follow! I hope you continue to stop by and comment

    1. I am looking forward to your posts! 😃

      1. Thank you so much!

  5. Thank you for this post! As someone who has travelled all over the world and met people from all kind of backgrounds and cultures, I find it very difficult to understand how people can be so hateful. Most of the people I’ve met abroad have been very kind and helpful. In Myanmar, I have met the most trusting people who could not imagine that another human being could do anything to trick them or steal from them and it pains me to know that over the years, visitors from abroad will eventually teach them to be careful. I’ve been invited into Mongolian homes and offered food and drink by people I had only just met. I had an eye-opening experience in Senegal when a local couldn’t believe the colour of my skin (I don’t tan so the contrast was extreme) and I realised that I’m the odd one here.
    I am ashamed of everyone who hates people just because they look different or come from a different cultural background. We are all humans in the end.

    1. I appreciate reading about your experience s with others abroad. As you, I have had similar very positive interactions with many people different than me and the joyful meetings have truly enriched my life! Thank you for your kind words. 😃

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