As I’ve listened to the stories of immigrants, I’ve noticed a common thread, and it’s not culture shock or a language barrier or trouble adjusting to a different climate.
It’s loneliness. It’s isolation. It’s the lack of a sense of community.
In a broader sense, other authors for Please Say More have seen similar things in their explorations of empathy, religion, intellect, and adventure. I recall one fellow blogger talking about how the prospect of talking to a complete and total stranger from a different background was intimidating at first. But it turned out to be easy once she stepped back and remembered that we’re all just humans. We’re all seeking connection and understanding and love.
So with this in mind, I urge you to act. Go somewhere. Meet someone. Say something.
The place you go could be online. You could do it from your chair, from your desk, while in line at the store. Or the place could be a store, a community center, a multicultural market, a place of worship. Or maybe it’s the home of a friend.
The someone you meet could be a new acquaintance, someone from a different religion, an immigrant adjusting to a new place. Or it could be your neighbor, your bus driver, your sister, your friend, your spouse.
The thing that you say could be a question. It could be,
What’s your story?
or It’s nice to meet you.
or Can I give you a hand?
It could also be more personal:
I love you.
I’ve missed you.
Let’s catch up.
Perhaps it’s the most vulnerable thing of all:
I need help.
If we can stop seeing each other as other, if we can reach out in compassion, if we seek an empathetic understanding of each other, if we are willing to be vulnerable ourselves, then maybe we can breach these walls that keep us alone.
What happens when we reach out?
We can’t know until we try.
But I think it’s worth it.
So I’m going to keep trying. I hope you will, too.