Saturday, October 13

Ignorance is Bliss

I had lunch with a couple of mothers from Samuel's Kindergarten class on Thursday. Since I am the room mother for his class, I have come to know many of the moms. (The remainder of them probably try to avoid me due to my constant request for volunteers!) Anyway, the two mothers I lunched with are from Israel. And, they are as nice as they can be. However, I was completely saddened to hear that they are shunned by most people because of their nationality. We were discussing how we liked (or sometimes disliked) living in the Philippines and they told me that life here for them was much easier and less stressful than living in Israel. They talked about all the turmoil and fear in Israel. I admitted that I was pretty ignorant about the current state of affairs in Israel and truly had no idea that life here would be that much easier for them. They both looked at each other & smiled knowingly. Then, Iris, one of the mothers said, "That's why you are so nice to us. You have no prejudice against us."

I know this happens all over the world - probably especially in America: citizens from other countries feel totally isolated, abandoned and maybe even threatened when they move away from their homeland. I have felt this way several times here, but thankfully, I have a good network of friends that moved with me. We can gripe, moan and complain together without feeling guilty or ungrateful. (And, I don't mean to sound ungrateful. There is a lot to love in the Philippines, but seriously... it's just not Texas!) But, when I heard these two women talk about the prejudices they endured here, I was in disbelief. It still shocks me when I hear about these ugly truths.

I am glad I have met these two ladies. Sydney plays with one's daughter and Samuel plays with the other's son. Samuel's friend, Omer, doesn't speak a lick of English. Hebrew only. However, they still have a wonderful time together. And, Samuel has even learned to say "no" in Hebrew when Omer gets a little too rough. I know I've said it before, but I love that my kids are making friends from all over... Israel, India, Ireland, Australia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, England, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam & of course, the Philippines, just to name a few. I pray that this experience opens their minds and hearts forever!


Lindsay said...

That is awesome. That is what this world needs to get the love going a little more - to walk in each other's shoes.