There's been a lot of internet noise for the last few months, maybe even years, about "The Other". You know, the people who are different, the people who come from far away, the people we know nothing about, but who seem really scary and violent. The Other.
For many Americans, The Other seems to be the other 7 billion people on the planet. Some of those 7 billion are very poor. Some of them are dying right now in terrible wars they didn't start, probably didn't even want. Some of them have awful diseases we don't see in the United States because of access to health care and vaccines. Many of them are children who have done nothing except to be unfortunate enough to have been born in places that are not as safe (relatively speaking) as the United States.
What bothers me about this noise regarding The Other is the sense that people here seem to think "I've got mine. I don't need to help anyone else." This includes The Other in their own country as anyone who is poor, looks different, and perhaps is struggling in some way - the vet with PTSD, the person living out of their car, the beggar in the Walmart parking lot.
For those that fear The Other (make no mistake it's fear), there's no urgency to help their struggling fellow Americans, and certainly no desire to help refugees from other places. I've got mine. Go away. I hear the internet noise everyday and it makes my head hurt.
Fortunately, there are also many people in this world who are kind and generous and have less fear for whatever reason. They weren't raised to believe they needed a gun to protect themselves and their stuff. No one ever taught them "it's me against them". That gives me hope.
No matter how self reliant you are, there will come a day when you need help. It happens to everyone. Not just the poor or the less fortunate. Everyone.
As my cancer-surviving friend says "We're all terminal." One day, we will all get sick or hurt, maybe when we least expect it, and we'll find ourselves at the mercy of others for help. Maybe then we'll understand that struggling doesn't make you less of a person and it doesn't make you less worthy of care. It makes you human.
I feel sorry for those who feel such fear. For all our sakes, I hope they can find peace.