I believe that people can change some things quite easily. My eight year old son’s favorite ice cream is whatever flavor I’m eating. Other changes are like that scene in the movie Alien when the creature pops out of the guy’s stomach, really gut renching.
Born in the Baltimore suburbs in 1958, I was raised with certain prejudices, some intentional, most accidental. When I moved to Hagerstown my grandmother came to visit and, in her thick yiddish accent asked, ” so, where do the Jews live?” I told her wherever they want. Years later I introduced her to a friend, a german exchange student, not thinking of how hard that must have been for both of them.
Since then, his niece Wilma has come to stay with us several times, to see America. I admit, at times hearing her and her friends talking makes me shake deep inside. But she loves shopping and is the teenage daughter I’m glad I can give back after a few months.
Now my friend Ali on the other hand is another matter. Raised in a Palestinian refugee camp, he came to America as a teenager. We met as professional collegues and spent four hours on a flight home from a meeting in Denver realizing that all we both want is to watch our kids play soccer and not get blown up on the way home. Some how we both doubted that our cousins in Israel and Palestine were having tea that night.
My history tells me that I should not trust these people, not only that but hate them and like that scene from Alein, I can feel it way deep inside. Yet change can also come from deep inside and feel just as difficut to come out. Yet if we love our children more than we hate eachother it is not ony possible but will feel good.
Tonight , my son’s favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip.