Thursday, January 26, 2012


We make the world a better place by presenting ourselves, even to strangers, in a friendly manner. Two contrasting encounters on our visit to Abu Dhabi proved that truth. My wife and I were heading to a bus stop one morning, when a lady with a white head cover, approached us with a big smile. We’d never seen her before. And in Abu Dhabi, the local women never initiate conversation with outsiders. When she got to us she greeted us in broken English, embraced my wife and shook hands with me, seeming to admire us and welcomed us. She offered that she was from Indonesia. And we told her about our numerous trips to Bali to help a church. She kept smiling and wished us well.

     Set that experience beside a brush with rudeness at the Frankfurt airport. This was not a local German individual. I was lined up to pay for my coffee at McDonalds, when a young, scruffy-bearded young man stepped right in front of me to get to the teller. He never said a word, just pushed in. When I reminded him I was already in line, he scowled and reluctantly stepped back. The cold way he responded gave me an uneasy feeling. I even wondered if there might be something malicious about him.

     After meeting the woman, we hoped we could meet her again. And I wish I could always meet strangers with such care and interest. After meeting the young man, I rather wished I never had to encounter him again, except to try to help him reconsider his selfishness.

     The first encounter made us feel we perhaps had met an angel sent by God. The second one I thought I saw again later, at Heathrow Airport, leaning against a glass wall, watching me, expressionless. Hope I never meet him alone.

     I like to live in the world represented by the smiling, caring woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment