A Community Companion: on learning love
A friend of mine is an English-speaking teacher. He loves his job and the people he gets to know there. We hosted a dinner for his students and their friends. Many of them had never stepped foot in, much less been invited to, an American home. I was a little nervous, had had an exhausting day, a runny nose. All the students took their shoes off at the door. My American self kept on the shoes and walked on the rugs where we planned to eat. I have so much to learn that it could paralyze me!
The teacher decided to initiate some story-telling and language practice by asking if any had a funny story about their time in the States. No one responded. He asked then if they had a story of any hard times since coming here, still leaving room for the funny. When they started sharing, there were tears, hands reaching out to pat the back, reaching through boarders millenium-wide.
The room softened. We peaked together over a few walls, a few stereotypes. That’s the power of story, of touch, and of open doors. Eventually we did laugh hysterically, too. We all need that good medicine. All of us.
My heart is bigger now, and now I desire opportunities to know more international students coming to the States to learn. Let it be that they learn from us LOVE.