STATS – Day: 76 | Distance: 12,243.6 miles | Location: Istanbul, Turkey | Money Spent To Date – Transportation: $1,118.81 (includes airfares) | Food: $354.21 | Stay: $307.73 | Play: $208.18

I’ve been thinking a lot about the preconceived beliefs about “others”, whomever “they” might be.

Political parties/figures/candidates, religious sects/denominations, geographical/ethnic/cultural groups of people, gender/sexuality/identity. There are endless categories of others.

I sit on a bus and a woman who had chosen to wear a chador/niqab (mode of dress the covers the whole body) gets on and stumbles a little as she tries to take the seat next to me. I take her elbow to help steady her as she sits. She touches my arm in gratitude and smiles.

You can see a smile without seeing a mouth. The eyes smile just as easily.

We are sitting there next to each other, riding the bus. I had chosen to wear a tunic (a straight, stretchy dress or long top) worn over yoga pants and my trademark military cadet styled cap and braided pigtails.

She opens up a bag of fruit she had either picked from a tree or purchased from a merchant and carefully wipes off a few and offers them to me. Very appreciative, I thankfully and graciously accept the fruit.

She opens her veil and I see the shining, kind face the came with the smiling eyes. We sit and eat together, riding along to our own destination for the day.

She points to a section of her bag where I can place the pits from the fruit.

As I lay down my last pit, I say “Teşekkür” and put my hand to my heart to show extra appreciation. She smiles and nods.

Two humans, riding the bus, sharing a snack.

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James

Video: “Look Beyond Borders” by Arthur Aron 

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2 thoughts on “#TheOthers

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