Sholeh’s column about denying a travel Visa to the USA for the professor from South America is a sad testament about the growing negative attitude toward “the others,” whoever they are. As a nation, we have made this mistake before. During World War II, we turned away a ship full of Jewish people who had escaped the Nazi’s by sending them back to Europe and death in Auschwitz. We also interned the Japanese who lived on the west coast and never locked up anyone of German descent. I think it is time for many, not all, Americans to face up to their self-inflicted fears. Maybe they should “get out more,” like to other countries themselves. It was the best education I ever received. I had the privilege of spending 32 years flying literally around the world. Along the way, I came across this wonderful summation about travel by Patrick Rothfuss: “No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than the mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of introspection.” I learned to rejoice and embrace the humanity I shared with people who were genetically and culturally different from me, but shared a sameness in our hearts that is the goodness of our humanity.
Thanks Sholeh for another great piece of writing.
KRISTY REED JOHNSON