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A Man with a Healthy Sense of Self, dedicated to Dr. Liu on 35th St.

 

He makes you love yourself.  He is so pleasant to be around that you forget all about your ideal self-image. Everything you say falls in the right place. When you make a joke, and you do that without any pre-thought-out intention, he laughs and says that you are funny.

He expresses his opinions without holding back or pushing; he tells you what he thinks without expectation or hesitation. It is clear he is used to the underlying conviction that everybody is entitled to his own opinion and that there is no opportunistic favoritism at play.

The timing is always right; no awkward silences or sudden avalanches of verbal outpourings from both sides. The conversation is like a well improvised symphony, with natural flow, peaks and endings and has no Hidden Agenda.

It is about what it is and when it’s past there is the lingering atmosphere of a pleasant interaction.

I do not need anything from him because I AM already. He does not need anything from ME because he IS already and we have what it takes to be ourself: a healthy Sense of Self. So if we speak it is because we have something to discuss or just for fun. As there is nothing at stake there is no tension in our body and no tension in the air.

He is a unique specimen of the human family, with his very personal past, his totally different culture. His thoughts follow paths that mine can’t even begin to imagine  because his mind forms concepts while plunging in the richness of the Chinese language. His reality lies where my imagination begins.

I am as unique a human being as he is, with my own past, my own daily activities and goals. What it is that motivates me, is based on what I perceive with my eyes, based on my history. So we are very different and both the same type of being, the same kind of animal.

“Interracial marriages are not likely to last, “ he volunteers. I catch myself imagining waking up every morning next to a person with a different skin color. Can it ever feel like home?  The atmosphere of the moment favors a somewhat hesitant “…Yes, I think it could be good.” It is not likely I will ever know it firsthand because I am happily married already.

He comes to me from HIS life and I from MINE. For a moment our Universes touch or even merge. A great moment. We could build something together as between us in this moment the ultimate form of communication is possible: interdependency! With effortless effort we bring  in constructive contributions that, put together, are more than the sum of its parts.

The dream of every American? Let’s replace “American” once again by “human being.”

Isn’t it the dream of every human being, to be understood, acknowledged, respected and accepted  for who we are.

 

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