"No more strangers and foreigners"

Today, as never before, the nations of the world are coming into closer association with each other. The need for mutual understanding among them increases constantly. Yet while people everywhere appreciate and respond to qualities of kindness, goodwill, and integrity, trouble often arises when individuals regard each other as foreigners. A foreigner to most people implies an alien, a stranger, and one perhaps antagonistic. How should we view people of other nations?

During the past twenty-six years, I've visited forty countries and and have met with kindness in every place. I've found that while each nation, race, or language group has its own individuality, characteristics, and problems, the human view of who or what is foreign is only a relative concept in the eye of the beholder. It is not an absolute standard of reality by which to judge others, but a subjective one, largely determined by one's birthplace, upbringing, education, and life experience. An Oriental child reared in the West, for example, might regard the Orient as remote and mysterious, whereas a Westerner reared in the Orient, and accustomed to its great love of beauty, would certainly not view it as either remote or mysterious. Our viewpoint determines the view.

Flight Paths and Thought Paths
June 3, 1972

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