How we treat strangers…

Noah, my seven year old, and I were on our way to Walmart today when we happened upon a science fair in the mall next to Walmart.

Yes, our daily life in China involve visits to Walmart. More than I wish it would, but when it’s a ten minute walk from your apartment, it’s hard to not go.

The science fair was fun for Noah. There was a real tarantula in a cage, one of those Frankenstein globes, and a live display of the effects of dry ice.

Noah was entranced by the science. I was entranced by the hospitality.

See, there were about a dozen Chinese kids sitting and watching the display, but the host focused in on Noah, the one foreign kid. The host asked Noah to come forward first, to help him with an experiment. Why? Because he was the one foreign kid. All the other kids were dying to participate, but the host chose Noah. The host did his best to include Noah in everything he did.

This is the way we’ve been treated nearly every moment we’ve been in China for the past seven years. We’re foreigners, and we are constantly given special treatment. We’re put at the front of the line, shown extra hospitality, granted special privileges.

This is my experience in China. Regardless of what you are hearing in the news about China, understand that this has been our experience. Consistently.

We have always been treated well.

And when I turn my attention back home, it’s shown me that America has a lot to learn about how to consider people who are different than we are. The foreigners. The strangers. The different. We have a whole lot to learn.

It’s interesting what you can learn on a trip to Walmart.

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