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December 25, 2007

Welcome, Stranger

By Josh Mitteldorf

The man who passes us on the street doesn't want to be separate or private any more than we do. We greet each other with smiles, and heartfelt if tentative openness. We speak of something that is real to us: It is a thought or a perception that we imagine makes us different and separates us from The Others around us. We are surprised and delighted to find that he has been thinking the same thing.

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Community is the foundation of democracy.  Keeping the people separate and mutually distrustful is a necessary precondition for despotism.

Christmas is an excuse for us to open a dialog with the stranger next door.  Though it is only a social convention, it has a power to bring us together, in common with such real events as snowstorms, earthquakes and men walking on the moon.

The man who passes us on the street doesn’t want to be separate or private any more than we do.  We greet each other with smiles, and heartfelt if tentative openness.  We speak of something that is real to us:  It is a thought or a perception that we imagine makes us different and separates us from The Others around us.  We are surprised and delighted to find that he has been thinking the same thing.

Perhaps it is our distrust for authority, or our belief in The Occult, or a conspiracy theory about who is really pulling the strings of government.  Perhaps we doubt that there really is any international terrorist threat.  We may whisper about suppressed science that can cure cancer, or evidence that elections in America are rigged.  Eventually, it is our idealism  that we share:  a utopian vision of life in a diverse community built on love and sharing. 

Miraculously, he has been thinking just the same thing.  We discover this and They no longer have any power over Us.



Submitters Website: http://daily-inspiration.org

Submitters Bio:

Josh Mitteldorf, an editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org. Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical modeling in a variety of areas, including evolutionary ecology and economics. He has taught mathematics, statistics, and physics at several universities. He is an avid amateur pianist, and father of two adopted Chinese girls. This year, his affiliation is with MIT, where he studies the evolution of aging. His book on the subject is "Cheating the Black Queen", http://SuicideGenes.org.

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