Sunday, January 10, 2016


My daughter in Vietnam She is not the bride.

Imagine that your third-born baby girl lives all on her own on the other side of the world, 7028 miles away from you.

[I know. That alone is a legitimate mind bender, am I right?]

Now imagine that her employer somehow neglected to file the necessary paperwork, and her visa has expired.

Imagine that her boss calls her to inform her of this fact, and tells her that as a temporary condition of the renewal process, she must leave the country immediately.

Imagine that she takes this in stride, figuring that in her considerable network of Southeast Asian friends and acquaintances, there must be someone who could take her in for a week.

But as phone call after email is sent and returned, all her options fade away and her employer suggests she wait out the week in Laos.


[You do not need to imagine this part because you know for a fact that Laos is not a reasonable place for a young white American woman to visit on her own.]

So imagine that you step in and say to your daughter, Wait. Are you comfortable with that plan? And she says No. Not at all.

So you wrack your brain trying to imagine another solution and then bingo. You come up with a brilliant idea.

Me in Malaysia.

Now, imagine messaging your best Malaysian friend and two-time host out of the blue on a Saturday morning, saying I need your help. Please Skype me ASAP.

And he calls and you say, Hey, would you please let my daughter come and stay with you for a week...starting tomorrow?

Imagine watching his face as this request settles into his brain. Deep in thought and justifiably bewildered, he rubs his head, blinks hard a few times, takes a deep breath and says, Yes. Of course. Don't worry.

Imagine the overwhelming relief that immediately floods your soul.

* * * * *

And now remember, as you rarely do, that

he is Muslim and you are Christian.
he is from Malaysia and you are American.
his skin is the color of coffee with cream and yours is pale white.

But you know that none of those differences affect this situation one little bit.

Because this is not a matter of
religion or
culture or
racism or
white privilege or
global terrorism or
violence in the Middle East.

This is simply a matter of two friends who share one world and help each other out.

And please, imagine with me how amazing our world would be if we could always live this way.

You may say I'm a dreamer 
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one. 

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