The Alien Other

by Soul Places | Diane Ludeking

Jack Kerouac Road in Frisco. copyright Diane Ludeking 2010

I have been pondering the heart for many moons now.  Inspired by today’s holiday and my current read, “Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker J. Palmer, the ways of the heart, my own and others, have raised much interest in me.  The concept of the alien other is what I want to speak to today.

The most obvious aliens are the ones from outer space, but I am curious about the most ignored ones.  I am most intrigued by the people on my planet that are different from me.  And not the obvious aliens that sneak into our country, but my neighbors, the homeless guy I once passed daily when I lived in Minneapolis and that radical religious zealot.

These aliens have created a variety of heartbreak in my life.  I yearn to know my neighbors but let excuses keep them separate from me.  My heart bled extra hard every time I drove right on past that homeless guy.  And someone I perceive as a religious zealot has been ostracized from my life because they are different from me (even my choice of words here and how I use them solidifies alienation – zealot).

What if I could get beyond my fear of these people and their differences?  What if I had a conversation with the alien other to inspire compassion for our differences?  I may not agree with them, but is my heart not capable of being broken open to our differences instead of shattered by unfounded fears?

How can you make everyday a heart-expanding day?