Some in the blogosphere have been "talking" about monsters and aliens. What is a monster or an alien, but those who are outside our frames of reference. Or those who appear to have some form of deformity (spiritual, mental, emotional, intellectual, social, etc.) according to our "standards". These people challenge our comfort zones, because they create a tension in how we understand ourselves. We love people that are "just like us", because they affirm us, instead of challenging us.
While these people create tensions to our identity, they need to be understood, to be cared for, etc. At the same time, it is all right to maintain our boundaries, which define our differences, as well. This is, again, what makes our country great, as we do not establish/sanction a religion or specific culture.
Just recently, when we were in D.C. I noticed that the Kennedy Center was having a cultural exchange, of sorts, in the arts of the "Middle East" and the Shakespeare Theatre was offering a "translated" interpretation of Shakespeare's "Richard" into Islamic terms. Unfortunately, we were already "committed", so we did not attend. I thought this was a fascinating concept, though, as I have attended such "adventures" in the past. One does not have to live in another country to "understand" or have exposure to 'others" and their "world". And this type of exchange helps us to appreciate their forms of art.
When we appreciate a culture that is different from ours, through the arts we have learned and grown in awareness of "difference" and that is an education, itself.
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