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  • Writer's pictureNora Koch


Updated: Aug 19, 2019

July 22, 2019

I know this may sound unfair, paranoid, or cynical, but I believe it is true. Only one of the people who have asked me today how my summer has been going, or what I have been up to, if they even ask at all, cared to hear. If I did talk about how I just spent the last five days, I suspect it would make most of them very uncomfortable, even though none of what I did was any threat to anybody in any way. It was simply counter-cultural and these days, that is a big threat.

I am struck by how closed everyone is: their tone, their eyes, how they respond to questions, in comparison to how open everyone was over the past five days.

I did not know the majority of the people I spent time with at the beginning of our five days. There were only a handful of the 230 people whom I had ever met before. Yet there was an open heartedness, a willingness to be vulnerable and to want to truly know each other. We did not always share a language, a culture, or a faith. Yet I trusted them. If someone asked me a question about myself, it was clear they wanted to know what I had to say and valued what I said. Nobody talked any politics all five days.

I spend more time with the closed people than with the open people, but it is such a sad, truncated kind of time. Though I doubt they would admit it, I am “the enemy”. 

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