Too many worlds

This whole thing of being able to see from other points of view leads me to another problem.

There are just too many different cultures, sub-cultures, worlds, places and ways of thinking and living out there.

Growing up in a completely different culture brought this problem to the fore for me. How was it possible that I could live amongst some people who were so poor that they had no electricity, no transport, no education and no sugar to put in their tea, and then get on an aeroplane and fly to Australia where all our family and friends and churches had more than they could possibly ever use, where shops were full to bursting of ridiculous paraphernalia that people would throw out after a season of use.

I found it almost impossible to hold such different worlds together in my head, and went through a sort of subconscious separation or shut-off process. You can survive in the desert village if you don't know there's another whole life out there. And you can enjoy the shopping malls of Sydney if you've never considered the possibility of people dying from hunger and treatable diseases. You can only live comfortably in both if you are able to separate yourself into sections. (Is comfortable living what I should be aiming for anyway?)

Even in Sydney, I find myself constantly looking at people I see on the streets and trying to imagine their worlds. Where do they live? How do they think? What's their framework for reality? How can the simple, challenged man receiving the disability payment who we loved in one of our churches relate to the highly successful company director we love in another of our churches? How can the worlds cross? How will they crumble when Christ is seen in both of them?

I still find it paralysingly confusing to cross cultures (and even sub-cultures now). But I guess it's a lot less boring than being the same and staying the same, and never ever moving, in any way or direction.

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