I’ve been fortunate to travel to many places in my life. I’ve been to many areas where it seems likely I was the first white person ever to be seen. Although India is now very familiar with us white folk, in general, we are still a rarity around here and still a main attraction. Whenever we are seen, it is the norm for someone to call out and say hi, ask us our names, where we are from, and want to shake our hands.

India is also a land where generosity to guests is extraordinary. “The guest is God” is a saying that is not just a concept but is deeply woven into the very fabric of the culture. Because we are so clearly different, we are perceived as guests everywhere, and hearts and hands are extended wherever we go. It would be simple for us to walk around the country without carrying any money. We would be fed and housed generously wherever we went, with people quarreling over who gets to extend their hospitality. The Indian people are simply overflowing with love and abundance for their guests.

Over the years, from this I have learned so much, and have so far still to travel to arrive at such a place of giving.

Being white, we are also very well-received wherever we go. There is a certain cultural hierarchy that views the white person with great respect. I understand that these prejudices that are favorable to me are the same prejudices that cause deep suffering for others who fall on the less fortunate side of the equation.

Though it’s clearly not fair, things are as they are. We are here. We are white. We are well-respected. We are treated with tremendous generosity. We are in the spotlight. In essence, we have it super-duper easy. To play with the dream under these conditions couldn’t be much simpler.

Not only can we get away with so much that might be inexcusable to someone other than us, but we also have doors open to us that would likely not be opened for others.

beatles_1We acknowledge that our circumstances are favorable and ripe, and wish to use these conditions to help inspire others and work to make the world a more beautiful place to live. George Harrison once said, “If we knew we were going to be ‘THE BEATLES’, we would have tried harder.” The key for us might be to stay aware of our blessings and to work hard to make the most of them.