Hanging out to air

For Monday Washing Lines by Have bag, will travel.

In the corner of a small apartment complex in Weifang, Shandong Province, China.

This make-shift washing “line” is a pole laid across the corner of construction fencing. Often times migrant workers camp at or near the site where they work. Winnie-ther-Pooh and Piglet always make me smile…how about you?

A reflection on being human

A laundry line is something you see almost every where you go. In some ways it could be a symbol or metaphor for being human. We all need the shelter of clothing and sanitation.

I took this photo on my first trip to China, in the spring of 2014. Since then I have been to China about 10 times, to visit my son who lives there and works teaching English. I have always found the Chinese people to be friendly, welcoming and caring.

Imagine my distress as I have become aware that people who look Asian are being treated poorly, even violently, here in the USA. I worded that carefully: many people who appear to be from Asia are from the USA. They aren’t even from the place where coronavirus emerged. Few have even been overseas. They were born in the same hospitals we were, they went to the same schools. (I hate having to use “they”, but I am not of Asian decent.)

On one flight to Beijing sitting next to a man who appeared to be Chinese. I carefully worked out a sentence or two in my extremely limited Mandarin to be friendly. Turned out he was from Los Angeles and spoke no Chinese! He was very nice. We visited and it made the long flight very pleasant, possibly my most pleasant long haul flight (it’s about 11 hours from Seattle to Beijing). He was going to meet his fiance, who was Russian, and showed me photos of his fiance and some of the places they had visited. It hurts my heart to think that he might be victimized by bigots who would judge him on the color of his skin or shape of his eyes.

I went to school with and worked with people of Asian descent. I can assure you that they are regular people. They are in no way responsible for the natural phenomenon of a virus jumping from species to species (which you should view as an act of God if you believe in his power).

It is easy to make a judgement based on physical appearances. I can not begin to tell you how many times I have been wrong about people. One thing I have learned is that I shouldn’t trust my first impressions at all. The important things about people are not something you can tell at a glance. Skin color, eye shape, body type….These traits are shared by saints and sinners equally. You have to go deeper to find out who a person really is.

Treating people poorly because they happen to share physical traits with the people who live in the area where the virus showed up shows something dark and evil in us.

Most people are just people. They have to wear clothes and use blankets…and they need to wash them.

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