Now turn this scenario around. Imagine I am a teenager who has finally realized that my parent is lost to me; that everything I've tried to say to make myself understood; that all of the bridge building I have attempted—unskilled though it may have been—has yielded nothing but misunderstanding, alienation, and hurt. In both cases, there comes a time when we declare that enough is enough. We have tried. We can’t try any more. I am alone. My child is missing. I am an orphan. These are two sides of the same coin. When empathy and compassion are replaced by self-righteousness and entitlement, there can be no détente. We are both strangers in a strange land. We are alone.
Do you remember the movie (and the TV show), "Alien Nation?" It was about a future in which aliens lived among us. They were persecuted and misunderstood, but we were forced to integrate them into our society. We had no choice and neither did they. They were stuck here and had no way back; we were stuck with their situation, stuck with them, for good. How many of us feel like aliens, or like we're living with one? Why do you think so many people think they see UFO's? Is it because we long for answers from beyond? Answers about who these creatures we live among are, or who we ourselves have become? Before the Space Age, people saw angels. Were we hoping that they held the answers that still have not been forthcoming?
And then we find out that they see themselves as aliens too. And that they see us as the humans! What kind of world is this? Everything is backwards and inside-out! It that's the case, then maybe we do belong. Maybe what we thought of as normal was just something we hadn't looked at in detail. Maybe the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors we couldn't wrap our heads around in our parents or our children or even in ourselves were not so strange after all. Maybe it's just a matter of understanding. Of inner exploration. Imagine a world like that.
"There is another world, and it is this one."