Am I Really That Scary?

I used to take it for granted that (most) kids instantly like me. But in my three months in Bangladesh, at least three children have burst into tears at the mere sight of me.

When I smile and wave hello, they look at me, stunned and confused, then start bawling — with legitimate fear in their teary eyes.

Obviously they’re scared, but it’s pretty upsetting to me, too. I can’t help but wonder … What is it about me that frightens them so much?

Perhaps this video explains it.


But seriously, I wish I could trade eyes/cultural perspective with them for a few moments to understand what they see when they look at me. Or maybe it’s better that I can’t.

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7 thoughts on “Am I Really That Scary?

    • Yeah, I guess so. Thank goodness the majority of kids here still like me. In fact, I have the opposite problem with the boys and girls in the village … they like me too much and are about to drive me crazy with their attention-grabbing shenanigans. But watching them chase after the van when I leave every day — huge smiles, waving hands and countless shouts of “bye! bye! bye!” … I can’t help but smile inside and out.

  1. New and unfamiliar people, places, things, behaviors, ways of thinking, cultures, ideas that challenge one’s beliefs, etc. (Oh, yea… And a good look at Angela) can be scary stuff. We all are like those children as we progress through our lives. Our choices are to live within the confines of our own fears of the unfamiliar and the unknown, or to challenge ourselves to expand our life experiences. To challenge the edges of our comfort zones to become accustomed to what was once unfamiliar may bring about extremely rewarding experiences and connections. Perhaps even a better world. I wonder how those children will be guided through their exploration of the unfamiliar. How will they be taught? Is Angela really that scary? May they have the courage to find the answer that is within themselves.

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