Entering someone else’s garden

In our statement of directions, we Good Sams commit ourselves to “seek God who impels us to be neighbour”. One very obvious expression of ‘being neighbour’ is the challenge and gift of living and working in cross-cultural communities.

The challenge comes from stepping out of my known and comfortable frame of reference. I step into world of the ‘other’, that is to the one who comes from a different culture, so that I can be enriched by the gift of better understanding or a changed perspective.

When two or more cultures come together there can be both fascination and tensions due to real difficulties of communication and interaction.

A rich metaphor to describe the process of crossing into the cultural world of another is that of entering into someone else’s garden. I enter into another’s garden. I tread carefully and respectfully, aiming to reach a place of mutuality and genuine dialogue.

Good Samaritans who work in cross-cultural settings want to make dialogue a reality.