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Fence-sitting

I am proud to be a fence-sitter.

When I was a little girl, I loved to climb the fence and peer into the neighbours back yard. It was a whole different world. The backyard was covered in concrete, except for the veggie patch where strange and unusual things were growing. There was strange aromas coming from the kitchen that I had never smelt before and from the huge brick garage really weird smells. I could hear the voices, but I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. This was the beginning of my fence-sitting life.

So many will tell you to get off the fence. Make a decision, choose a side. But I don’t. Why should I choose one side over the other. I can’t do that. I see you both. I see both sides to the story by sitting on the fence.

If there is a fence in the way, I cannot see you, I cannot see your story, I cannot feel your delight and your pain. I have no frame of reference. I am blind to what you see.

When I can see over the fence, I can see you. I can see who you are, what is important to you. I can feel what you are feeling. I can see what you can see.

From my view point on the fence, I can also see the other person. I can see their story, their delight and pain. I can understand who they are too. What is important to them. Just as much as I can see you and what is important to you.

A fence is just the way we block ourselves from seeing the other side, from enjoying the view, from opening up to a new way, a new experience. It stops us from understanding and feeling compassion. It stops us from walking in their shoes.

Who is on the other side of your fence? Can you see them? Can you feel them? Climb up and take a look. Sit on the fence for a while and see the view of someone else’s story, someone else’s life.

I discovered the joy of fence-sitting as a little girl. It brought me to a different world. I was just interested in playing with the children I could hear on the other side. It didn’t matter that they couldn’t speak English, dressed differently than me or ate different food than me. For we were little girls and we saw past all of that and opened up a new world for each other.

Take a look over the fence. It might look strange at first, however one day you will look back and see those strange and wonderful foods appearing everyday on your own plate.

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