This past week Jonathon and I attended the International Student’s Annual Lunch that they serve at the Student Center on the Campus of Southern Illinois University. The first thing that I was struck with was the enormity of the crowd shortly after 11:00 am when it did not open until 11:00.
As we waited to purchase our tickets for the culinary event…again long lines. When we entered the Ballrooms it seemed that every table was full and the food line was surrounding the large assortment of international food delights.
The kindness of the servers, who represented countries across our globe, was touching and affirming. These scholars were glad we were there…and they were honored to serve us. I was humbled and honored to be a part of this healing event.
The peace and harmony of the unique luncheon event was moving. In the Student Center Ballrooms were peoples of many nations…including many of the Muslim faith who were doing one of the most human…and most loving of interactions…breaking bread with each other. No one was thinking of the political divisions between us…or the differences in how we approach God…or not. Instead everyone was united in the family that we all are members of…the human family.
No one required banning. Everyone in attendance loved the diversity of our enormous family.
One of our greatest Presidents…who led us through the Great Depression…and World War II…said…”The only thing we have to fear, is fear its self.” This great leader did not stoke our fear…or daily ramp it up by false assertions and feverish dreams of grandeur. He calmed us…and centered us during some of the most difficult times our country has ever endured.
Indeed there are people who want to kill us and destroy our way of life…but it is not the majority…it is an evil minority. Most of the human family still wants to live in peace and acceptance of their fellow men and women and children.
When Jonathon and I finished our lunch and began to exit the International Lunch…we were stopped by a young woman who asked if we would like to add our names to a poster that was going to be presented to the international students at the conclusion of the event…to let them know that Americans supported them and were glad that they were in our Country. We added our names with humility and pride.
We were told that attendance at the International Student Luncheon last year was about 100. This year there were several hundred.