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“We did not think it was difficult because we knew only that life. Everybody lived the same way. We never compared because there was nothing to compare our lives with. Of course there were difficulties in life. Life was difficult due to the existing conditions and not because we looked at the lives of others and compared.”

This is the heart of understanding human differences, sociological differences. There are still such communities where a life can be led without knowing there is any other kind of life. What comes to mind to me at this moment is that the North Korean citizen is still taught that “this is how we live” (always smile and clap when the dear leader comes)”. And the lives of strict Muslims still centers around a rigid tradition that is not questioned, and the leaders would like to keep it that way. So girls are expecting to have their circumcision and the are kept under wraps because this is how it’s done, and God wants us to do it this way. If you break away you will be castigated and raped and tossed away like rubbish. It’s just “the way” for them. And the women bear sons to go to battle for Allah. They expect to send those boys to war and have them sacrifice themselves in jihad.

We are seeing the horrible effects of people trying to have a different, better life. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi was such an education for this liberally raised American! The dangers of looking outside a culture at other “foreign or alien which means unsavory or immoral” cultures brings change that begins with curiosity and free thinking. And it’s dangerous — to a free thinker and to her whole community.

It’s a question exactly right-on for our current world scene — a scene of division and chaos and bitter resentment of ethos other than our own.

How can those young lads go out purposely to kill human beings? It’s unimaginable to a mother in most American communities to allow such an idea to enter a boy’s mind! Outrageous! But to a person embedded in a closed culture that celebrates the act of “holy killings” it is the only way offered.