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Heart Speaks to Heart across a Cultural Divide
“Heart Speaks to Heart across a Cultural Divide” by Gail Saunders is taken from a newspaper that tells a true story about two women from different backgrounds who taught together in a school. The writer mentions the rift – the serious disagreement or division – between her culture and that of her fellow teacher. She compares their relationship to the one between the Montagues and Capulets, two warring families in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In this story the writer falls out of favor with the administration at her school, meaning that they no longer like her. Therefore, she feels like a pariah, a person not accepted by anyone. Unfortunately, it seems she has no allies, or friends, to help and support her.
The author and her friend were working together as teachers, and it was our first year at that school. They were also neighbors. At first they were cordial with each other. But later she felt that there was a political and ideological barrier between them.
One day the school administration decided to take action against her arguing with a co-worker. She was called into t meeting and told to seek work somewhere else. The woman with whom she’d had the conflict wasn’t leaving because she was the member of the same community. They said many ugly and untrue things which hurt the writer’s feelings. Then she stopped smiling at people, stopped socializing and felt like a pariah, an outsider.
The woman she had quarreled was the same friend lived next to her. One day the two of them met in the cafeteria. Her friend commented that the author looked lifeless as though someone has taken the life out of her. And that she had also become a different person. Her friend was hurt seeing the pathetic life of the author. From that day, they began talking, going to school together.
This renewed friendship brought them closer than they were before. They even started to share intimate things. Sometimes they would share lunch they had made at home, and we would sit down and eat together and talk about their philosophies on life, their religions, and their families.
Despite they had a lot of difference they would listen to each other and learn to tolerate and respect their views. As both of them feared of losing each other, they listened patiently. Their differences were mostly cultural and political. The writer’s friend helped her in overcoming her problem, when no one else cared for her.
And in the end, the writer and her friend began to see over the top of the wall of their political and cultural differences. During the writer’s departure time they exchanged phone numbers and bade goodbye. In a printed card the writer received, her friend simply wrote, “To my best friend: I wish you the best.”