Newcomer Stories: On The Other Side Of Fear Lies Freedom

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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A few weeks into my new country, one winter day, early in the morning, while waiting for my bus at the bus stop, a young lady approached and chatted me up. At first I was a bit dismissive and aloof. Deep inside though, I was more scared than anything else. My mind was racing and thinking horrible thoughts. What if she was a robber, had a gun, had a knife, etc.? My defences (which were trained in South Africa) came up and I could hear my mind thinking of escape routes.

She smiled all this while and brought out a pamphlet from her bag (which I thought might have been a knife or whatever). And then she proceeded to tell me that she was a Jehovah's Witness and that she just wanted to share some of God's teachings with me. I mean this with no disrespect, but I have never been so happy that somebody told me that they were a Jehovah's Witness until that time. I felt relieved (not because she was a Jehovah's Witness but) because she was not there to harm me.

I suppose more than the teachings she shared, she taught me a more valuable, blatant lesson...That my life in Canada was very different to my life in South Africa. I knew this before but it was never as apparent and clear as day until then. Living in South Africa sure has taught me to be overly cautious and alert...and scared. And I realised that that was not such a life at all. My illusions of being happy in South Africa sorta died a little that day. I would never have had that kind of talk in a bus stop. I would never be caught dead in a bus stop at all. Period.

We discussed the teachings for a short bit while I pondered my newfound realisation of freedom. I must admit I enjoyed speaking with her thoroughly. My bus came and I had to leave, but not after exchanging names and kind words and hopes to maybe cross paths again. She was aptly named Gloria.

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