If I were to meet you, powerful world leader, I would
Look at your eyes, sense into your soul
Ask about your family
Want to know the story of how you met your spouse
You have a child that struggles? Tell me about him.
Where in your country serves your favorite food?
Let’s go there or get take-out.
Tell me your favorite joke. Let’s share laughter. Laughter laughs at language barriers.
Let’s go outside. Show me what is beautiful in your natural world and I will invite my senses to savor.
Let’s play. Our inner child endures. Let’s pedal bikes, go to a park, or better yet, let’s visit a preschool classroom. We’ll sit on the floor and read books with the children of your country. Let them be our teachers.
Tell me what you love about your country and what brings you sadness and I’ll share this about my homeland.
I’ll release my need to be right, perfect, and wise and instead be open, vulnerable, and a beginner.
Then, maybe we talk about the details, the agendas, the must-dos. Then we can sit in the uncomfortable chairs, in the formal rooms, in the starchy clothes, with the gaze of the world upon us.
Only after I see you as a person. Only after I touch into our common humanity.