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"culture sometimes prevents us from appreciating the very gifts offered to us, at least at first. in one place i learned a dimension of friendship that my culture does not allow me to experience easily. it happened when i was teaching Leadership Development to teachers and administrators of religious organizations in India. the first thing i noticed was their eagerness to learn in the classroom and their desire to share the beauty of their city and cultural sites with me. i enjoyed both, the classroom and the time outside the classroom. But i was unprepared for a gesture of friendship which men do not commonly practice in my country: men holding hands with men. Every time i walked with my students on campus, one of them would reach for my hand. i had to learn that this was perfectly acceptable in their context, even though it wasn’t in mine."