If We Are All Others, Is There Such Thing as an Other?

In the novel Exit West, Mohsin Hamid writes towards the end of the story with the last words, “We are all migrants through time”(209). After reading this, I reflected on this statement and tried to grasp the meaning of it. However, pondering this sentence only left me with this question…

If we are all others(migrants), is there such thing as an other?

My definition and what I have come to terms with is that “an other” is classified as — not a majority and alienated from the rest of the group. As I became more reflective, I realized that I still consider myself an other as a person of color in a predominantly white community because Asians make up about 5% of the population in Oak Park. When looking globally, I am a part of the majority race. There are more Asians in the world than any other ethnicity.

The same thought process can be put into terms with migration. Oftentimes, people look down upon people migrating from one part of the world to another especially when not done legally in fear of the people bringing more chaos into the United States. But, people move from one part of the country to another all the time. Understandably, the migrators are doing it without proper documentation, but in the bigger picture, they overall are the same.

Going back to Hamid’s sentence, I’ve realized that when expanding the lenses of an other, there is always going to be an opportunity to be “an other” but when taking a step back and approaching, a very simple, but complicated thought, we can all be categorized as “an other” in something. Even further, we can all be “an other” and take part in the same thing as Hamid said–with time.

One thought on “If We Are All Others, Is There Such Thing as an Other?

  1. Maria D.

    I wrote about something very similar to this. It is so true! We literally live on stolen land, so technically aren’t we the immigrants? We shouldn’t look at refugees through a negative lense.


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