How A Mongoloid Pygmy Taught Alan Rabinowitz the Meaning of Family

Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 7:35 am

How A Mongoloid Pygmy Taught Alan Rabinowitz the Meaning of Family

Alan Rabinowitz tells Krista many stories about the debilitating aspects of stuttering during his childhood and how that informs the man he is today. But, during a poignant moment, he also shares an experience about a life-changing encounter with Dawi, the leader of the Taron people. Situated in the remote border region between Burma and Tibet, the Taron are a “pure-blood” race of Mongoloid pygmies on the verge of self-imposed extinction.

Dawi and Alan Rabinowitz couldn’t communicate easily, but somehow managed to connect. As you’ll hear in the video above, Dawi asks him about his family and then says:

“You act like a man who still has this deep, deep hole inside of him.”

I think most of us can relate on so many levels. We all have doubts and vacillations. And, sometimes it takes a complete outsider, a stranger, to see the “deep, deep hole” existing within ourselves. Within both men, this hole exists. And, through that common bond, the bounty of Alan Rabinowitz’s friendship with Dawi helps him change his own life.

Share Post


is the cofounder of On Being¬†and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

Share Your Reflection