When they tell you that study abroad will change your life, they’re not being melodramatic. If you’re lucky, those things that become important to you when you come back were actually there when you left for the semester.
I learned the importance of being different. The life we live is enhanced by no two cultures or people, being the same. There is precedent that needs to be set worldwide: the idea of recognizing that there are two sides to every story and a reason to every rhyme.
Walking in other people’s shoes, thinking before speaking, and keeping an open mind, already brings us all closer together. For example: what is the difference between a refugee and the Queen of England? Circumstance.
The world has undergone some nasty trials. Why have we not learned from the past? Why don’t we take the time to understand that there are lessons to be learned? Maybe the world today has to make it’s own mistakes. If that’s so, hopefully each generation just gets better at recovering, gains more compassion, and more understanding.
I think the key is to remember that you can’t group people together when they all have their own stories. After all, everyone having their own story created all the cities I’ve visited.
Maybe this all seems far fetched, but at one time so was women’s suffrage, fair wages, unions, African-American rights, and the right to education. Maybe the world just needs time.