I had to post this beautiful quote by the amazing Jane Goodall shared by Global Citizen. THIS first step is one of the ultimate goals of Childcor…UNDERSTANDING. When we learn about one another, our lives, our experiences, our beliefs, our cultures, I believe, the walls begin to come down and we become one.
Living in different countries and interacting with the people, I have heard so many stories, experiences, beliefs…all different than mine and all so captivating and unique. Without sharing the personal journeys of those that I had the wonderful chance of meeting, I can say this, it forced me to be even more open-minded than I thought I already was. I had passed judgment, I can admit. I had assumed things about a culture that just weren’t true. Well they were true but not coming from a negative place. This is how people were raised and what they were taught to believe. For example, as an American living abroad, I can say that I encountered far too many people that judge and generalize Americans. Some things I heard were that we are too loud, too confident, too friendly, our smiles are fake and most of all, we are gluttonous. So here is an example of gluttonous.
A European friend of mine was at my house. She took a shower. All I could hear was the water going on-off-on-off. I thought something was wrong. When she came out, I asked, “Are you ok?” She said, “Sure, why?” I responded, “Well you kept turning the shower on and off. I thought something was wrong.” She looked at me strange and then laughed. She said, “No, you gluttonous Americans just waste water and keep the shower on the whole time” and she walked away giggling. I was kind of left stunned. I had such an Oprah “ah-ha” moment. It all made sense. We are gluttonous, but not because we are careless, but because, to be honest, I was always taught that when you get in the shower, you turn it on and then when you get out, you turn it off…or else you’d freeze!
I had hung onto that story all my years abroad. It forced me to always look at a different perspective, to dig deeper into why someone did something a certain way, a way different than mine. Only if we understand…can we care! Thanks, Jane!