A Merging of Journeys

Everyone is on a journey. Everyone has a story to tell. Why do we so often think that the only way to learn on a journey is to leave and travel ourselves? If we listen, we can learn so very much. OU has a wonderful program called the OU Cousins Program that seeks to teach its members just that. Fortunately, my cousin is willing to share her journey with me.

I received a message from my cousin, Xiaolu, the other day inviting me to her home for lunch. A friend of hers was teaching her how to make dumplings. It was fascinating to me that two girls from the same country would have had such different experiences growing up, in this case manifested by the food that was so familiar to one while relatively new to the other. We expect to see that sort of thing in America (we’re a melting pot, after all) but I at least tend to consider it unique to us. It seems that I was mistaken. To add another layer to the cultural fusion, one of Xiaolu’s roommates is from France. As the five of us sat down to eat, we represented three countries from three different continents, and yet we were able to sit down together and enjoy a meal that we had made in cooperation while discussing various differences in our separate cultures. Our individual journeys had led us to one another, and, for now, we have the opportunity to journey together. There is much that I can learn from them, and also much that they can learn from me.

Of course, it’s not just those from other countries who can share their stories with us. No matter your background, you have your own unique story, just as we all do. If I can learn to see the world through, not only my eyes, but also yours, then I have learned something truly valuable. Now think about what would happen if we all learned to do this. If I learned to see the world through Xiaolu’s eyes, and you learned to see it through mine, wouldn’t we all get along and understand our world better? Consider this too: what if we learned to see ourselves through each other’s eyes? Think of what we’d learn. The possibilities are innumerable. I hope that as you read these entries you think of them as a lens. Peer through the lens of this blog at the world and perhaps even at yourself and see what you can learn. We live in a world full of different people and ideas. Don’t hide from that reality—learn to embrace it. You’ll probably be glad you did. I know I am.

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