Who are you really? How much of yourself have you really figured out?
I discovered as a teenager on a school trip to France that I loved travel and especially discovering the customs and foods of other people. It was my good fortune that my school had a trip to France, that my parents let me go, and that they helped me pay for it. Not having that trip would have changed the trajectory of my life. Without it, would I have had the bravery to accept my first international work assignment? Would I have started my toy company that teaches children about world cultures? I don’t know.
I had dinner this weekend with an eclectic group of friends. One is Spanish and felt naturally drawn to the spirituality of India. She went to an ashram for two years, and while she was there she met and married an Indian man. She has raised her children in India, before recently moving to London and sending one of her children to college in the U.S. That visit to India changed her life.
And at a recent lunch, a teacher friend marveled at the multicultural children in her classroom of 4-year olds this year. She studied Asian history in college and is a curious and welcoming person, and she’s excited to get to know each of her new students with their unique personalities and cultures, and for the students to get to know each other.
So, who are you? And what experiences might spark a new part of you that you didn’t know existed? If I met a certain person, tried a new hobby, read a book or traveled somewhere, would I become a truer version of myself? And what about your kids? Are they having new experiences where they can learn about other people and cultures?
Maybe you’re thinking “If my child tries Ethiopian food and likes it, they might move to Ethiopia, marry and Ethiopian and I won’t see them!”. Well yes, that might happen.
But more likely is they’ll develop a wide range of foods they like and people they like and experiences they like and they’ll be really fascinating at small talk. Or maybe they’ll be a better teacher. Or a better police officer, doctor, nurse, scientist or CEO. Or a better human.
Think for a second, what kind of experiences and environment will give kids the gift of knowing better who they are?
My immediate thoughts? Travel, international foods, toys about other cultures, news about the world, geography, books about world holidays, global festivals, languages, and so much more!
If you’re looking for some more ideas, take a look at our other post here. What are your ideas?