Last night I watched a movie about babies growing up in different cultures. It was amazing to see the different worlds these babies grow up in—the differences between Tokyo and Africa, China and San Francisco. For some reason—though it was just in the back of my mind—I always assumed that everyone lived generally the same way; electricity, plastic, jobs, etc. Now it hits me with a shock that in places like africa there are only about five things they and I have in common.
This morning I was thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, and the first question I asked myself was, ‘what am I passionate about?’ Well I’m passionate about stories, music, dance, family, acting, and trying new things. Remembering the movie I watched the previous evening, it hit me that the things I’m passionate about are things that every culture has and cares for too.
I wonder what the world would be like if everyone only did what they we’re passionate about…?
Passion isn’t the only thing that cultures have in common. Earlier today a group of friends and I were laughing and teasing each other. My little sister was highly offended when we told her her feet smell and to go wash them. She ran off and would not speak to me or those who had teased her. When I called to her that I was sorry and asked what I could do to make it up to her, she turned to me and said passionately: “I would rather have you punch me than tease me, because when you get punched the pain goes away!”
When she said that I felt terrible and realized just how true that is. I too would rather have my best friend hit me then mock me. When someone is angry, I’d rather have them lash out with their hands then with words, because words can make the other person feel they have to react with something harsher. Though some would say words can be ignored, ignoring the sting won’t make it go away or cause one to forget the strike. I imagine that anyone from any culture would feel similarly.
The next time I’m angry with someone, I’m going to try to understand that they are hurting me because they are hurt, or perhaps that I am already hurt and just believe them to be hurting me. I am going to tell them that what they did has hurt me, and then walk away and take care of myself.
I suggest you try this too. I say this because whoever you are and wherever you are from, pain is another thing we all have in common, and taking this challenge on, might just make the world go round a little easier. Hey, why not?