It is one thing to read on a subject, but it is an entirely different matter when you get to experience it. This is a simplified version of how I feel tonight. I’m ecstatic, because I feel as if I’m going to learn not only about myself, but about my country, different people and their ways of life, and that is a wondrous opportunity. At the same time, I want to check my privilege.
I think many people meet others who are not like themselves and tend to question and pry as if the other person they have met are a test subject rather than a human being. I have been guilty of it myself – so lost in the excitement of learning and trying to relate my culture to someone else’s, I have forgotten to pause and see my counterpart for who they are. Yes, culture makes up a lot of a person, but every one is a collection of their experiences, not just their ethnicity. So, although I am excited, curious, and a bit impatient, as well as nervous, I want to caution myself to always see whoever I meet for who they are, and not ‘what’ they are.