Saturday, July 28, 2012
As I’m ending this chapter of my life and about to start a new one, I think about what I’ve been through and the memories I have made. Europeans are very different compared to Americans. For the most part, they are a lot more environmentally friendly. Families only own one car, the houses and apartments are smaller, and people use public transportation everyday. There is deposit on bottles and everything is recycled or reused. The food consists mostly of bread, cheese, meat, and butter. Oh the German’s love their butter. When they eat, they take their time. They talk in between bites, and the waiter never brings the check until the customers ask. In the US, eating is a chore. You’re in, you’re out, and the check is on the table before you finish. If you stay after you’re done, it’s often times looked down upon. Here, people are not as stressed, and they “prost” before every drink. There’s a German saying that only pigs drink by themselves (it rhymes in German). People really enjoy each others' company. One bad thing is that mineral water is all they drink and tap is unheard of. It would also be nice to see more water fountains and not have to pay for every restroom.
Through my journeys, the biggest thing I have learned is: people are people. Despite these differences, everyone still has friends and family, wants to be loved and respected, cares for others, and enjoys having fun. Some people have a harder time expressing their needs and feelings, but in the scheme of things, we all are the same. Yes, some go to college and others don’t. Yes, some receive the Nobel Peace Prize while others beg on the streets. Some are born into money, some make it, and some never have it. When anyone looks at someone as “different” they do not understand that we are all the same; they have not traveled. Although an individual can’t change the world on their own, they can make small changes which have endless potential. Next time you hear or see prejudice, say something; do something. If you think it is ok to discriminate, then you need to travel. Some can gain this perspective without leaving their hometown and some travel the world and still don’t learn this lesson. All in all, people are people. They gossip and hurt one another. They care and they save lives. This happens everywhere so don’t take the bad to heart and remember the good forever. Everyone has their story; don’t judge before you know it.
Time never stops and life keeps moving. Missing the past is unavoidable, but look forward for the future and live in the present. People come and go. You will stay in contact with some and never see others again. Some will immensely impact your life. Always have an open mind; you can learn something from anyone. When you are caught in a bad, sad, or frustrating moment, remember life goes on. When you are scared to do something, think about worst case scenario and consider the idea “then what?”. For example, if you want to move to Hawaii to but are nervous, the worst case scenario is that you don’t get a job or don’t find somewhere to live. Then what? You move back to where you came from, start work again, and life goes on. Another example is that you’re scared to tell your parents about an expensive speeding ticket. Worst case scenario, they get mad and make you pay for your own insurance. Then what? Your parents won’t stay mad forever and you start saving money to pay for the insurance, life goes on.