So, I was minding my own business facebooking one of our interns when it occurred to me that I was born too early. She and I had been talking about one of our favorite places, Ireland, and transitioned into understanding other cultures, history, traditions and points of view. It seems to be a common theme for me lately. After all it is my personal philosophy that we don’t have to agree with another’s point of view but we should respect it and be open to hearing it. I believe very strongly that the more we each know and try to understand about other ways of life the closer we will come to peace on earth.
Which brings me to why I was born too early. The opportunities for college students, young college graduates and even high school students today, seem endless for travel, study and service abroad. It is rare for me to come across a W&M Student or recent graduate who has not had an abroad experience of some kind. I have to admit to being a bit envious of their experiences but it is one my favorite topics of conversation with them. I know two recent graduates getting ready to ship out to the Peace Corps, a rising sophomore who spent his summer split between a pilgrimage to Spain and service in Dominican Republic, and the intern I was talking with had an internship at the American Embassy in Dublin. This is not even the tip of the iceberg.
It never occurred to me to consider such abroad experiences at that point in my life, even though my sister was a post high school foreign exchange student to Italy. The world seemed so big to me then but seems to have really shrunk. Is it age? or is it because the media make stories more accessible, technology makes us so much more connected? I guess those are topics for another blog.
– Betsy Quinzio