In life it’s very easy to look at a group of people and classify them all as either good or bad. Whether we are talking about race, religion, hobbies, and so on. I’m going to talk specifically about people in other countries. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my travels is how ultimately we are all the same. No matter where you’re from we all still want safety, water, and food. Of course there is a lot more involved, but that is basic human nature. All relationships you have are geared towards fulfilling these things. This shapes even our willingness to fit in society because that will usually lead to meeting these needs. This then leads to how our view can be shaped of different people from all over the world. It’s easier to look at a country and not like the government and in turn its people because it’s probably a view that you share with your society. I’ll give an example and this leads me into my travel story.
I’m currently in China on work. Now before coming here, I was told that the people in general can’t be trusted. Even from other people who have worked here as well. Now don’t get me wrong, every country has its share of bad apples, but it doesn’t mean they are all rotten. At this point I’ve been to 25 other countries and am familiar, but still you go with an opinion because they have experienced it and you haven’t. Coming into China my guard was up. However, by treating everyone around me with dignity and respect. I have yet to come accross a bad situation. It’s truly amazing how far a smile and a laugh will go. Even if you can’t speak the same language. People will respond to you much better by treating them kindly. It sounds like common sense. In the world of traveling, even that can get lost though in the frustration and fear one can experience when lost or unable to communicate something basic. When you can take a step back and treat others kindly, then positive things begin to happen. Through all of this, my opinion has changed from one who viewed the Chinese people starting as negative to a very positive one. I’ve met people who wont even come to China because of how they view its people. The point of this blog post is to show you that we are truly the same. Don’t let the opinion of others mislead you into thinking otherwise. Go out, see for yourself and don’t forget to smile. 🙂