Let us never forget that diversity is God’s idea. This was brought home to me as I read an email this past week from my close friend and brother Tommy Drinnen, who is completing his PhD in Spiritual Formation in California. Tommy wrote:
My class this semester is made up of a Cuban, a Ethiopian, someone from China, Korea, and Indonesia, and then, me – a Tennessean transplanted from Ghana. Our professor is a Korean man. Last week I ate at the home of a couple from our program who are Korean and Chinese. I also had a meal with a Kenyan and a man from Rwanda. I live in a rural community in Ghana, and I tell you that meeting all these people and hearing and seeing their stories of faith has an impact on one’s worldview and one’s Kingdom view. It is a blessing to be able to meet so many people from around the world.
And so, I find myself agreeing with Mark Twain who wrote, “Travel is the enemy of prejudice.” Move around enough, see and visit enough people who are very different from yourself, and over time, rigid, inflexible, prejudicial views will be diluted by the creative diversity that exists in this massive, wonderful world.
Diversity, tapestry, variety — God’s idea.
2 Replies to “Travel is the Enemy of Prejudice”
I did not know you had this site. It’s now at the top of my favorites. God continues to speak to me thru you. Thank you for sharing.
The Transformative Power of Travel
Traveling away from one’s home for vacation or work or vocation can change a person’s life.
What is it about travel that does that to a person?
1. Senses are heightened. Sights, smells and tastes are more intense. Memories are “burned” in more deeply.
2. When you are away, the usual cares and stresses of everyday life are gone. You are at attention.
3. Being in another culture helps you see things about yourself and your way of doing things that you take for granted, that you never even think about. It works two ways. It may cause you to confirm your existing way or it may suggest to you a better way.
4. The chance to be with people and share with them and develop new relationships always has assorted benefits.
4. In a different place and environment, one gets a chance to view things from a different perspective. One can rediscover one’s self.
6. One always benefits from learning the history of a place and the manner of its people.
I write this based on my experience since I spent the summers of 1970 and 1971, between college terms, in Holland, Germany and Austria, doing church work. The people I met, both the ones native to those places, as well as other Americans, are still vivid in my memories.
I am not only talking about trips abroad. Traveling in northern New Mexico, when I first began working, created a new set of experiences and feelings. The annual trips we made from Arkansas to Michigan to see grandparents while growing up is a part of who I am and what I am. When I was young, even going into remote (to me) regions of the county to smaller country churches, provided me with some memories of a world that has largely vanished and memories for which I’m grateful.
Traveling is an opportunity for spiritual growth.
…from my blog of july 26, 2006