Our experiences shape our perspective. Our perspective shapes our experiences. It’s similar to a math equation. I teach 8th grade language arts and social studies. It’s my job to be literate about the past and present of both the U.S. and the world. For many Americans, myself included, I believe my perspective on the world is spot on, meaning that I know the world rather well.
My perspective has quickly changed in regards to what I thought I knew about the world. This shift in perspective is due to my experience traveling to Zambia.
Here are a few examples:
Before I traveled to Zambia, I saw America as a wealthy nation. After a layover in Dubai, I realize that we are, but we are not.
Before I traveled to Zambia, I had an understanding of the challenges minorities and new immigrants in the U.S. face daily. After spending just under 24 hours in Dubai as a blonde hair, blue eyed, English speaking, christian American, I know what it feels like to stick out.
Before I traveled to Zambia, I had an understanding of the need for a father figure in the life of a vulnerable child. After feeling joy and connection with five orphaned teenage Zambian boys brought about from two hours of playing basketball together, I love been called “Uncle Dave”.