Sunday, 31 August 2014

Min7eh: Explore More

In my studies, the world has become so small. I have traveled across the sea and been received to the welcoming arms of many families. My feet have jumped across wadis, my tongue has stumbled over foreign words, and my heart rests deeply in lands beyond my own. Growing up in small and rural town in central Michigan, I would have never dreamed of this life I lead now. My world is expanding, but one of the brightest experiences I have had is the opportunity technology has given me to share my adventures with all of you and to receive the incredible support that you have shared with me.

In an age of computers, smart phones, and the wonders of WiFi, we experience a very different world than one would have found two decades ago. In constant communication, conversations bounce across the street and around the world. They can be as trivial as that morning's choice in breakfast cereal and as meaningful as a heartfelt reassurance that the world will not always be so cruel. Many criticize the population's growing dependence on cyber communication. "We are losing the value of face-to-face interactions," they say, and honestly, there is merit to these concerns. What I have found in my travels, transcends these concerns, though. Tramping across the world, vibrant experiences can often be overshadowed by overwhelming unfamiliarity. I have found encouragement when the isolation of language barriers grows to high.  Despite the criticisms of the technological connections changing the interface of the world, I have found it to be absolutely invaluable in the development of my journeys.

Perhaps most significant, though, is the power technology has given me to promote understanding of the world around us. Running from school to work to home and to all of the other obligations that weigh on a person, many have a tendency to get "stuck" in their own microcosms of life. People are victim to the human temptation to stay within the bounds of one's own knowledge that grows from the experiences to which they are exposed. We are limited by our own experiences that our lives have presented. I do not claim that I have become exceptionally wise in my short life, but I do hope that my stories prove valuable for the growth of those with whom I interact. Every word I type is intended to close the gaps between the familiar and different in the minds of those who surround me.

Everything in this world is connected, and the expanse of the internet has underlined this for me. Whether I am sitting in a coffee shop in southern Oman, enjoying a madeleine in a French villa, or curled under a blanket in my college apartment, I have the world at my fingertips. My mother may still cringe in worry for my safety, my friends may still laugh at the thought of me riding a camel to school, and most of the world may still be oblivious to my travels. In my explorations of the world, though, internet has sent me the support of family and friends and allowed me to invite you all to the learning adventures my life has become.

This blog post is in honor of the Explore More scholarship sponsored by DirectStar TV. Thank you for your consideration.