Getting closer to people who are ‘different’ creates opportunities for us to get out of our comfort zones and our rigid frames of mind. It exposes us to new possibilities, new ways of seeing and understanding the world. It allows us to develop new visions. It helps us to evolve and change our paradigms.
Mark Twain once said, “Nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.”
He also said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness… Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Interacting with many kinds of people, and making an effort not to judge, but to understand them, enriches our lives and allows us to embrace the diversity of our world. Traveling to different places and immersing ourselves in different cultures develops understanding and empathy.
Maya Angelou said, “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”