In response to amandaweng ’s blog about the This I believe essay she read I felt I wanted to look it up because it’s a topic that definitely interests me, especially after coming to Stony Brook. Everyone says “what a small world” and the more people I come to meet the more true I find this expression. I grew up in a really small town in Connecticut, mostly no diversity and very rural. Coming to Stony Brook, although many kids from the city making the opposite change feel a completely different way, felt like a leap into a colorful puddle of people. I have never been racist nor raised in a racist household, in fact I wasn’t even aware of many of the racist slurs that people use regularly before coming to college. Entering a school with such a diversity in race, culture and religion was shocking to me, but very quickly became full of wonder. I found things in common with many students but more importantly I found differences and I love that. I think the story “Finding my Father in a Small World” really emphasizes a part of human interaction that I had never known, and that many people should aspire to. College was the perfect time to open myself to everyone, mainly because I knew no one. I am not claiming to be a master of social interaction or completely non-judgemenal but this piece reminded me of that immediate feeling of pride and new satisfaction as I surrounded myself with people that spoke a new language when they called home, or celebrated holidays I didn’t know existed. Nothing will ever replace a conversation face to face with a stranger when you finally find that one connection and it just clicks that we are all humans in the same situation and to try and befriend as many people as possible is to deprive yourself of the full experience of life. What begins with an awkward “I like your sneakers” can turn into a powerful relationship.
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