Is it better to stay in one place or move around?
It seems like the world is becoming smaller and smaller, almost by the minute. When I was a child, I had never met anybody from outside my hometown, much less somebody from another country. However, nowadays I routinely interact with people from all over the world. I might discuss a topic with my classmates from Iran, Korea, Brazil, or Palestine; buy computer parts from the shop run by Chinese; have lunch at a Mexican restaurant; or buy Russian pastries at the caf? near my house. In these experiences I can see the product of a world in which borders are falling and people are free to move about as they wish. There is nothing more invigorating for me than being a part of this emerging “global village.\”
I have now lived in three different countries, Argentina, France, and the United States and am convinced that I am a better person for it. In each country I found something different. I remember the warmth of the human interaction of my hometown in Argentina; I enjoyed the great sense of culture and wit in France; in the United States, I am impressed by the feeling of liberty and acceptance. In each country I have learned a different language, experienced a different climate, conversed with people in different ways. I have learned that each place has something special about it and that no place on Earth is a perfect place. We may lose one thing when we leave a country, but we always gain something else in its place.
So, the greatest benefit of having met so many people from all over the world has been learning that each person and each culture has a different yet valid way of seeing the world. I cannot say that Argentines have a monopoly on how to view the world; nor can I say that the American system of doing things is best. I can only say that from my experience each system works for each culture and that each one is a valid way of seeing the world.
Perhaps this point is the most important one for the coming age of information and technology and falling political and trade barriers. As people from all over the world migrate more freely in search of better lives, they will necessarily have to learn to be tolerant of different worldviews. People who do x will learn to accept people who do y and perhaps even experiment with the new way. By accepting cultures different from our own, we learn more of the broad range of the human experience and we are richer people for seeing beauty and truth in its many forms.