Happy New Year to all my readers!
All predictions are that 2007 will be an adventurous year. It will be the year for those with courage, conviction, guts, values, and vision, whether it be individuals or nations. For those who have their heads stuck in the sand, well, sand doesn’t taste good, you know?
For those who see the world as a global stage, life will be exciting and adventurous and the rewards will be bountiful. As any one who has traveled the world can attest, travel changes your view of the world. It opens your mind from being narrow, parochial, partisan, and paranoid to bold, tolerant, vibrant, and intelligent. So this year topping my list of New Year resolutions is Travel. See the world. Learn about different people and their cultures. Learn a new language. Make time for friends. Be connected to a higher spirit and of course, ignore the nay sayers (remember,no one has ever erected a statue for anonymous writers!)
So if you have never left your little corner of the world, venture out. Learn something new about other cultures. Being global is no longer an abstract concept. You may live in a rural part of the world, but if your thinking is well, not global, then dinosaurs and you will have a lot in common. That’s in essence what Pamela Martin says in her convocation address to the freshman class of 2009 at Carolina Coastal University.
Here is a brief excerpt from her speech:
As an example of how interconnected our planet has become, let’s look at the book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, which you have been reading in recent weeks. This intriguing memoir is not just a recollection of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, but also a personal account of growing up in Tehran.
Memoir of an Iranian woman
Ms. Satrapi writes about her childhood and the struggles of one human being to understand a complex world and her role within it. However, our lives are so intertwined today that her memoir is really your story and mine.
Some of you may have looked at the first page and thought, “Hmm a comic book!” Of course, technically it’s a graphic novel. Others, after realizing that the memoir was about Iran, may have thought about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or you may have thought about the global war against terrorism and President Bush’s condemnation of Iran as a member of the “axis of evil.”
You might say: “Why should I care about Iran? I want to be a marine biologist or an actress or an accountant.” But in a globalized world, we are not isolated. The politics of one country affects those of another.
The lax environmental policies of one society might do irreparable damage to the water systems of its neighbors. A change in the price of oil affects the bottom line for businesses right here in South Carolina and our own personal finances when we fill up the tank. No major or career is an island unto itself.
More on my other New Year resolutons next!