My friend Lennon posted a link to this TED video on Twitter and it’s a goodie.
Living in a foreign country, but surrounded by a fairly homogeneous expat community, this video reminded me that living overseas is not, in and of itself, a worthwhile experience or an opportunity for growth unless I make it one.
And when I’m at my most frustrated and most homesick, that’s probably when I’m also learning the most about the world around me.
My favorite bit from Elif Shafak’s talk:
The Sufis say, “Knowledge that takes you, not beyond yourself is far worse than ignorance.”The problem with today’s cultural ghettos is not lack of knowledge. We know a lot about each other, or so we think. But knowledge that takes us not beyond ourselves, it makes us elitist, distant and disconnected. There’s a metaphor which I love:living like a drawing compass. As you know, one leg of the compass is static, rooted in a place.Meanwhile, the other leg draws a wide circle, constantly moving.