When society is hung up on the next thing, you can choose to turn off that noise.
Since I started teaching, I’ve been fascinated by how enlightening conversations with little children can be. You just never know what they can teach you with their honesty…
She: And, and Japan! *smiled happily*
Me: Oh, you’ve also travelled to Japan. Did you like Japan?
She: No! Teacher, I don’t like Japan. *without hesitation*
Me: Really? Why not? *surprised*
She: The people don’t know how to relax. And I also don’t like Hong Kong. People there walk faster than me. *face serious*
Me: And people in Canada know how to relax because they walk slower? *half-laughing*
She: Hmm, and they stop to look at the view.
Were my thoughts so in-depth at the age of eight?
Of course she might have visited the national parks in Canada and Shinjuku in Japan.
Our surrounding makes us but our behaviour also reinforces the environment.
This is not a fair assessment, but the question helps me filter strangers efficiently. People are more complex than that, but just like SAT and GRE, standardized testings help schools sort out the more desirable pile.
Sitting at another language exchange session, I prompted after a brief introduction…
Me: So which do you prefer, city or the country?
She: Hmm, I think I like both. *tone careful*
Me: Oh? *hearing this for the first time*
She: Sometimes I enjoy the city lights when the sky is dark and sometimes, I want to be in the nature and just relax. Each has its own beauty.
Me: A bunch of us are going hiking next week, would you like to come? I can pick you up at the station! *eagerly*
That was almost a year ago, and I just received her texts and photos from Japan.
Through conversations, our biases are challenged.
Perhaps that is why we constantly tear down and rebuild our truths.
Our views can be narrow, but our minds don’t have to be.