Last time I was here, I was in quite the vacation funk. Since then, I’ve gotten out of it. Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to be back in Belize, but it’s been so busy that I haven’t had much time to think about it. I’ve been busy learning.
Last Thursday, I got the chance to attend TEDx at my university campus. TEDxCPP to be exact. We had a line up of about 10 speakers, and each came with their own passion, key take aways, and uniqueness. Many of them spoke of their vulnerability, and many of their stories and lessons derived from their own upbringing. That’s how all good stories come about, from our own risk taking and learning. All my lessons I’ve learned in life are tied in with great stories. One day I’ll tell you some of them, especially the one where I was paid to deliver a book.
After the TEDx talks, I was inspired to watch a documentary I’ve been wanting to watch for a while- Crossing Borders. A feature documentary that follows four Moroccan and four American university students as they travel through Morocco, learn about one another, and discover themselves more than they ever would’ve thought. With vulnerable discussions about stereotypes, religion, and difficult subjects, they break down the barriers that the media have set on them in regards to their views of one another.
An empowering film about the power of cross-cultural interaction, the importance of intercultural empathy and critical thinking skills, as well as the necessity to initiate dialogues among different cultures.
Why should you spend 70 mins to watch this? Because as the Director’s statement states: “The relationship between the Muslim and the Western worlds have been cast as a “clash of cultures:” a war between civilizations in which one is destined to prevail over the other. But is this so? What are the real attitudes and viewpoints of ordinary Americans and ordinary Muslims?”
Needless to say, almost a week later, I’m still pondering the questions that were asked. I will definitely watch it again in the future. In a time where we seem to be putting more and more invisible walls between cultures, Crossing Borders reminds us that we are more alike than we were taught to think we are. It reminds us that through humor, honesty and a willingness to be challenged, we can be closer to one another, and break down the barriers of hidden stereotypes.