The importance of being present and mindful

In trying to get inspiration, I refer to others blog and came upon this lovely phrase: “You can’t really understand foreigners until you are one.”

There is such a freeing feeling in traveling; the ecstatic feeling of trying new things, of being immersed in a new country with different ideals and customs, and of being near to new languages. Not everyone can afford traveling, but people should travel – whether it’s to your next state or to the country across the continent. But most importantly, you should take the time to be present while you’re traveling and not feel in such a rush. You should sit back, reflect and act.

IMG_4127On April 26th for the Federal Inter agency Holocaust Remembrance held at the Lincoln Theater here in Washington, D.C., we listened to two speakers who were survivors of the Holocaust. Their message was clear: “There were 42,500 concentration camps and counting in Europe. They (bystanders) heard nothing, saw nothing and smelled nothing. We must all remember but remembering is not enough. We must all teach our children tolerance at school and at home. Hate is never right and love is never wrong.”

How are you supposed to describe the smell in the Sistine Chapel and the way that tears fall down your face as you look up at that beautiful piece of artwork? How are you supposed to express the rawness of seeing the home of Anne Frank and being taken back in that moment, as if you yourself were Anne Frank? How can you describe the adrenaline that runs through you as you see one of your friends being taken advantage of and robbed? Or the moment when you want to leave it all behind, but your new family abroad helps give you perspective in realizing that it’s not as bad as you think it is.

With that in mind, we must pass down our experiences to our children, to our friends and loved ones by sharing. We must encourage others to find the simplicity in life and find the love of being surrounded by something different. Feel the importance of each others lives by traveling to that place and experiencing it on your own.

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