Yes, they all spoke other languages, practiced a variety of different religions, and corrected me on things like the "real" tradition behind what happens when you lose a tooth (good-bye tooth fairy, hello throwing your tooth at the sun).
And yet, during recess the girls were obsessed with playing jump rope, gathering flowers, and picking berries off the back fence to bring home to their moms. The boys asked me to play soccer with them till I was dripping in sweat and laughing as they dribbled in circles around me. Day after day, I could only see what made us more alike.
I think we tend to believe the world is so big and filled with an endless amount of people, cultures, and languages different from our own. Maybe it's easier to feel less connected to so many. Maybe if we see the world as vastly different, we can read the news or hear of another traumatic world event and keep ourselves from falling apart every time. But these kids taught me that life is not about our differences. It's about our similarities. There is common ground between all of us. It's time we embrace that, not hide from it. These are people just like you and me, and we can help. As a wonderful woman named Linda Burton said, "What if their story, was my story?"
I'm currently running a small fundraiser to help the refugees who haven't yet found a safe home like the ones I taught in Seattle. I'm begging you to help those who may seem far and different. I promise you they are more like you than you realize. They stand in need of the very things we take for granted everyday. Please donate by clicking here before September 10th. Thank you so much!
"Do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa