Fulbright to Czech Republic

My time in the Czech Republic changed my life in so many ways. The world seems much smaller and I realize, with deeper conviction, we are all so much more alike than different. Our feelings, our fears, our joys, our anxieties, our love for our children and family are so similar. We need to understand how much we are the same and celebrate our differences as well as our similarities. The majority of the world wants to laugh, appreciate the beauty of life, to find the best in others, to care, to lend a helping hand, and to leave our world a better place to live. The simplest things can change a person’s day. Giving directions, smiling, saying thank you in their language, showing that you appreciate they are there to help you, giving a compliment, sharing your experiences with honesty and compassion. This is an incredible world and helping each other is the foundation of life.

The lectures were so full of strength, courage, and compassion and their content lead me to understand how the Czech Republic finally reached a place where they can live in democracy. Freedom is gift we should never take for granted and I learned this well as I listened to how many people through the centuries have fought for the freedoms we have now. The gifts of my life came as great sacrifices to many and I hope I can always have gratitude for my freedom and way of life. I know as a society we must care more and risk more so that others can be safe. I have never had the challenge to risk my way of life for what is right, but I certainly hope that I would find the courage to do so. There are worst things in life than death, and losing honor is one of them. Our lectures on communism reinforced this further. Societies must learn from history and past mistakes so they are not repeated. Studying history can give us perspective on why cultures have their way of life. If cultures can understand and respect each others’ diversity, maybe peace if possible throughout the world.