A Trip to the Other Side

It is pretty interesting to find someone with the same viewpoint, opinion, or perception, because with just a conversation or exchange of words, we can make a new friend and even create ideas with this person. However, I prefer to meet people who do not think or act like me, because I always learn something new that makes me grow, and come to understand things I thought were wrong through their way of thinking. I first realized this when I was just a child.

Once, I accompanied my father on a business trip outside my city. He had told me that he wanted to teach me about hard work and effort, and I am sure he got that and much more. When we arrived, I saw lots of children working hard on a big agricultural field, barefoot, without any protections, enduring the heavy Paraguayan summer heat. Despite this, they looked happy and seemed to be enjoying what they were doing.

Suddenly, a little girl (I suppose she was about my age) approached me with a smile. She was wearing a torn t-shirt and worn shorts and looked dirty, like the rest of children who were working there. With bright eyes and a sparkling gaze, she admired the doll I was holding in my arms. “Your doll is beautiful,” she said, and added and that she would like to have one for her and her younger sister to play with together.

In that moment I felt so bad, because I used to complain about not having the best toys, like the expensive dolls my friends had and other ridiculous things that in those times were important to me. But when I saw those children laughing while they were working so hard to get some food and help their family, I learned that happiness doesn't depend on the luxuries you have, happiness depends only on yourself.

Since that day I have tried not to judge anybody for having a different viewpoint than I, because I think that they have created that perspective from all the moments, circumstances, and learning that life has given them. Just because we have not seen life from their shoes does not mean they are wrong. We should use those differences and start to build bridges and not walls, as Isaac Newton said, in order to contribute to our community and help people around us.