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The Anti-Food Babe, Cross-Cultural Wisdom, Tolerance and Being an Expat

I’ve been reading Kavin Senapathy for a while, mostly because she’s the Anti-Food Babe.  But I was struck by this article.  I’ve added the comment that I left.

Grounded Parents | Go Home Little Terrorist!.

I’ve been living in Europe for the last 17 years. There’s a phenomenon that’s familiar to many expats that for the first couple of years, you go through phases of having your eyes opened about the world beyond your shores. 1) Everything is new and exciting and different! 2) I can’t get Cap’n Crunch and bacon, houses are small, gas is way too expensive! And there are all of these other differences I don’t like. 3) You start to realize there is good and bad at home and abroad and hopefully learn to take the best from both. This takes a couple of *years*. It forces you to recognize that your default values are not universal and forces you to come to terms with other cultures who see things differently. Ideally, you come out of it appreciating the differences and realizing you don’t have a monopoly on the good. And it helps you to better understand the complex dynamics in world affairs and that rest of the world doesn’t see the US as the beacon of pure goodness that many Americans see it as – sometimes for good reason. But it’s not just Americans. All nationalities tend to favor their own perspective. I often say that I think that the world would be a better place if everyone lived outside their own country of origin for at least two years. Maybe people would be more understanding, accepting and balanced in how they understand the world and more likely to cooperate to solve our increasingly complex, globally intertwined problems.

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