Perspective, please!

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Imagine you are in an airport, eagerly waiting to board the plane- Disneyland is just a short two hours away. If you are anything like me, you love to people watch. I often think about each person’s story. I imagine where they are headed, if they are alone or with family, if they’re traveling for business or recreation, and, where my brain usually goes, if they are currently content or displeased with their life. Now imagine you see a man walking toward you and he’s wearing a turban. Be honest with yourself for a second. What is your initial reaction? Perhaps pre 9/11 you wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Unfortunately, post 9/11 westernized thoughts often jump to “terrorist”.

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I’m not assuming that all Americans jump to this right away. But I’ll be the first to admit that I recall having these thoughts as a child. Granted, the only image I had of Muslims were often directly related to one event that was tragic and invasive. However, I believe that Muslim extremists have hijacked the image and reputation of all Muslims. It’s an unfair representation of a large people group. It wasn’t until recently that I began to really dive deeper into this issue. I wanted to discover why such judgmental thoughts could parade one’s mind when simply seeing another human being. Hence why I decided to study abroad in SPU’s Spain and Morocco Program. The idea of traveling to Morocco seemed entirely invigorating to me. Not because I get to travel with 11 other girls, or because I get to eat delicious food, or because I get to see new places. (Now don’t get me wrong- these things get me PUMPED). I’m embarking on this journey because my perspective is going to be changed. I get the chance to enter in to someone else’s story, to discuss life, to hear individual perspectives. Imagine twelve women from SPU examining and comparing hearts with Muslim college students. I am confident we will find more similarities between us than dissimilarities.

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My biggest hope and deepest prayer is that I would never be set in my ways- that I would always have a spirit of learning and asking hard questions.

How beautiful would it be to people watch and not have one single thought of judgment or fear prevail in our minds. How RAD if we could see ALL humans as individual people, as children of God, and as loved.

This is why I am simply seeking stories.

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