I have a confession to make. I’m a packrat. I save pictures and greeting cards as if they were holy relics or talismans. I perused my junk drawer recently to see what treasures I had accumulated. I came across a luggage tag that I have not yet used. A luggage tag is not something you would expect someone to keep, however, this one has meaning to me. We received this luggage tag on a recent trip to Scotland. The trip was amazing and I was sad to leave. We had such a wonderful time and were able to see so many exciting things that we would not have experienced at home. I was finally able to see many wonderful castles and manor houses. While I might keep the luggage tag for these reasons alone, it means more to me than that.
When I think of my luggage tag, my first thought if of traveling to new and exotic places. However, traveling is not the only thing I think of. I also think of writing. Why would I think of writing when looking at a luggage tag? For me, the answer is simple. I think of all the interesting people who live in different countries and how their lives are similar or different to mine. Every person on earth has a story to tell. When I imagine the world, I think of the billions of stories that could be written. My luggage tag is a way for me to see all of the stories of the people in our world.
Another thing that my luggage tag does for me is to symbolize the importance of learning about our world. To often people view other cultures and groups of people as “different” and unlike their own culture. My luggage tag is a reminder that all cultures of the world are important and that we all should do what we can to learn about each other. A culture’s traditions might seem odd and ridiculous to those who are of another culture. However, if the traditions are studied and understood, they might make more sense and become easier for people to accept. The more we understand our neighbors, the more likely our world will become peaceful.
My luggage tag is a symbol of what I believe most about my world. I believe that we are all one people who should do everything possible to learn to live together. If everyone on earth were able to tell their story, there would be more in the stories that are familiar rather than foreign. If we could focus on these commonalities, we would be able to see each other as friends rather than as enemies. It is of the utmost importance that we learn about all the people of the world. I cannot afford to travel to all the world’s destinations but I can read and watch as much about the world as I can. Although it may seem strange that a luggage tag causes me to think of all these things, for me it is a symbol of our unity as humans.
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