I remember when I was little, every year for Christmas we would go to my Grandparents house. It was always cold and dreary, but when we entered their warm, cozy house, all I could think about was the delicious rotcole, potatoes, and meat we would eat, with tasty cakes and pies for dessert. I would be immersed in the music of a different world as my Grandparents had their German Christmas music playing, filing the little house with joy and happiness. The quiet rumble of my extended family members talking in German will always be in my memory.
As I think back on the wonderful holidays, I think of how grateful I am to have Grandparents immerse me in their German culture. To be able to grow up learning about different people is something that has always stuck with me because of those holiday memories. Growing up loving the German culture allowed me to be accepting and understanding of people who are different. It allowed me to understand and grow through the appreciation of others.
Now that I am older I have come to love different cultures. It was not that long ago that I begged my parents to allow our family to host an exchange student from another country. Through my persistent efforts, we were able to receive a sixteen-year-old girl from German and then after, a fifteen year old boy from Brazil. I was excited to talk to them and develop a stronger and more profound love for a language I did not know.
I can recount many nights when I was a teenager, where I would be on the computer learning about the democracy in Gabon, or about the climate and currency of Luxembourg. Being interested in these topics was important to me. It though it was so exciting to know about another culture and I knew the knowledge I was gaining, through this hobby, would help me in my future career as I planned and studied to become someone of international importance: someone that would have the references and experience with different cultures to be of service to others less fortunate.
I believe that the knowledge of other people and other cultures can do miracles. It can allow us, as patriots of our country, to develop a love for other people we otherwise would not experience. It will open up service and appreciation to others we do not know, and ultimately, allow us to accept and refrain from the judging of others. Believing in being cultured will keep us on the track of peace and care toward those that are different.
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