I believe different is beautiful.

Paul - York, South Carolina
Entered on February 18, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’m from Germany and just seventeen years old. I’ve visited over 10 different countries in my life. It might sound like a lot but in reality it’s just a small crumb from the big cake called earth. It’s just the beginning of the journey I’m about to take, my life.

The fever to discover new countries started when I was young. I was watching documentaries on TV about Africa, Asia and Australia with their landscapes, animals and people. I can’t really explain why but it fascinated me. I’ve never lost this fascination.

Quite the contrary the fascination even grow more when I joined Four Corners, a project of the European Union. Every year students from Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Germany meet for the Youth Parliament and work in groups together to solve problems. Each group has a different topic; for example environment, culture and democracy. After working for 2 days each group presents their results to the whole parliament.

Four Corners isn’t just a program to find solutions for problems; it’s also a great opportunity for the students to get to know each other. You learn about the political views and ideas of others. To understand each other everybody must speak English. That was the best project I’ve ever been a part of. I really enjoyed talking to these students. We exchanged Email addresses and talked about differences in our lifestyles, traditions and cultures. It was like discovering a whole new world, full of beautiful things I have never heard about.

The Youth Parliament helped me realize that we are all different. Each nation, has its’ own traditions, cultures, languages, beliefs, opinions, histories and own characteristic landscape. So many things to discover. Too much for one life to get to know and learn everything.

I believe different is beautiful.

I couldn’t imagine the world without it. Every piece of the cake taste different; it has its own flavor. A wonderful cake full of different flavors. With every bite you discover a new flavor; isn’t that beautiful?

I don’t want a world full of white people who live in one country, believe in one god, speak one language, share the same traditions and culture. I love different. I speak 3 languages. I have friends who are white, black, red and yellow. Friends who believe in different things and have different opinions. These friends live in different countries. They live differently than I do and have a different history. That all makes my friends interesting.

I like travelling, getting to know people, countries, traditions, cultures, languages and much more. That’s why I’ve decided to spend one year in the United States of America. Also 14 other countries were on my list but I decided on America.

My journey is like the cake. Each country is a different ingredient. Each country offers a different flavor because of its different traditions, cultures, languages and landscape. Everybody says that America is the land of contrasts and contrasts are often different. They are interesting and beautiful.