How I Made a Difference

Laura - Wexford, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change

Moving. For the past 14 years this one idea has had a dramatic impact on my life. From the time I was born I have never lived in the same place for more than three years. Some might say that moving eight times is a positive thing; that it has taught me about different cultures and ways of life. I believe that what these people say is true. Moving this many times has helped me to become a more diverse individual and open to countless things I otherwise would not be. However, through these vast experiences I have not been the only one to learn.

With every new place I move to, I meet all new people. In some cases these particular classmates or even teachers have not been introduced to other lifestyles then the one they are used to. In fact, some of these people I come to know have never moved or experienced what life is like in another part of the world or even state. Therefore by simply moving to these towns and meeting these people I am a slight dose of diversity to them. I am someone who is foreign to them, who is from out of the country, and in some cases the opposite of what they are used to. In the first few weeks of being the “new kid” I get strange looks and sideways glances. However, these fellow students then begin to ask question. Where are you from? What is it like to live there? What are the people like? With each answer I give, these students are becoming more and more educated. Without even knowing, they are broadening their horizons on what the “average” person is. Through each story I tell, these students are becoming more knowledgeable about the different communities out there. Also, they begin to understand that beyond the sheltered communities they are used to there are other ways of life.

In a sense, through meeting someone other than those they are used to these students become more and more diverse. Therefore, through each move I take part in, I am not the only one to learn something. Each person I meet along my journey learns about my life and the places that have made it what it is. In the end, I am being taught diversity through every move, yet end up teaching it on a broader scale as well. I believe that teaching something is not only for teachers, it is for anyone who will be heard. Therefore, the eight moves I have made have allowed me to be a teacher of the different cultures I have been introduced to and the life I have lived.