Different People in Different Places

Moriah - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the unity of the world within its differences. There are many different people in many different places, but at heart they are all the same. We all have the same deep needs and wants. When I was eleven, I went with a missions team to El Rancho Del Rey, a boys home in Monterrey Mexico. It housed around forty boys who lived at the ranch during the school year and went home to single parent families. The boys were of varying ages, but only a few of the oldest spoke any English, and I spoke very little Spanish at the time. Despite my mediocre Spanish and their poor English, I managed to get to know a few of the boys very well. One boy in particular, Ivan, was thirteen and spoke the best English of any of the boys. I found out about his English speaking ability when I went about the ranch screaming, asking if anyone spoke English. He replied that he did and we became friends in the short time I was there. We had one meaningful conversation, and he told me how he wanted to succeed in life and make his mother proud. He wanted to go work in America where he could be successful and send money home to his mother. He wanted to get married and have a family that he could take good care of. I was only eleven at the time, but I wanted these things: I wanted to make my parents proud, and I wanted to get married one day. This boy was from a different country, spoke a different language, and lived a completely different life, and yet we wanted and felt the same things. I left Mexico, have never gone back nor again seen Ivan, but I hope both he and I realize our desires. I went home to a place with diverse people with different backgrounds, but we generally had things in common, or at least more in common than Ivan and I. If I could have that much in common with someone from a different world, someone I knew for one week, I know I can connect to others all around me.