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We live in a beautiful world, remember that





Last week was a weird week. I think we all woke up on Wednesday to some shocking news. No-one expected Trump to win and most people, including myself, haven't recovered from it. I couldn't quite believe it when I first heard the news. Yet we will have to find a way to deal with it. I've seen shout outs to keep creating, even in these doubtful times. And I fully agree. Fighting in any way we can is the only way forward. There is one thing that I've been wondering about ever since though: how could the opinion polls and the media have gotten it so wrong? I was both convinced and desperate to believe the polls leading up to the vote. Yet they didn't predict it write. I personally think a lot of it has to do with representation in traditional media and on social media. I follow people on twitter that are my own age, from my own background, have the same educational level and support the same world views. I don't read the voices of other people. I don't read or hear from people that voted Trump. All I hear is outrageousness in the outcome, everywhere. And it's weird, because there are at least a few million people who are incredibly happy with the result. I wonder if we, as 21-century beings, could and should change in this regard? Would it be better to find ways to listen to people who aren't the same as you? We should support diversity. It's the only way to let go of hatred and prejudice. And yes this should mean listening to Trump supporters too. Maybe that would change their world views too.



In the aftermath of the election, I and two of my best friends, went away on a short trip. It was booked months in advance and came at just the right time. We flew out to Marrakech on Thursday and returned on Sunday. Just what we needed. We experienced a totally different city and culture and at times I wasn't sure I liked it. Nonetheless it was a beautiful city. Being there was sometimes uncomfortable, but at the same time thrilling and adventurous. And that has a lot to do with being in a different culture and experience the 'otherness' of people. Yet, in many ways, they are the same as we are. They see us as outsiders yet welcome us in. We can learn so much from each other. Hearing the calls for prayer from the mosques was beautiful for example and it made me appreciate their culture. Ignorance of that, has created all that hatred towards muslims in the Netherlands and I honestly hate that. I think a lot can be said for listening to the voices of others. People you associate yourself with, but also with the people that you don't understand. Because in conversation you will learn so much more about each other. That is what makes traveling so beautiful too, it gets you to appreciate people and cultures.

There is a quote in a book I read recently that speaks of this and it's also something I learn in my human geography course at uni:
When we are reaching for the stars, the challenges ahead are such that we will perhaps have to come together to meet them: to travel the universe not as Russians, Americans or Chinese, but as representatives of humanity. But so far, although we have broken free from the shackles of gravity, we are still imprisoned in our own minds, confined by our suspicion of the 'other', and thus our primal competition for resources. There is a long way to go. - Tim Marshall, Prisoners of Geography

How can we break free from our shackles is what I'm wondering? Traveling and learning and education might be of value and I think listening is very important. But we also need to find a way to make information accessible and to let go of our fears of 'the other'. Because we are all in this together and we still live in a beautiful world. We need to remember to treasure that world and each other and find a way to live together.



This has turned into such a philosophical post. I'm sorry about that, hope you liked it nonetheless. I hope this brings you some hope and that it will mark my return into the blogging world. Let me know what you think in the comments and if you have any thoughts about the election, let me know. I'd love to read them.

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