Commentary January 2017

I started this website and podcast, Four Seas One Family, to explain some of my personal insights to family members and friends back home about life overseas. I also wanted to expand the podcast to where people could easily observe that we have a lot more in common than we think. In this format, people would be able to listen in on examples that prove that we are fundamentally the same regardless of skin color, religion, politics or other beliefs. We all have basic concerns that include security, welfare, health, happiness, comfort and prosperity.

I also wanted to showcase examples of how expats, who maybe living and working inside nations that are very unlike their own, interact with the people of their host nation and how they were able to have open and objective dialogue (with the local people). In the end, these interactions assisted in building or regaining mutual respect.

We live in a world where we are more interconnected than ever. Nations are less limited by their physical boundaries. They are only limited by the amount of creative freedoms and ambitions their people are allowed to possess and display. Today’s innovative advancements are the direct results of the globalization of shared knowledge among people from different backgrounds, nations and cultures. Many live under different political regimes and are of different lifestyles and religious beliefs. This type of open exchange has allowed mankind to expand its knowledge exponentially.

Unfortunately today, even in developed democratic nations, we are finding people who are willing to isolate themselves, sometimes by any means necessary, from people who they perceive as dangerous outsiders. They fear that these so-called “outsiders” have taken away and are destroying their livelihood. People harboring beliefs like this look to employ or elect representatives that they feel would uphold these types of beliefs at a national level in the hope of gaining some social, political and economic protections.

Today, the question people in these nations need to ask themselves is, how far are they willing to allow their need of protection from people who they view as dangerous outsiders to go? Would these people encourage and allow their elected representatives to expel, mass-incarcerate or otherwise vastly impede on the civil rights of the people they “fear”? Is this the world we want to live in today?

When we give ourselves the opportunity to embrace and interact with people from other cultures, we actually change our mindset which allows us to know even more about ourselves and, at the same time, what other people are really like regardless of the seas, rivers and WALLS that may be separating us.

When people of different nations are deprived or blocked from accessing the tools needed to learn more about people who aren’t like them, distrust deepens, hardens and becomes more even more internally engraved within their culture at all levels.

Over the past, up to now 50+ podcast episodes, I have come to the belief that the platform I created really isn’t just only for people who are or may only be thinking about living abroad. The podcast has turned into a cultural portal where listeners can observe life overseas and learn more about cross-cultural communications and interactions.

Let’s face it, most of the fears people from different nations have against people who aren’t like them come from sources that have the simple goal of keeping us separated and ignorant of each other. This type of underlining agenda and motive isn’t beneficial for developing or fostering cross cultural communications and exchanges. I am working to make the website and podcast a gateway that can help lower some of the fears, insecurities and apprehensions people from different cultures and nations may have towards one another.

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