By: Connor Mabon – Opinions Editor
I had the most significant conversation of my life over this winter break.
It was thought-provoking, passionate and personal. It boiled all of the mess in the world that gets us so heated and stressed down to a clear and pragmatic approach to real life. The woman’s holistic insight led me to meditate on what I believe to be three culturally significant aspects of life that contribute to making us well-rounded and loving individuals.
These aspects demonstrate how simple it can be to enjoy the presence of people and the world around us. The three cultural pillars of humanity that offer historical, cultural, and biographical enrichment are the following:
First, be an avid reader and critical thinker. Read books from various genres and subjects to expand the horizon of your mental landscape. Read newspaper and non-celebrity magazine articles to get a greater sense of how our society actually operates. Thinking critically on the information we consume acts as the vehicle driving us to question everything we experience.
Doing so creates the framework for an active mind while also fueling our inner curiosity, which brings me to my next point. Always strive to be a traveler with an open heart and inquisitive mind. You don’t have to cross oceans with study abroad groups to experience culture. It’s all around us, but it takes awareness and a sense of willingness to appreciate the finer details often overlooked.
Being a curious traveler who welcomes anyone and anything maintains that inner childhood wonder seeing the vast world as mysterious and beautiful. Just stop and look around. You’ll notice that the world isn’t as bad as the media and politicians make it out to be.
When you travel the world have conversations with people, learn their story and share yours because you may find that people aren’t so bad after all.
Like the conversation I had with the woman who’s a self-proclaimed holistic entrepreneur, interact with others over a meal of real food. Not the kind that has an ingredient list the length of this article dotted with words reserved for chemistry lab. Buy fresh, buy local, and more importantly cook for yourself.
This, of course, is the third and final cultural pillar critical to the human condition. That is, have a diverse palette and explore the story behind the food. A neuroscientist by the name of Natasha Campbell-McBride argues in her work titled “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” that there’s a direct link between learning and our digestive system. This link can be used to a positive advantage by eating unadulterated foods. Seek refuge in specialty grocers or farmers markets that offer more fresh food. Before shopping read into the how and why food from these stores can benefit your personal well-being and ultimately the community’s.
In essence my model suggests the unbreakable interconnectivity of people and the world. Applying it to our lives will cultivate the fauna of our character and enable us to grow into our full potential. But first, we must sow the seeds.