Year of Birth



I have a Slovenian friend who likes to mix wine with Coca-Cola. Her French friend thinks she's nuts. I, myself, reluctantly admit that I like to eat pasta with bread and put ketchup on my pizza, and, let me tell you, my Italian friends are not happy.
And these are just foods and beverages we are talking about.
If we move to another arena, and look at human rights instead of food and beverage- rights; we are likely to find that human rights have one meaning in North Korea, another one in Syria, or Saudi Arabia, and a different one in Switzerland or Belgium.
What differentiates us are our stories, and what unites us are, those very same, stories - understanding where we come from, and where we are heading towards.
The reason why my Italian friends put up with me is because they know that the mere act of putting ketchup on my pizza does not make me a bad person (I haven’t checked that with them, so this may be false). And I know that they don’t do it, because… I don’t know why! Because they’re Italian, man! The point is: we are all different. And while we may not be able to travel everywhere to discover how our culture differs from another one ourselves, I trust we’re still able to go everywhere - through the experiences and stories of the people who we meet and befriend along the way.
I believe that the power of storytelling lies in its ability to let us travel to the other side of the globe, in matters of seconds, without leaving the house; to let us meet people who we’ve never seen, nor spoken to, and yet, somehow, empathize with them; laugh with them; criticize them; support them, and cry for them. And somehow, in midst of this crazy journey that we didn’t know would happen until it came to an end, we start to understand. Maybe not in a way that we could explain with words. But on some deeper level; we understand. Stories make us understand (unless you happen to be French, and we’re speaking of mixing wine with Coca-Cola).



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