Lessons I Learned On Vacation Part 2: People Are People

Lessons I Learned From Vacation Part 2: People Are People

I want to apologize for another posting lapse.  We really aren’t forgetting about this blog and you our readers, it seems life has just taken over these past few weeks.  I recently returned to full-time work and am adjusting to this change of schedule.  Thank you for your patience with us!

On our trip to Europe this year, we had the opportunity to visit a few different countries and we learned many new things about the culture in each place.  For a girl who doesn’t like change or the unknown, this was quite a challenge for me.  From navigating our way through winding roads and tiny German villages to riding the metro or trains in Paris and Venice, it kept us constantly challenged in just figuring things out.

In each country we made an attempt to speak the language and honor the customs of the area.  At one point though after visiting a few countries back to back, I struggled with what I was even saying in attempting a hello at the bakery one morning-bonjour, hallo, ciao?  Sometimes I just reverted to a good old nod and smile which is a universal language!

Which leads me to the Lesson # 2 of our vacation.  As we traveled and experienced so many new sights, sounds and tastes,  I sometimes found myself just overwhelmed with the language barrier and the extreme foreignness of our surroundings.  It was during these moments that I took a breath, looked around and realized it wasn’t all that different from what I know.  People are people no matter what the language, food or customs.  They are all beloved sons and daughters of our Creator and that was very familiar to me.  I saw people smiling and frowning, annoyed and joyous in every country.  Some looked like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders, some like they didn’t have a care in the world.  I heard kids whining to their parents in French, Italian, German and English!  So when I felt overwhelmed I reminded myself of these things and found comfort  and familiarity in the “normal people behaviors” I saw all around me.  It is wonderful that God created us all so uniquely, but yet with many commonalities.

When we find ourselves judging other cultures or ways different from ours, it is good to step back and remember that we are not all that different.  Most people love and want to be loved, feel sad, happy and a myriad of other emotions.  They love their families, friends, children and most love gelato!  I know we do!  It is finding this common ground that we begin to build bridges of respect and understanding of each other ,which leads to peace and harmony.

Here are a few photos of people being people from our  vacation!

IMG_1140

Who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful sunny day in a garden. (Luxembourg Gardens, Paris)

IMG_1200

This group of fine Frenchman freed us from a broken parking garage!

IMG_1651

Do you think this woman finds joy in handing out chocolate samples from the giant chocolate fountain behind her?


IMG_1876

This is the Mister and me-who can resist a cut-out board!

IMG_2002A stranger helping my daughter with the last step of a steep climb on Mount Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain peak.

IMG_1932

Here is the view of the top of this mountain-hands down the most beautiful place I have ever seen!

Blessings,

Jen

Happy People Inspire Me!

I am currently reading a book on happiness and it has prompted much thought on the topic.  Since our focus this month is on inspiring people, I decided to write about “Happy People” because I find them to be very inspiring.  Who is the happiest person you know?  Can you think of more than one?  I have to admit, I had to stop and think  for a few minutes about my answer to this question.  Three people came to mind, two of them are no longer with me and one I am blessed to live with each and every day!

The first is my Dad, who was known for his belly laugh and overall cheery disposition.  He had one of those laughs that could be heard across the room.  He was always whistling a tune and hearing that happy sound is one of my fondest memories of my Dad.  Later, when he fought the battle for his life against cancer, he continued to be an inspiration.  He faced his illness with grace, courage and optimism until the very end.

IMG_3029

The second person on my list was my Dad’s sister, my Aunt Margaret.   [Read more…]