Monday, March 31, 2008

On the Brink of Changing History

Tonight I talked with a Chinese man who works for the L'Oreal company. His job has allowed him to travel to France and the US which was slightly surprising. I don't meet to many Chinese people who have traveled outside of China. Anyways, he was telling me about the first time he visited the States. He went to Little Rock, Arkansas (what a bummer first impression!) for a training. He arrived in the US on September 10,2001. The next day he sat in utter confusion because he did not know enough English to understand what had happened. It was not until his wife called from China until he knew what had just happened. September 11.

Can you imagine being in his shoes? A foreigner who speaks little to none of the language around him... surrounded by the misery and outrage of something so tragic.... Over the next few days, he got to experience what sorrow of a great nation felt like. He wept with the Americans. He came back to his home and shared with his family what he saw. He was on the brink of a piece of history. Many Americans will share their stories of 9/11 with their children and grandchildren, but this Chinese man gets to share his rare experience with not only his family, but so many others around him. He gets to offer another point of view. So interesting to hear his thoughts...

I cannot help but wonder if I, too, am on the brink of history. While I pray it is nothing so tragic, will I be able to look back at my time here and see how life in China has changed? What stories will I tell my children one day? What did I experience with the Chinese people? Each day I experience something new. Each day I have a new story. Each day a little piece of history etched into my life. So blessed to be here at this moment in time...

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