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Perspective: Bursting out of my Midwest bubble

Amy Humphries

The world is a big place. Growing up in the Midwest, I assumed that everyone enjoyed casseroles, ate salads that had more Cool Whip than vegetables, and knew how to use the word “ope” in a sentence. As it turns out, my experience is not universal.

The world is bigger than me. The world is full of challenges I have never faced and joys I have never felt. The world is infinitely more complicated, convoluted, and complex. When we only learn one version of history or view the world through one lens, it becomes too easy to lose the empathy and passion we need to engage with the world as it truly is.

The more we learn about other people, other cultures, and other lives, the harder it becomes to assume that our way is the only way. How many wars, how many injustices, how much pain, intentional and unintentional comes from assuming that everyone should be alike? How much suffering comes from those with power and those with privilege assuming that everyone who is good is just like them?

We need to step outside our stories. We need to engage with a world that is beautifully diverse and wonderfully complex. We need to let go of our fear of what is different. The world is waiting.

Lynnea Erickson Laskowski is a former resident (and forever enthusiast) of the DeKalb area. Originally from Iowa, Lynnea moved to DeKalb in 2011 to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She currently lives in Washington DC with her toothless dog.