Last year, I had to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. This little detail was not listed on the itinerary for the photography workshop I was attending. In the past, I would have found a way to avoid the walk and, in turn, missed an incredible experience.
The truth is I am afraid of heights, but that was only part of the reason for my anxiety. The other - I was afraid to admit to a group of people I had just met that I was scared. I didn’t want to be perceived as different. I’m okay with unique, but not different.
In our society today, it is easier to point out our differences than acknowledge our sameness. Easy is the perfect out; for not being willing to learn or accept circumstances or cultures that are different than our own.
I am sharing a favorite quote by writer and artist, Austin Kleon. He says, “Be nice (the world is a small town).” His quote reminds us that a little kindness and respect go a long way when we meet people living in cultures different that our own.
This is one of the examples I use when talking about life in both the rural and urban cultures.
I was raised in a neighborhood, a rural community, called Bruning, Nebraska. I have friends who were raised in a neighborhood, an urban community called Brooklyn, New York. See the pattern?
It has been an incredible experience to live in both the rural and urban cultures the past few years. Through these experiences, I discovered my passion to help create better understanding of dynamics between these cultures.
When I was a little kid, I had to walk across a bridge over the Little Blue River. I was afraid and didn’t want to tell the other kids I was afraid of heights. I wanted to see what was on the other side. One of the older kids saw my fear and, without saying a word, he took my hand. Little did I know being brave enough to cross that bridge would be the first steps on my journey from the Blue to Brooklyn and back.
Using words and images, I explain my passion to create better understanding between rural and urban culture.