What We All Share

Around the world, people are fundamentally the same. No matter where you are, in which country you are visiting or living, you will find numerous similarities. Of course, we all know there are differences (I am sure I will address this in a later post), but at the core, we are all alike. Let me explain.

When I lived in Utrecht and was commuting to Amsterdam on a regular basis, I noticed several universal traits. As I walked along the cobblestone streets to the train station, people were swiftly walking or biking by, in a hurry to get to work. At the station, the atmosphere was even more alive, like a beehive. I bumped into many of the same passengers each morning, sometimes waving and nodding a brief hello as recognition.

In the train, some munched on their homemade peanut butter or cheese sandwiches (not the two ingredients together, mind you), while others purchased a croissant or piece of fruit beforehand at the station, in the few minutes they had until the train departed. Sometimes I’d catch someone doze off en route, but most were busy checking their email, reading or preparing for the busy day ahead. What’s more, I noticed coffee was, and is, a staple. It seems to be a universal truth across cultures that people love and need their caffeine.

BikingAs I biked in Amsterdam, weaving through rush hour traffic, I saw the mothers and fathers dropping their kids off at school, tiny, little fingers interlaced with the parent’s. This sight melted my heart. To this day when I see a moment like that, it takes me back to my childhood, when I would go to school and my Mom or Dad would drop me off, kiss me goodbye and wish me a great day. It’s very much the same here in the Netherlands.

Over the last four years, I’ve seen young couples kissing on a bench along the historic canals. I’ve seen elderly couples holding hands, taking a mid-day stroll or just waiting for the tram. I’ve seen young children climbing on a play structure, shrieking in pleasure. I’ve seen families gathered around the dinner table, sharing a meal together and engaging in conversation. These sights, familiar and comforting, are ones you can find everywhere, not just in Amsterdam.

People are people. Amsterdam is home to 178 nationalities, and while we may have been raised in different environments, in general we share the same emotions, stresses and joys. We want to do well. We simply want to live, laugh and love. It’s part of being human, no matter from which culture we come.

9 replies
  1. Monique
    Monique says:

    This is beautiful! Indeed, we are all the same, it doesn’t matter where we are from. Wish we could all get along and be tolerant with each other!

    Reply
  2. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    This is a beautiful reflection Jessica. I think the first time I truly noticed the same, was when I met my husband’s family and hometown. There are some small differences of course, but the core values and habits are pretty much the same. I find it often in children’s behavior in different countries: the way they play, what they do on their way to school and even the tantrums! If only everyone saw that people are pretty much the same everywhere!

    Reply
  3. Jessica Lipowski
    Jessica Lipowski says:

    Thank you so much for reading the article, Monique and Sandra. It is wonderful to hear you share similar thoughts. I wish others could share this perspective, as well. One day perhaps!

    Reply
  4. Cate
    Cate says:

    You’re so right, it’s important to look at our similarities. Understanding the differences can be equally important at times, but you don’t want to get bogged down by them. Realizing that some things are indeed universal – like need for caffeine! – is crucial to creating understanding!

    Thanks for sharing your blog post in the #MyGlobalLife Link-Up!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] be bought via her website, and I for one cannot wait to get a copy! Check out some of her articles: What We All Share, The Top 5 Reasons to Visit Amsterdam and Fairytale Bruges on Holiday […]

  2. […] be bought via her website, and I for one cannot wait to get a copy! Check out some of her articles: What We All Share, The Top 5 Reasons to Visit Amsterdam and Fairytale Bruges on Holiday […]

  3. […] How Does Travel Inspire Me? I personally believe travel can make the world a better place. By exploring the world and visiting new countries, we as a society are exposed to new cultures. By meeting new people and interacting with other cultures, we see and hear different perspectives. Every experience opens our eyes in new ways. No matter where we are or who we are with, we are constantly presented with the opportunity to discover and learn something new. Travel brings us together. With all that is going on in the world today, we need to remember – more so now than ever – that we share more values than we may think. Travel reminds us how similar we are. […]

  4. […] appeared on Jessica Lipowski’s website. Read the post here, titled “What We All Share.” https://jessicalipowski.com/similarities/ and follow her on Twitter @JLipowski. She is also a host of two weekly twitter chats: a cultural […]

  5. […] appeared on Jessica Lipowski’s website. Read the post here, titled “What We All Share.”https://jessicalipowski.com/similarities/ and follow her on Twitter @JLipowski. She is also a host of two weekly twitter chats: a cultural […]

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