As you scroll through these stories, you will see many faces. Some of them you may recognize: They are our fellow classmates and faculty members. Some of them you may not recognize: They are the people you pass on the sidewalk.
The Lariat’s goal in writing this semester’s feature issue was not to spark any sort of political commentary or debate. It was not to be controversial, ironic or feign intelligence.
Rather, as we began crafting this paper, we wanted to highlight the diversity of the city that surrounds us. Mingling in and around the so-called Baylor bubble, we have found there to be people with incredible stories. Some of them come from half way around the world — born in cultures many of us Americans will never encounter. Others come from places which are a little closer, such as Central and Southern American countries.
For those of us who have been fortunate enough to travel, we know how much other cultures can change our own perspectives: whether it be how we go about our routines to how we interact with other people on a daily basis. The lessons learned while abroad are the types of lessons you carry with you for the rest of your life.
I’ve been fortunate enough. My parents took me to Europe and Central America several times before I left for college. My fiancee is an immigrant herself, and I have lived in her home country of Finland for months at a time.
This being said, I understand some of us haven’t had the chance to visit a different country. Maybe money was an issue, or internships took precedent over study abroad opportunities.
But as some of us know the impact traveling can have on our personal perspectives, we also know we can gain that same perspective anywhere — no matter what city, country or continent we find ourselves in.
On the other hand, as diverse as our community has become, we realize that we have more in common with our foreign brothers and sisters than we previously thought.
All of us were once children. All of us wish to be loved, to feel joy and to connect with others. All of us.
And all of us are here in Waco. Some hail from nearby cities: Dallas, Houston or Austin. Others come from other states: California, Colorado or Minnesota. Still others come from farther places. And as we continue to learn more about one another, so the gaps between us will shrink. The distances we’ve traveled to get here become irrelevant despite how far we’ve come. The miles shouldn’t separate us, but instead should add to our collective whole: a million miles among us.