As I was preparing for the first semester of my Junior year of college, one that would be spent in Austria, I was instructed by many people in my small hometown to:
- Not drink the water there.
- Have plenty of hand sanitizer.
- Take soap with you.
- Always stay with Americans.
There was a sense of fear behind many of the warnings. In my head, I thought I was going to be surrounded by barbarians for four months. Unclean peoples who drink contaminated water and have never seen soap.
Instead, what I found was not barbaric, but beautiful.
It was the human person.
Just as I walk, talk, have friends and emotions, so did the Europeans I encountered over course of the semester. Sure, their customs and language are different (and 80% of the time while traveling I had no idea what people were saying to me or about me), but the human being, the human heart, is one and the same.
I witnessed suffering, joy, sadness, excitement, and desire for truth, beauty and goodness. In the process, this unfounded suspicion I somehow developed over the course of my life began to dissipate.
The inherent goodness of the human person cannot be denied or quenched by fear.
Grassroots Films, the company that produced the vocations video Fishers of Men, now has another DVD out. The Human Experience is a beautiful film that highlights the points I just made. Check out the trailer below...We will aim to show this video during a Movie Night in February.