At Disney World, there is a firework show that is called Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. During this firework show, there is a song that plays called We Go On. The entire premise of the show is that all of the different people from all around the world are united in an effort to go on. To go on through the hard times and to try and fight to always have better days ahead. This firework show takes place in the park called Epcot. And, Epcot is made up of a handful of pavilions that represent international countries such as Germany, China, Mexico, Morocco, France, and more.
All in all, I find it admirable that a theme park can create an environment where international cultures are celebrated. People, no matter where you go, are really not that different. In any city in the world, you are sure to find children playing, a couple in love, and a man or woman hard at work. There are several common threads of humanity that bind us all together. And sometimes, something so simple as a firework show is what can “illuminate” that for us.
Oftentimes, we forget that even though we are all from different cultures, we are all similar. Typically, the only barrier that exists between us is language. But, language is something that one can overcome. Take a class, study abroad, invest in a language learning service, or even seek free tutoring from your local college. A simple hello to a stranger in another language can open the door for new friendships.
I found this firework show to be incredibly potent for the time that we live in. Oftentimes we isolate ourselves as a country and society because we are too busy to think about others. As Americans, we gained a lot of culture from others. We are the melting pot- made up of some of the best parts of every society. And we should always make a motion to thank them for that. As we enter the Holiday season, remember to think about how much we are impacted by different cultures. Think for example of the Holiday Tree, this tradition of decorating a tree is hailed from Germany– and yet we use it each year come wintertime to spread joy.
If you happen to be in a position where you have an opportunity to reach out to a foreigner: do it. Befriend the foreign exchange student in your class, join a pen pal website, or read books about different cultures. There are a lot of things we can do to become a more global community. I am very thankful that there are firework shows such as that at Epcot to promote this movement for international cooperation in an effort to move forward with our lives. I find it very admirable and hope to live by the same premise. Remember, we all go on together.