Leaving Romania is a bittersweet experience for me. On one hand I can’t wait to return to the familiarity of home and, on the other hand, I’m going to miss the amazing souls I’ve crossed paths with. I have taught and been taught here in Bucharest. I’ve experienced open hearts welcoming me in, and closed minds trapped by their own myopic ideations.
Just as I had experienced in many other parts of the world, to speak in absolutes is to engage ignorance. To say that “all” of anything is good or bad is an abstraction that limits our ability to truly see one another. The propaganda that I grew up with that Communism is bad, Democracy is good is an infants entry level understanding to how societies function and the laws of political engagement are formulated.
I will not white wash the experience that so many Romanians had under an oppressive political system but I, also, will not ignore the amazing strides in construction of infrastructure and social identity that others harken back to pre-revolution years.
I have tried to spend more time listening than speaking, which is difficult since I make my living by speaking. I love, respect and appreciate each person who was willing to share their personal pain in giving me their points of view on the history of their nation and it’s transition.
I am definitely departing Bucharest much more informed than when I arrived a week ago.
I am a learner, a life long learner and I am always seeking experiences that enhance my capacity to understand and empathize with the other souls I inhabit this planet with. Romania offered me this opportunity and, for this, I am truly grateful.
Thank you to each and every person whose paths I crossed on this journey. I am richer for it and I hope, in some way, that I have been able to contribute something to your lives.