“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Several years ago, I spoke with a Peruvian woman who lived on one of the wondrous floating islands of Lake Titicaca about our hopes for our children. Like me, she wanted hers, who happened to be playing nearby, to have a good education and fulfilling opportunities in life. Before we parted, she asked to see a picture of my boys, which I was most happy to share.
Later I was reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s North to the Orient—the 1935 best-selling account of the famous couple’s 1931 survey flight from New York to Tokyo. She writes of an encounter at a stop near Kamchatka, Russia, where she met a Russian zoologist whose son was in Moscow, and another local. Somehow, communicating with snippets of words in at least three different languages and assorted gestures, they shared a quite similar moment. Asked to show photos of her son, Charles Jr., Anne writes, “When I left, my boy seemed nearer to me because they had seen his picture and had talked of him. Perhaps the zoologist also felt closer to her boy, for she gave me a letter for him, to post in Tokyo.”
These are the moments when you realize the lovely human connections taking place anytime and anywhere in the world. You realize these are the kinds of timeless international connections that can bridge cultures, foster art and innovation, stimulate global thinking—or perhaps simply produce positive feeling, the very essence of bonhomie.
I am regularly amazed by the clients, volunteers and stakeholders I have met through The International Center—as well as my multicultural, multilingual colleagues who include writers, poets, a pilot, bikers, marathoners, musicians, scientists, PhDs and more—even one who has summited Mount Kilimanjaro! The INTLCTR is launching INTLCXN (International Connection), with hope of providing another opportunity for our organization to bring people of diverse nationalities, professions, experience, generation, gender and more together to connect in an effort toward mutual understanding of what unites, as well as what differentiates us.
And because we are not just anywhere in the world—but together in Indianapolis at present—then let’s explore together what this city and our surrounding communities have to offer and enjoy learning from one another.
So whether you are in Indiana for three days, three months, three years or indefinitely—then through our INTLCXN activities, we hope you will feel at home in Indiana and that this will be the feeling you never forget in the Hoosier heartland.
Please visit our website to learn more about INTLCXN and to register for upcoming events.
By: Joan Monninger, International Relocations Coordinator and creator of INTLCXN, The International Center