Discovering Differences

Our lives are full of changes. We effortless glide through the little ones. The ones we choose to make are often quite easy. Sometimes, we don’t even notice that we have changed patterns or processes. The choices and decisions we’ve made were merely responses to our environment.

Sit back a minute and consider what you have done today, yesterday, this week. Were there differences in your pattern of behavior or in a process you used to accomplish something? Did you change your mind about something you thought to be true? Did you learn something new that amazed you?

Consider things that are as simple as boiling an egg or more complex things like changing the roads you use to get to a frequent destination. Consider what you expected for the seasonal weather. Did it change from your expectations? Have you tried a new food? Did you meet someone new and interesting?

What if you were physically removed from your comfort zone? A move across country can be unsettling and strange. Consider the differences you would notice if you were living and studying in a different country. How would your behaviors and thinking change in either case?

As I admit on my web site, I love diversity. I enjoy diverse ways of thinking. For me, that’s been a good thing.  My life has been full of changes and diversity, including earning my graduate degree in another country. Even though it was challenging, I have enjoyed all the changes.

My primary enjoyment has been discovering and learning about the differences – and the similarities – that exist in the world. That learning has broadened my thinking. I see things from different perspectives; perspectives beyond those of my childhood.

To help provide others with the benefit of discovering differences, I created a scholarship fund to help pay the expenses of studying in another country. For my birthday, or any time you feel inspired by something different, perhaps you could make a donation to the fund and be part of expanding the world for others.

Or, perhaps, you know of a student who plans to study outside the USA. They can apply for some supplemental funds from this new, but growing, fund. For now, because of tax purposes, the scholarship is only available to students in Frederick County. When I’m merely a memory, the eligibility will open to students from other places.

Karen S. Justice Scholarship for Study Abroad Fund

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