Living and Learning for Myself
I am proud to live in a free country, and strive to welcome people from any background, to allow them the freedoms and self-actualisation we allow ourselves to have.
“In North Korea, I lived for Kim Jong Il. In England I live for myself”. This is a statement made by a student I was teaching English to, whilst training and developing myself as an English teacher. I never expected to be so humbled, inspired, and sometimes despairing from this line of work. I was working with refugees in a small city in the English Midlands. I met many refugees of varying abilities, yet I was interested to help Joo, a refugee from North Korea. He had no previous exposure to Western Culture, or natively spoken English. I began to teach him in my spare time, working on phonics, talking about various different topics, one day we did a lesson on different inventions, when they were invented and by whom. His knowledge of such things were limited, and this served to remind me, what people are taught and told by their governments are not the reality. Joo continues to be an inspiration to me, as he struggles to fit into a society which gives him so much freedom to be himself, yet finding a new identity in a new culture must be a huge mountain to climb. Meeting someone who sees my society through fresh eyes, leads me to reevaluate the good and bad aspects of my own society. I am sorry we are so individualistic, but the diversity in England must be a good thing, in allowing people to express themselves and be their own person. I am proud to live in a free country, and strive to welcome people from any background, to allow them the freedoms and self-actualisation we allow ourselves to have.
by Lindsey, Netherlands
posted: Wednesday, 18th June, 2014