June 07, 2022
A while ago, I found myself in a place with people from at least 20 different countries and I immediately thought that the biggest thing that separated us was the language barrier. Nevertheless, we were all willing to overcome this obstacle and willing to connect, get to know each other, exchange ideas and collaborate. But what shattered my view of the language barrier was a "different" type of quarantine and the 11 special people who accompanied me on one of the most beautiful journeys that all of a sudden COVID-19 gave us.
Growing up and perhaps because of some social stereotypes, people tend to categorize others based on the criterion of diversity, whatever that means, or even more tragically we have become accustomed to feeling different, resulting in fear of socializing, alienating ourselves or not believing in our potential, so we tend to overtry in order to prove ourselves. After all, it is not unknown that when you feel different or when they identify you as ‘’different’’, you have to work at belonging, you have to be really helpful, funny, anything to appear cool for the crowd you want to hang out with and, of course, smart (but let’s admit it, we all sound smarter in our native language). The problem with that is that when we label someone as different, it dehumanizes them in a way. They become ‘’the other’’, so either we don’t make the effort to get to know them or we find it difficult to identify with each other.
The other funny thing with us, people, is that when unfortunate and unpleasant events take place we forget the differences that used to separate us and we gather together as a unity. That was exactly the case with my 7-day ‘’different’’ type of quarantine. When we learned that we had covid and had to stay in mandatory quarantine in a government hotel, first, we were shocked, numb and frustrated at least. But when the power of acceptance kicked in, I had an epiphany. The language barrier wasn’t important anymore, it shattered into crumbles because we had this special thing in common, that all of us are human beings. And every human is thirsty for love, comfort, friendship, support, acceptance, connection and learning. Therefore, without the mistaken distractions, it was revealed to me that we all shared the same powerful and most meaningful language of all, and that is the language of being a human, the language of being a human in need and everyone can speak that language.
Trust, intuition, faith are all universal truths that guide us through life and most of the time lead us to the right destination. But freedom, openness, adaptability are traits that we have to conquer so that our hypothetical differences won’t make us different, but special. Being special also holds power, because you can be unique and you can express the entire spectrum of your inner self. And when many unique human beings gather together and connect, something beautiful and profound is born, that has to do with the art of sharing, the magic of polyphony, the blessing of learning about different cultures, the beauty of unity, the force of a new friendship and the ability to create happiness and light in the darkest of times. Afterall, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
In conclusion, what I would like to share, because of my experience, is that humans hold the most amazing and rebellious superpower of all, and that is the superpower of having a choice. We can choose to be noble, loving and caring. We can take advantage of our ability to positively influence each other. We can choose to be real and open and well-intentioned. We are powerful and ‘’crazy’’ enough to reverse dystopian situations by creating charming and alluring paradoxes like the one of my ‘’beautiful, appealing and fun quarantine’’. And that is exactly where the proof that being human contains its own magic lies. Ultimately, everyone should realize or remember that humans are the most lavish, most precious and everlasting source of inspiration and that’s what Dawid, Ela, Julie, Johann, Deia, Enni, Borna, Emil, Eliz, Gizem and Jesse were to me.
I’m Stella, 23 years old and I study Psychology. If you ever meet me, fortunately or not, you’ll get that I’m a member of the Society CCA (cringe, creepy, awkward). If you ask my friends, the “wimpies” will tell you that I talk too much, that I’m a bit stubborn and that shame is an unknown word for me, but everyone will agree that I’m surrounded by a lovely madness. I will reveal that I love the sea, trips, night rides in the car, cinema, poetry, jazz music and food. Jellybeans, ice cream and lollipops make me happy. Acceptance and freedom are two of the most important virtues for me. I would be a witch in another life (or am I already?).
A 21-year-old translation aficionado, lost in her own chaos, plans to find herself in every part of the world. A language and nature lover who finds peace in art and adventure. Following favorite verses of romanticists and gothic writers you may find her on mountain peaks and cat neighborhoods. Her greatest passion: to learn new things and live every moment to the fullest!
English Literature undergrad with more dreams than she can handle. Passionate feminist growing more cynical by the day, and defender of the Oxford comma. Lover of fantasy novels, Greek poetry, Jane Austen, and Argentine rock music– her tastes are almost as chaotic as her mind! Dreams of travelling, connecting with women from every corner of the world, and listening to their stories.