Bridging cultural differences: One game at a time.

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Through play pursuing a common goal we learn to bond and develop friendship regardless of nationality.

Human beings all share one thing in common. We are all attracted to #happiness. It is the glue that binds us and encourages us to grow and develop. If we learn through pain, it is through happiness we connect. Happiness is a universal language, and it does not rely on spoken word, but rather the signatory of a smile. 

During our game of volleyball very little was spoken, but a lot of pleasurable #emotions were exchanged. I don’t think I have worn a bigger grin on my face in a long time. At first, it felt unusual, probably because in our society we are not encouraged to connect. After a while, it became one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in a long time. 

As the game progressed we began to #share ideas between each other. For example, instead of using words, someone would try hitting the ball using just one finger and we would all copy. Many smiles were exchanged and the pool often rang with laughter as one of us would dive for the ball and miss. We all had a really good time. 

In a world so focused on difference, I can see how important it is we focus on #similarities. By focusing on what makes us happy, we can break down the barriers that divide us and connect on a fundamental level. 

Recently I saw Ben Stiller’s latest movie, “The secret life of Walter Mitty”. At the end of the film, there is a scene where Walter is involved in a game of soccer with sherpas in the Himalayas. Just like my game of volleyball, Walter didn’t need to understand the spoken #language to connect with the people. A simple #smile, laughter and the touch of a hand spoke more than any words could.

Connection is humanities saviour. Relating to each other and sharing similarities will be the strings that pull us closer together. If we do this and share the best parts of ourselves, the future is very bright indeed.

Nick Griffin

Aspiring Actor & Comedian
Disability & Social Justice Advocate

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