The 99%

July 2, 2021

When it comes to culture, Anna Bernsteiner fears not the unknown. Instead, the Low Entropy volunteer writer encourages us to celebrate differences and embrace the unfamiliar.


I have traveled to cities I have never been to, that feel more like home than the place I grew up in. 

I have met people from totally different countries and continents, feeling like I have known them forever.  


Ever thought about the fact that you are a foreigner in about 99% of the world? You are familiar with the place(s) you grew up in, but the rest is new territory for you to explore. 

I have always enjoyed being a foreigner. Living somewhere where nobody knows me, exploring new lands, foods and cultures. Understanding what drives people on the other side of the world.

And yet in current times, it seems that we’ve become more reserved towards others. Building walls and fences, trying to stop immigration instead of encouraging it, and spreading hate in various ways. 


I have always wondered why. Why are humans constantly fighting against each other? Against people with different religions, different skin colors, different cultures? 


There is no simple answer, but what I have gathered so far is that people are scared of the new, different and unknown. They can’t control it. It’s nothing they grew up with. It’s scary. That’s why they fight it. Unfamiliar equals uncomfortable. 


This trend of working against each other rather than with each other is, in my eyes, the worst direction our society can go in.  

Judgement and hate will continue to grow and drive us apart, instead of making us understand and work together. And history has already shown us where this will eventually lead. 


What we actually need is to understand that, fundamentally, people are all the same. Doesn’t matter where you go or where you come from. 

There isn’t much difference between me and someone from India, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Thailand or South Africa. Chances are, we all want to be loved. We want the people we love to be okay. We want to be safe. We all want to have a good life

And yes, we might speak a different language, eat different food, dance to different songs, or wear different costumes, but at the end of the day, we are all the same. 


And still, racism is a huge problem. 

Because we can’t accept our differences and see our similarities. 


We need to be more open to experiencing new cultures, learning about what drives people somewhere far away from where we were born. 

That’s how we close the gap, how we start seeing similarities and how we understand. 

By getting out there, walking in someone else’s shoes for a while. Being more open-minded and remembering that borders are man-made lines. That’s all it is – a social construct. 


So instead of treating each other like we are from different worlds, we need to remember that we all live on the same planet. 

Let’s choose to see each other’s similarities and accept those differences. 


What lessons have you learned from a culture different from your own? Share your stories at a Low Entropy get-together or leave a quick comment below – we love to hear voices from all over the world!

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