By Kelsey Holmes, Greenheart Club Program Assistant
“Simple exchanges can break down walls between us, for when people come together and speak to one another and share a common experience, then their common humanity is revealed.” — United States President, Barack Obama
Cultural exchange is the heart of Greenheart’s mission. By providing programs through Greenheart Travel and CCI Greenheart, members of the Greenheart community reach across (literal) borders to heighten their appreciation for other cultures and broaden their perspectives. Branches of Greenheart like Greenheart Shop and Greenheart Transforms help us see how we can connect with each other and members of the global community. Greenheart Club serves as a launching pad for these branches and a home where community members can share ideas, exchange culture, and connect.
A few months ago, Greenheart Club highlighted what cultural exchange means. Now, we’re shifting our focus to why it matters. As global leaders, it is important to work for the equality and understanding of all – which is exactly what cultural exchange aims to do. As we connect with those of different backgrounds, cultural upbringings and communities than our own, it becomes more and more clear that not only do our differences contribute to a unique and wonderful global society, but that there are often more similarities amongst us than we would expect.
Consider laughter – a universal sign and sound of happiness. This involuntary reaction is not unique to any specific culture, but rather is a unifying factor worldwide. Often, the stories we see in the media focus heavily on our differences; but cultural exchange challenges that in a number of ways:
“We are reminded that we’re joined together by our pursuit of a life that’s productive and purposeful, and when that happens mistrust begins to fade and our smaller differences no longer overshadow the things that we share. And that’s where progress begins.” — United States President, Barack Obama