Peace Scholar Post: Cate Anderson

Life post-Norway is definitely different, although not in loud ways like major culture shock or a huge change in my life at Luther College. Instead, the things I learned this summer step quietly into my life every once in awhile, pressing down into the imprints they left in me only a few months ago.

In class, my way of approaching the idea of what human rights are and what can be assumed and what should be fought for have shifted and deepened. I think in terms of individuals instead of in abstract lines of thought I read in one of my courses. I remember my friends from the Balkans when I speak, and I imagine how they might react to what I am asserting. These are small changes, but they make a world of difference in how I research and study. 

When you know people who presented you with complexities in their conversations about interventionism or their families’ experiences, there is a certain responsibility that hangs in the mix. I feel responsible to do right by the friends I made at the Nansen Dialogue Center and the International Summer School as I continue life in my American context.

But that doesn’t mean life has to be heavy, in fact, that is almost the exact opposite of what I learned from our Balkans friends. Instead, I’ve learned to appreciate weird little things in life as well. I walk through the Luther Prairie on the way home to see the bees busy pollinating or stay an extra hour after dinner to have a conversation. As Nobel laureate, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has said, “the best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk.” I hope the imprints from this summer never leave me. 
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