Last night my daughter Madison was inducted into the National Honor Society of Franklin High School in El Paso. The induction ceremony was my first real visit to the campus of the high school, and my first real glimpse of Madison’s classmates. We moved to El Paso from a small town in the Panhandle of Texas, so it has been years since we were around the student body of a metropolitan school.
As we entered the room a usher handed us a long list of those students who would be honored. As I scanned the list I realized that the “flat world” observed by Thomas Friedman was alive and well at Franklin High School. Just to give you a glimpse of what I mean let me just share with you a sampling of the last names of the students honored:
Aguayo, Arciniegaaguilar, Aziz, Egger, Ferguson,Garcia, Haddad, Hsiang, Hwang, Janssen, Kim, Kuraweg, Lowrie, Martinez, Nwosu, Nzekewe, Patel, Polinsky, Prochovnik, Schlak, Thai, Toscanoramos, Trevino, Yanez, Yoon, and Yun.
Truly the world has come to us. My daughter on a daily basis is a citizen of the world while she travels the halls of her high school.
From my observation perch, I noticed a collision of cultures when a young Muslim boy came forward to receive his certificate. As you may be aware young Muslim men are not allowed to touch women, so when his escort met him at the end of the row to walk him to the stage she offered her arm, but the politely rejected her offer. When he walked across the stage and received his certificate the NHS officers who were primarily young women offer him a hand shake or a hug, but again he politely declined much to their surprise and dismay. As he walked away I noticed the young women looking at each other with confusion about what had just happened. What had just happened was a crash course into the new realities of our day. We share this planet, and must learn how to live together in understanding and harmony.
So the next time you send off your daughter or son to high school you need to realize you are sending them off to do foreign missions right here at home.