Every day, I meet amazing and incredible individuals from all over the world. A Buddhist monk from Kathmandu, Nepal, a Khazaki five star chef working in Dubai, a retired Italian high school headmaster, a Kurdish student in Iraq whose brother is fighting ISIS, a Libyan woman forced to give up finishing her Master’s degree in pharmacology because her university was destroyed in her war-torn country, a Chinese girl working on her Master’s in Russian in St. Petersburg, a Pakistani hip-hop rapper, a Bangladeshi guy who is a full-time soldier in the Kuwaiti army… I could go on and on…

They all have interesting and unique stories. And while the barrier of distance remains, the barrier of language has been removed, allowing communication with people in places never before possible.

Too often today, our views of various people’s and cultures around the world is shaped by the modern commercial media in very one-dimensional and often negative ways. Whether it’s from the 24 hour “news” stations, or the Hollywood “entertainment” machine, too many people have based their views of entire cultures or countries on these stereotypical and usually negative portrayals.

There is a very simple way to dispel this illusion… Talk to someone out there. Make a friend. Reach out and say, “Hello!”. In these volatile, terror-filled times, we could all use more friends and fewer enemies.

Profiles From the Planet Earth

Tengiz

Location: Zabaykaisky Kray,

Mohammed

Location: Mecca,

Mark Samson

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio ,

Maria

Location: Moscow,

Lujza

Location: Debrecen,

Kaiyong

Location: Shanghai, ,

Fabien

Location: Paris,