Today, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Lena who heads the Paintbrush Diplomacy effort at Berkeley. Paintbrush Diplomacy is a wonderful program aimed at promoted global cultural understanding in the next generation through the exchange of artwork. For practical purposes, I would be delivering this package to a group of disadvantaged children in Hong Kong. I would then supervise these children in painting artwork to a specified them which this year is related to the environment. The artwork painted in Hong Kong would be brought back and then separated for other diplomats to deliver to other parts of the world.

Upon opening the package I was delighted to see artwork from a 10 year old Nigerian girl which depicted her house. I was truly delighted at the global reach of actions. By acting as a conduit in the exchange of ideas, I felt to some sense of the word very excited with this mini project I would be undertaking on the side in Hong Kong. On reflection, looking at the simple drawings by these children from different parts of the world reminded me of how young and naive I was only 10 years earlier. Though the artwork all depicted the theme of the environment, it was interesting to see the nuanced depictions by children as a result of cultural differences.

Though this diplomacy may be insignificant in the greater scale of the things, if in some way my actions have in some visceral form lessened cultural prejudices and helped the implant the seeds of global citizenship in the children these pieces of artwork reach, then it will have indeed been a fulfilling experience.

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