Mr. Wang’s Story

On June 5, 2013, in Activities, by Catharine Steffens

By Jack Bruner ’15 As our China trip continues on with new places, new foods, and new people, I have started to take the time to reflect on what we have already seen. Of all things amazing things we have experienced, the single most significant thing to me was Mr. Wang’s story about his grandfather. On our second tour day in China we visited the Bell and Drum towers as well as some of the Hu Tong’s North of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Beforehand however, we ate lunch in a small home over 200 years old just meters away from the Bell Tower itself. The house was owned by Mr. Wang who prepared an amazing lunch for us. One of the dishes was many small orange meatballs that tasted really good. He then told us that his grandfather served these special meatballs to emperor Guangxi over 100 years ago. Guangxi was the last emperor of China. When Mr. Wang said this it really hit me, this is history. We are eating history, in a house full of history, in a city full of history. In a country of 1.3 billion citizens, people still have their stories, their history, and their “15 seconds of fame.” My initial thought was “oh, wow, that a cool story” but by the end of the day it had transformed into something entirely new. Everybody has a history no matter if you are a business man in Phoenix, a janitor in Los Angeles, or an elderly cook in the center of Old Beijing. It is up to us to realize it, and appreciate everyone for who they are and where they have come from in order to get a new perspective of the world in someone else’s shoes. Mr. Wang’s story is truly one of a kind, one in 1.3 billion. Reinforcing the overused phrase, “everybody is different”. Since then I have really tried to view situations and people from a perspective where they are an individual with an individual history.

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