Immigrant Gains: Strength and Experience

I'm back from a school visit to Bowen Elementary School in Newton. After discussing some of the losses associated with a displaced life, I asked sixty fourth-graders, "Can you imagine any gains that come with living between cultures?"

"You gain strength from overcoming a challenge," one girl answered quickly.

"You have the experience of knowing what it's like to be new," another boy said right after that.

"You get to know two cultures really well." Another fast, brilliant answer.

Ten-year-olds get it. If only we could retain the power of imagining ourselves in another's skin.