Life Moments for Women video produced by the Film, Media & Social Justice Department
of Mount St. Mary's College.
Song "Women of Today" by Faith Rivera & Beth Eichel, performed by Faith Rivera.
Following the presidential elections from abroad has been an interesting and enlightening experience. I read the news daily and am able to watch all the televised debates, so I have managed to stay up to date as much as possible while living in another country.
While I often bring up the elections when talking with those at home, I had little hope for a good conversation on the topic with anyone in France. Even the Americans I know living here are immersed in their new life and haven’t been following the elections very closely. I would have never guessed who the first person would be to bring up the elections, or predicted the conversation that would follow.
I was doing some homework on a bench by the metro when my pen inconveniently ran out. The man next to me noticed as I shook my pen with frustration and offered me one of his own. He was very old, very French, and grinned back at me with a smile that lacked a few teeth. The man had noticed my accent as I thanked him and asked where I was from. When I told him that I was from America, he starting recounting in the most descriptive fashion the day he stumbled upon Bill and Hilary Clinton making a stop in the center of Paris!
After this fascinating narrative, he caught me by surprise once again by bringing up the current elections and asking for my opinion. He then responded with his own perspective that was more informed and insightful then many I would get from my American peers. I was caught off guard by this curious character, but I was very excited to discuss the topic with someone holding such a different perspective than anyone I know.
I’m grateful to have had this out-of-the-blue encounter. It has led me to believe you can never know where a new idea or perspective might come from. The most teaching and remarkable moments of life can often come during unexpected times and with the most unexpected people.
That is why I believe it is essential to have this mindset throughout the election process. If you’re feeling lost, take a minute to clear your head of all the political jargon and look for insight from where you might least expect it.
And most importantly ─ don’t forget to vote!
Life Moments for Women (international) Intern
Graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara, 2012