This morning I enjoyed hanging out (and hanging in) with my two beautiful Goddaughters, Jade Lauren Howard and Kirstin Fouche'. Every time we talk and hang out together they teach me something, keeping their Godfather relevant with the "cool agenda" of their generation, and continually marveling me with their wisdom, poise, brilliance, aspiration and pure intelligence. This morning I might have taught them a little something about pursuing their dreams, which included traveling the world.
As we looked at the morning news and watched what was unfolding in the world around us, and I talked with both of them of their desires to "touch" this global world we live in, I asked them a basic but perplexing question; what it possible to literally "touch" the world, without ever leaving the United States? Now, my two girls are almost never at a loss for words. They have grown up genuinely curious about the world around us, and have knowledge and experience beyond their years. But the answer this time was simply a pair of shrugged shoulders.
The answer to this question can not only open up the world to them, but to every young person with a vision for the world, but maybe not so much the budget to get there (at least not right now).
The answer to this question, is yes. Yes, you literally can travel and "touch" the world without ever leaving the United States.
Every Embassy in the United States, and specifically all the Embassies located in our nation's capital of Washington, D.C, clearly more than 100 countries, represents not only their country but is literally foreign soul. Yes, foreign soul in the United States.
When you set foot on the grounds of the Australian Embassy, as was Operation HOPE's honor a year or so ago when the Australian Embassy hosted a group of Operation HOPE leaders in celebration of our HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit held in June, 2009, we were setting foot and having dinner on foreign soil.
When you walk into the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., you are experiencing France and walking on french soil. And so on, and so on.
Never stop dreaming big dreams, and never mute your dreams. We are truly all global citizens, all inter-connected in this small world we share.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama