1. Education and travel should broaden us – alerting us to the complexity, wonder, and struggle that marks human life. When we go home they should sensitize us to both the shortcomings and the gifts of the places where we live.
2. Education and travel should challenge us. All truth is God’s truth. Xenophobia identifies the truth exclusively with “me and my tribe.” Mindless relativism lazily assumes that everything is a shade of gray. Travel and education teach us that mature human beings make commitments in the face of unanswered and unanswerable questions that give their lives integrity.
3. Education and travel should teach us to learn what we can, where we can — and they should teach us to do it with gratitude and humility.
4. Education and travel should make us quick to ask questions and slow to judge. To be critical is to ask thoughtful, incisive questions: Where did this idea come from? What was its inspiration? What was the worldview that gave it birth?How does this idea cohere with what I already know to be true or take to be true? If it coheres with what I know, how does it amplify or complement what I already know? If it doesn’t cohere with what I know to be true are there assumptions I should reconsider, or are there good reasons it doesn’t resonate with what I have concluded is reliable and durable? Where will this or that idea take us? Ideas have consequences and bad ideas often have unintended consequences. Follow the logic of the ideas to which you are exposed. Judgmental people don’t do this at all. They operate categorically and on the basis of prejudice, rejecting groups of ideas and people.