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I recently had to take a trip to Germany. It has been more than ten years since making my last international trip. I now have a renewed sympathy for non-English speaking visitors and residents in the United States.

I didn't have it as bad as it could have been. Many of the businesses that I visited spoke English as a second language. What amazed me was how patient and helpful those that couldn't speak English were to me. I was able to go where I wanted and get what I needed with relative ease. It didn't matter if we spoke different languages because we worked out other ways to communicate. Contrast that to some experiences I have witnessed in the United States. I have watched non-English speaking people intentionally ignored or dealt with without any patience. I have also heard people say they shouldn't be in the United States if they can't speak English.

Do you want to make the world a better place by doing even little things? My recent trip to Germany was proof that you don't have to speak the same language to help others. The next time you see someone that may be visiting from another country, go out of your way to smile and greet him or her. Spend time finding a way to help them if they appear to need something. I am confident you will make their day better and yours as well.

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