I like to consider myself a world traveler. It’s a so-so accurate statement. I’ve seen quite a bit but there is so much more to see. And I’m already 50! Traveling is how I’m working toward global peace. The more we understand past and present cultures, the more we realize that we are all the same same but different – a Thai saying.
It’s amazing to think the USA has been around for a mere 240 some years. We are a youth at best in comparison to these countries and cultures that have 2000+ years of history. Here are a few musings on things that have stood the test of time on a global and historical level.
WAR: You would have thought civilization would have grown out of this one. We haven’t. Just last week, I heard tales of Viking sieges in 900s, War of the Roses in 1400s, and German bombings in 1900s. Crazy! Humans are still willing to kill massive amounts of people to win.
WAR & RELIGION: One of the most disconcerting notions is the amount of wars fought over religion: Catholics vs Protestants (Medieval England AND Today’s Northern Ireland), Arabs/Muslims vs Jews, Hitler vs Jews, The Christian Crusades, etc. Why? In the past and present, people kill for God. I can’t fathom the rationale behind believing one religion is the religion for everyone. And the fervor is so absolute that people are willing to shed blood for it. Religion should broaden a heart not narrow it.
RELIGION: People want a higher power to put their faith in. Human leaders are fallible. A Divine presence is infinite and stronger. People may call the Divinity by different names: God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Pazand, Brahman. It’s the same concept. People have a need to believe something beyond the mortal world cares for them. They want to trust that this life or the next will be better because of their faith in a benevolent and all encompassing force.
FAMILY DRAMA: Throughout the ages, no family is perfect! Blood ties don’t ensure anything. There has always been jealousy over what one person has in abundance, whether it’s a parent’s affection, inherited fortune or even life contentment. Back in the day if a sibling was pissed off, she could banish, behead or imprison her sister. Nowadays, in a gentler society, it’s a defriending on Facebook or ‘not speaking to’ punishment. The drama is less bloody.
ECONOMIC DISPARITY: There has always been and always will be rich and poor people. And it never was or will be fair. Even though Americans have technically gotten away from birthright designating a noble or common existence, what family you are born into has a huge impact. A parent’s economic level determines residential upbringing, educational opportunities, healthcare benefits and networking capability. Wealth or lack of wealth perpetuates a lifestyle cycle. Here in the USA we like to believe anyone can be the next Donald Trump. Yet, as a people, we’d rather our fortune be delivered via lottery or a son’s NFL draft.
GOVERNMENT WOES: Anywhere I go, people are disenchanted with leadership. Even in Scotland where the folk are sweet, they still complain about the clowns in charge. That similarity is rooted in trust issues. The difference between past and present is we are educated people. We understand history. We see the implications of government actions. And in the USA, we can vocalize our disenchantment without penalty of death.
CONNECTEDNESS: People want to share their experiences. In Ireland, they drink, sing and tell stories…simultaneously. In Morocco, their greeting was a genuine, “you are welcome.” In Guatemala, the kids followed us around like their favorite new playthings. People hope for a personal connection. And even though I’m the tourist, the locals want me to be the gateway to their virtual visit to the USA. They want to understand beyond their piece of the world. And that’s wonderful!
Globally speaking, it is curiosity that will build a better world. I am just one person in a big city, in a large country, in a huge world. There is so much more out there to experience and learn from.
The more I live – the more I learn.
The more I learn – the more I realize
The less I know.
Each step I take –
(Papa, I’ve a voice now!)Each page I turn –
(Papa, I’ve a choice now!)Each mile I travel only means
The more I have to go.
What’s wrong with wanting more?
If you can fly – then soar!
With all there is – why settle for
just a piece of sky? – “Piece of Sky” from YENTIL