The extended consciousness that pours through all of us pulls my mind into the dichotomy of human compassion and dominance. In war, our young soldiers have to deal with the pain of children they recently orphaned. Travelers struggle with the haunting eyes of the homeless while the taxi driver navigates the route to their resort destination. Those of us living in safe shelters and eating three squares a day can feel guilty about those in less fortunate countries that often do not have meals or a roof over their head.
Mark Twain states that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Travel can be literally visiting new areas filled with people with different perspectives and ideas. For me, visiting the south was like entering a foreign country. But, I soon embraced their rich, deep mentality. The Southern culture is imbued with a broad, slow heart beat that swells with excitement for family, shared events and celebration of culture.
Overseas, each country has diverse cultures, but have a distinct over-riding sense. In Japan, their language, spoken and written seem to reflect the ideals of the people. They are visual, embued with unspoken emotions, principals and ideals. Each stroke of the Kanji (their writing characters) can hold many interpretations–some cannot even be translated into simple words.
In Mexico the exuberant and passionate nature of the cities and villages pour over into the colors, designs, fabrics, and homes.
Travel can also be figurative. Burrowing into history, current events, cultural connections, and personal recounts of people in history is a way of traveling through shared human experiences.
As Henry Miller said “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Recent events here at home have made me examine where we came from. I originally was going to write this as a travel blog, but I am going to take a small diversion and instead travel where we came from as a nation. As a whole, “Republican,” “Democrat,” “Independent,” “Tea-Party,” or “I couldn’t give a ***” we have to decide whether we are going to claim the positive changes that or country has sometimes reluctantly embraces. Or were they just temporary shelters, like a house of cards, that we will allow to tumble in the winds of public opinion.