I pray the mark twain quote about how travel changes people and their ideas and beliefs from what they know will happen. there is a group of folks going to Kenya, and they are excited at the adventure, and at the same time nervous with the reality that they don’t know what to really expect. that is the beauty of travel and getting out of one’s comfort zone. I just fear that the trip will be too short for any real systemic change to happen.
It was in Paris France where I came up with the stereotypical view of the American overseas. I joked that you don’t see them first, rather you can hear them from what seems like blocks away. we are noisy as a species and I really don’t know how culturally we appear talk a lot to hear ourselves. is it because we tend to be insecure? or is it that the idea of being alone with ourselves terrifies so many?
what is so terrifying about being alone with yourself as an American? simple, it forces you to come to grips and look at yourself and strip away all the nonsense that the media and a consumer society tells you that you are supposed to be. the more time you spend getting quiet, the more you realize there is a lot about the world that really is a façade or illusion. the idea of being perfect Is not a reality for human beings. one can make a case that the sum of the journey of life is perfect.
all this has me laugh a bit as I was exploring a 3d map of the universe last night and simply blown away with the scale and size of the cosmos. I think the largest strand in the cosmos that is densely packed with galaxies is 100,000 light years across. it just boggles my mind when you consider our own milky way is barreling along at a few hundred thousand miles an hour towards the Andromeda galaxy.
so why is it humans think we are so much? pride? ego? or we happened to be the one group that for now makes better tools than most of the planet.
the funny part of today is that there are 8 people chattering away. they have never taken an long trip like this before, so I am smiling at the excitement of what awaits them in seeing what is new and amazing.
the other part of me simply wishes they would talk quieter, not babble about tv shows and all the crap that is part of their lives here that seems to keep them locked or inside their worldview of being American.
yeah, they are loud. my prayer is that they simple get to experience silence within themselves and realize, “yeah, what can I learn from this silence? why do I want to live in a world of mindless chatter and noise?”
now I am listening to a 8 folks having a loud conversation about television commercials. help. these folks watch way too much television. may the trip provide them the opportunity for a new perspective to life instead of just something to chat about and post on facebook.