Friday, October 30, 2015

Travel is Fatal to Prejudice, Bigotry and Narrow-mindedness

The more I live, the more I'm learning that I don't want to settle down in any one place for the rest of my life. Curiosity overwhelms me, and perhaps after I take one complete, leisurely lap around the planet then I'll be more content with my understanding of the world and more able to find one place that satisfies me for the long term.

I'm driven in part by the truth in this quote from Mark Twain:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

I desire to have "broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things". I believe the world would be a better, more peaceful place if more of us, especially us Americans with our big stick, used travel as a means to better understand our fellow man.

None of us chooses where we are born, and yet we almost entirely ascribe lofty patriotic ideals upon whatever happens to be the nation of our birth. It's called brainwashing and it's usually not meant with ill intent, unless you happened to live in Korea north of the 38th parallel after WWII. But all nations use propaganda to encourage patriotism among their people and it's important for all of us to understand that and seek different perspectives.

Soon I will become a homeless traveler, owning nothing more than that which I can carry on my back. At age 45 it feels like I'm beginning the second half of my life and I feel prepared. I was given a good (for its time) formal education and have augmented that with many more personal studies of my own. I have some wisdom and I have some money and I have many questions.

I'm ready to go.


--cl said...

Wow where are you going???

Kirk Ahlberg said...

Good question. See latest post here: