Thursday, January 31, 2013

Travel II

"From the time I was a child I have been an inquisitive doubter. I needed to feel it, taste it, hear it, try it when it came to anything others tried to tell describe to me. An example is that I could intellectually accept that the Holocaust was real and evil. But, standing in Nuremberg, on Hitler's parade grounds, in front of the reviewing stand, on a windswept, dreary day in November, I could FEEL the evil that permeated the place.


It is a shame that all American kids don't have the opportunity to visit Gettysburg and Arlington to see and feel what sacrifice and honor is.

Seeing pictures of the Mona Lisa in a coffee table book, I can appreciate its mystery and beauty. Seeing it in person at the Louve you FEEL her eyes. You see the texture of the paint.

I didn't want my world view to be filtered through the perception and biases of journalists or politicians. I SAW and felt poverty in Haiti. We are so naive in America. Our pets eat and sleep better than most of the world's children. Americans have no concept of poverty. You will never convince me that we have poverty in America despite what the journalists and political folks want us to believe.

Compared to the wealthy in America, you could agree there are less fortunate people here but poverty? It's almost laughable when you compare what we think of as poverty to the world's standards.

I have sought medical treatment in Canada while traveling. Our leaders would have you believe that any system of socialized medicine is sub par and access is limited. Their system was just fine.

We are being routed through Dubai on our return flight next month. For five hours (not much time I admit) I will see first hand what it is like to be woman in a Muslim country. I will be able to experience for myself and make my own opinion, not that of some journalist or writer with a political agenda.

I am not saying that travel is the only way to broaden one's horizon, and I feel sincerely blessed to go where I've been, but I will say I was motivated to go looking for myself because I was tired of the small mindedness of people who had an opinion about everything and everyone and had barely left their home county, much less their state or country . They speak with such authority yet their authority is derived from second or third hand knowledge.

Several in my birth family members are those I describe above. It never occurs to them to seek knowledge on their own. Maybe they are afraid of something besides the plane ride?

Ed.

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