A complicated look at uncomplicated topics to ameliorate your day.
Adam Braun – The Promise of a Pencil.
“Many of us spend our entire lives in the same bubble – we surround ourselves with people who share the same opinions, speak the way we speak and look the way we look. We fear leaving those familiar surroundings, which is natural, but through exploration of the unfamiliar we stop focusing on the labels that define what we are and discover who we are.”
This particular part of Adam Braun’s book resonated with me. It was a succinct explanation of what I had believed for some time. I am not one to enforce my beliefs on others or dictate how people should act, feel or think. I am certainly of the view it is up to oneself to help navigate their own path and take on board any nuggets of wisdom they believe are salient along their own journey. This is the only way we will sit back in the final hours and be proud of our journey.
The bubble we create and the shell that we surround our existence with is not necessarily a bad thing. It provides surety, security and consistency. What it may not provide is more acute levels of understanding.
As our world grows yet becomes smaller, the boundaries that once existed have become opportunities. We no longer exist in our own village or our own city, there are boundless possibilities and endless paths to take.
Coming from a culture in which travel is lauded, so many people I know and love have experienced the world and its beauty. My concern is that although this may be a great starting point, there is much more understanding to be captured from escaping our bubble.
My experience suggests that through our travels we aim to bring our own bubble with us. There is little or no deviation from the shell that we create. It is merely recreated in another location, whether it is exotic, rural or a concrete jungle. Experiencing new food and art is amazing, trekking new landscapes and photographing more sunsets is liberating but the one key element we fail to identify is people.
Connecting with different people from different cultures is undoubtedly the most rewarding part of the way we live in the modern world. We have the ability to go to places and meet people that before were unthinkable. We can learn first hand, literally on the ground, about how people think, how people live and most importantly about how they differ from us. Through understanding the nuisances of other cultures we can approach our own lives differently.
Regardless of if we think we are superior, inferior, right or wrong, it allows us to evaluate the way other people live to allow us to enhance our own lifestyle. If we listen to how people speak and how they live and how they love, we are only more accomplished for hearing that.
I have always believed that it is far better to be the idiot in a room full of smart people, as opposed to being the smartest person in a room with idiots. If we think about this idea with regards to our planet, those who remain in their bubble and create a shell only allow a finite amount of growth, information and experience to enter their lives. Those who encounter and listen will be far better off and can create a bubble that includes everyone.
We can truly learn from whatever or whomever we are willing to embrace.