I’m a fairly tolerant guy overall….have been for a long time. Yeah some folks close to me in my life might beg to differ:)
However, for over the past 10 years plus, my wife and I have made a point of trying to travel somewhere globally at least once a year. Some years we make more trips….we are truly blessed to be able to do so.
As I travel around, I love seeing how people in other countries do things differently. How they drive, they shop, their restaurants, their grocery stores, their different products….etc etc etc….is simply fascinating to my American sensibilities and habits.
People see things differently. They choose differently. They live differently.
Yes, world travel shows us how much we are alike too. Our human needs are universal….how we seek to meet them can vary. And, yes, McDonalds and Coke seem to be everywhere.
Mary and I just returned from a couple of weeks visiting 4 countries in Europe. Some took the Euro, some didn’t. Some seemed to speak English everywhere in addition to their home language, some didn’t. Some things were done like we Americans do them, some things they didn’t.
The point is that there is no one right or wrong way to do things in spite of what many here in the “states” may believe. America is a great country. But there are a lot of other great countries as well.
Mark Twain once famous stated: “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.”
He was right on 100 years ago….and that observation is still true.
Much of the small-mindedness and bigotry that is currently being exhibited by a vocal minority of our country would be largely reduced by an increase in Americans getting out and really observing how the rest of the world lives.
What do you think?