Confirming my place in the world

Have you ever felt like you were just tired of learning, tired of teaching, tired of…well, just tired?  I am tired.  I’m not looking forward to going to the university tomorrow, and it’s not because the weather is going to be crap.  It’s because I want to finish what I am doing here.  I cram 80 hours of work and writing – or try to – into the time span from 6 p.m. Friday night to 5 a.m. Monday morning.  Weeknights after I get home are lost, and my best hours are daylight hours, anyway.

I did a little thinking about the blog I wrote today and came to the realisation that we all need to take the initiative to learn about other places, even if we never plan to go there.  You have to “get” the culture, “get” the religion, “get” what’s going on behind what you read, or you won’t “get” what you read.   The journalists are certainly not going to help you understand.  They rarely understand, themselves.

The world perpetuates “the news”, which perpetuates the need to learn and understand what you’re not going to catch just by watching and/or reading “the news”.  And the people about whom “the news” no longer seems worthy to report still deserve the time.  Maybe they aren’t the hottest story out there, but the issues themselves don’t die out.

Despite our best efforts, we are not alone in the world.  Non-Western civilisations deserve to be understood, even if we don’t necessarily agree with all the positions they may take, or the philosophies they have. 

As long as there are Westerners in the world whose minds have yet to be opened, I will continue to write…and thus my place in the world is confirmed.

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3 Responses to “Confirming my place in the world”

  1. It seems as though the less “flashy” stories are the most important ones.

  2. Maggie

    I agree with you that we need to see first hand the different cultures of the world and get to know this wonderful hodge podge of races and religions and cultures that are on this earth

    I admit it , between a crippling phobia of flying ( which I have conquered the past 10 years) and basically no money after paying for years of college I have not been to Europe or anywhere outside of the states. Frustrating to me.

    However I ask alot of questions, I have employees of 6 nationalities and of the muslim, jewish , and Hindu religions working for me. I try their foods they bring for me to taste. I ask about their religions and holidays and beliefs in a way that shows I am interested and no one if offended. I admire the travel you have done. I am mired here . I think when you realize that the US is NOT the center of the universe and try to think why others are they way you are you are not so threated by the world

  3. In his book, Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said quotes Hugor St. Victor, a twelfth-century monk from Saxony who says that “The person who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign place.”
    Later on Said moves on to state that “No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind.”

    Herein is our true struggle and fight, each and every one of us to go beyond the boundaries of “his” culture, realizing that we share so much of each other that to draw lines dividing us would mean sitting our ground for the rest of our lives. If we divided humanity, we will not survive the consequences humanely. The water that does not run often starts to smell.

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