I love spending time with people who travel the world–or people who come from other places and have traveled to the U.S. where, happily, our paths have crossed and ended in a meal or a long cup of coffee. Hearing their stories, flipping through their pictures, and comparing notes of my own travels, enlarges my view of the world and helps me gain perspective.
Specifically, talking to people who go other places reminds me that the world is enormous and that there are a billion, ordinary, life-changing events unfolding on every continent everyday, even as I brush my teeth in the morning. I may not know what each one is, but being aware that I am small in this vast universe, that my joys and sorrows are coinciding with myriad others across the globe, helps me to disengage from my toxic tendency to navel-gaze.
And it helps me to reject the ubiquitous, Hunger Games media frenzy in our culture.
Because, again, my traveling friends remind me that many important things are happening all the time, and no one is reporting them.
It’s life-affirming to remember this.
Just because the Internet screams at me, demanding that I watch the dickie-bird and react, doesn’t mean that it’s telling me the truth. By that, I mean, the whole truth, the larger truth of life.
My friends remind me, and I feel relief.
I think to myself, I am small, thank God, and there’s more to this story of the world.