When you watch the daily news, you would think that is absolutely impossible for the world to get along with each other. You would assume that everyone hates everyone, every country is in a constant battle and people genuinely dislike one another. For those that take solace in their televisions and use the news to learn about the world, they take that to be truth because they know no different. Because it comes from the news, they assume it to be gospel. However, that could be farther from the truth. The one thing they forget is that news programs need ratings. To get them sometimes and often the truth has to be sacrificed.
I have been all over the world visiting many countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, North and South America and beyond. My travels started when I was a senior in high school and have not stopped. I have never been in a country where I have not been made to feel at home, greeted with kindness and had people genuinely interested in me and where I come from. They want to learn, not harm.
Most people that you interact with in your travels aren’t people in positions of authority that are just hungry for more power. These are every day people just trying to get along and live the life that was dealt them, dealing with the same messy governments as the rest of us. I have been welcomed in homes in many continents where I sat with locals, broke their bread and was treated with nothing but respect and often admiration. The news would lead you to believe that it isn’t safe to step outside your door. However, there is a big beautiful world out there for the exploring if only we take the opportunity to do it.
There is no question that bad things happen around the world. They happen right here at home as well. But if we allow those things to keep us from experiencing what the world has to offer, then the bad guys win and that is just something that can not happen. When I visited Egypt two weeks after a group of bad people opened fire on a bus load of German tourists outside a temple, my family tried hard to get me not to go. Many thought I was just young and stupid, but I could not allow evil to alter the course of my life and keep me in a box where I did not want to be.
I am sure that many of you have done your share of traveling. I hope that you can agree that the world does not hate us. The majority of people are just like us, working hard to exist in a world increasing in complexity. There is a big beautiful world to see out there, if only we believe in the good of humanity and afford ourselves the opportunity to explore it.
Have a great day, take a grand adventure, even if only around the corner, and remember to be the reason someone smiles.