Monday, August 23, 2010

A final thought "Distance is an Illusion"

I can't take credit for saying it because it was part of the presentation from the guy that rode around the world....."distance is just an illusion." When he said it I don't think I fully understood what he was trying to say and even if I did, what it means to him might different for the next person. For me, it all came together this afternoon somewhere between the Oregon border and here. A beautiful stretch of road where the mind can wander and the world somehow comes into perspective.

For me it means understanding here and there, and then and now.

Far too many of us believe "there" is somewhere in the distance. It's the place we want to visit but can't or won't, or some far off land only talked about in the news or around the water cooler. And like the story of sour grapes, very soon "there" must be different. It's not like "here" so it can't be as good. Sometime becomes maybe and often morphs into never. Why would we want to leave "here" when "there" represents the unknown: something different? Something to be feared and avoided?

But whether it's five feet down the road, five blocks across town or the other side of the world, wherever you stop is 'here" and whenever you stop is "now" There is no there, only here and only now. A linear path where each point on the line is yours.

Your path, your place and your time.

And once you embrace this - truly understand it - then the world is yours. You belong. This is my planet, my place, my time. Cultures may be different but we’re all pretty much the same. We want a roof over our head, three squares a day and what’s best for our children. We’re all citizens of the same world.

But with understanding comes responsibility. Things don’t just happen “there” anymore - they happen “here” even if it’s a here that you haven’t yet visited. Whether it’s factory farming in the US or the privatization of water in Bolivia - this is your place and you matter.

Travelers know: distance is an illusion - and like the best slight of hand, it’s only a trick. My challenge to you; pull back the curtain and expose the truth. Experience your own here and now - because "there" should be just a little less frightening.


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