“So it is with different cultures. We live in different worlds.”
What wonderful words. They are the conclusion of a quote that resonated with me.
What struck me about the entire quote was the suggestion that by traveling to different cultures we not only see our own culture differently but it gives us the opportunity to reframe ourselves within it.
You need some context for this to make sense for you. Here you go…
The quote comes from the introduction to The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child. The author, Tom Hartmann, was interested in understanding how ADHD was seen in India. He described a person with ADHD, whose attention jumped incessantly from subject to subject, to some casual acquaintances he met on a train and asked…
What do you call this personality type?”
“Very holy,” a man replied. “These are old souls, near the end of their karmic cycle.”
The other three nodded agreement.
“This is a man very close to becoming enlightened,” another said. “We have great respect for such individuals, although their lives may be difficult.”
Another businessman raised a finger and interjected. “But it is through the difficulties of such lives that the soul is purified.”
The others nodded agreement.
“In America they consider this behavior indicative of a psychiatric disorder,” Hartmann said.
All three looked startled, then laughed.
“In America you consider our most holy men, our yogis and swamis, to be crazy people as well,” said this man with a touch of sadness in his voice. “So it is with different cultures. We live in different worlds.”
Reframe yourself. One more reason to travel solo.
In every talk I give I review the many reasons that solo travel is great. The final reason is always:
You can discover who you are when no one is looking.
I believe that I need to add to this.
You not only get to discover who you are when no one’s looking but you get to reframe how you think about yourself and others. Some personality traits that you may have been raised to believe are negative are not seen that way everywhere. Other cultures may see such traits in a more positive light. With a new perspective you can understand people differently.
How great is that!