One of the things I love most about travel, is the opportunity to meet people in different parts of the world. Their cultures and customs may be dissimilar to my own, they may practice a religion I don’t completely understand, they may look very different to the image I see in my own reflection, but what I have come to understand through these experiences, is that, for the most part, people are just people.
If we just take the time to sit down, to talk as human beings, and more importantly, to listen, we will mostly likely discover that we are all seeking similar basic principles in our time here on earth.
We hope to live a peaceful & harmonious life, we strive to protect and to provide for our families, we share a desire to have both the opportunity and the ability, to prosper and grow.
After recently watching an episode of a Netflix doc series*, I was once again reminded of my feelings about travel and my “people are just people” viewpoint.
In this particular episode, the hosts had spent some time with leaders and representatives of Aboriginal communities in Australia, learning a bit about their connection to the land and the way in which they conduct themselves through their beliefs and culture.
Near the end of the episode, they are joined by Bruce Pascoe, an author and a professor of Indigenous Agriculture studies at the University of Melbourne. When asked the question of how can we learn more about, and better understand the indigenous ways, his response was a very simple one. He suggested that we need to sit down, have a cup of tea, talk and listen.
I recognize how simplistic this sounds, but in a world where we appear to be increasingly at odds with one another on multiple issues, it seems we could all benefit from just being able to sit down and talk, human to human, setting aside our need to be right, and just hear each others perspectives, even if we don’t agree on all things. Perhaps in doing so, we can strive to have a better understanding and respectfully move forward to coexist together.
It is a simplistic message, yet one that resonates with me so strongly.
If we don’t start finding ways to celebrate our differences, to be respectful towards one another, to learn from each other and to love one another as human beings, I fear what the future holds for all of us.
So the next time you find yourself in a place where you may or may not know the person next to you, whether it be in a familiar or an unfamiliar place, I encourage you to strike up a conversation, human to human. You might be surprised what you learn.
*The Netflix Series is Down to Earth, this particular episode can be found in Season 2, Episode 7, titled, Aboriginal Voices
Yes! Everyone has a story… we need to take the time to listen. I have always loved the Rick Steves quote: “Travel is a political act,” by which he means that travel can open our eyes and broaden our perspectives.
Love that Janis! So much truth to Rick’s quote❤️
Hear, hear! Thanks for this, Lynn, very well said. Now if only the whole world would read this and put it in practice, starting perhaps with politicians!
Thank you Jane. Sadly, some politicians use their platform to shape people’s opinions on cultures other than our own and at times, sometimes even within our own culture. It can be difficult for us to see past some of the stereotypes we have formed in our minds but my experience has been once we sit down and have a conversation, although we still may not agree on everything, we see each other in a different light.❤️
Excellent post! This is so true! We can’t learn about someone else unless we take the time to really listen and hear their viewpoint.
I couldn’t agree more Linda!
Very well said, Lynn & I totally agree! While travelling alone recently, I found myself talking to so many more strangers and having some delightful conversations about our lives. It reminded me to do this more often at home, too. We can learn so much from speaking up and being friends, even if it’s only for a brief conversation.
I love that you struck up conversation with strangers Jane and I agree, we need to do that more often at home as well. I remember a few years ago, Brian & I struck up conversation with a very interesting fellow sitting alone in any restaurant. He was a professor at Guelph University and we had the best chat! We honestly sat for about 3 hours learning about one another and it was so much fun! Can’t wait to hear more about your travels!
I agree! I watched the series and that episode resonated with me as well. Many a grandmother has said”just sit down and talk it out over a cup of tea” simple wisdom wise words.
It all seems so simple, doesn’t it?
As an introvert that idea of intentionally striking up a conversation with a stranger gives me the heebie jeebies, but I take your point. I talk with people wherever I go, but it is often me listening, them talking.
I get it Ally. Not everyone is comfortable striking up conversation with strangers but listening works too!❤️
Absolutely! You say it so well, Lynn.
Thanks my friend!❤️
What a beautiful post about human connection. It really is simple if we took the time to listen. Just sit, talk, listen,…with an open heart and mind. I miss traveling and learning about others and I value our differences and celebrate them as I do our similarities. Thank you for a wonderful post!
Thank you so much for your very kind comment. So many things could be solved if we just took the time to really listen and understand where another person is coming from. Thank you for reading.❤️
You’re welcome, Lynn. It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to read. I agree 100 with you!
Your suggestion may be simple, but it’s also spot on. If we can get past our need to be right and to “set other people straight,” we really can learn from those who we believe are so very different. And nine times out of ten, we find that we have much more in common than we ever could have believed.
I so agree Ann. I think that’s why his words resonated so strongly with me. My experience in my travels has been eye opening at times, having met people from very different cultures to my own. Regardless, when we sit down and chat, those differences seem to melt away and I find we are truly all just wanting the same things or as you say, share way more in common than our differences. Thanks so much for contributing to the post through your comments. Always appreciate your insight.❤️
Well said and I agree whole-heartedly.
Lynn, this is such a good point, and a practice that is sadly lacking in today’s travel – and in so many aspect of life. We’ve only recently gotten back on the road and we’re cherishing the opportunity to really connect with people. I also love Janis’ Rick Steves quote – never has it been more obvious. All the best, Terri
Imagine if we all consciously practiced this Terri. We would all be better off. So happy you & James are once again travelling. Can’t wait to read of your adventures 💕