"On a wing and a Prayer" ray_d's Profile
The world is wonderfully strange and exciting.
It holds within it a multitude of mysteries and jewels.
It has created a need in me, for its exploration.
Limited in time, language and finance, this will take a long time.
However, it will be an enjoyable time.
Time spent researching the inner space of my own attitudes as much as the cultures and geography I inhabit and will pass through.
Colourful and intriguing, every country changes the person who goes beyond the Tourist's vision of travel.
One only needs to look beyond the city to see reality.
Poor in assets and rich in love, many countries carry their riches in a common person's heart.
I find difficulty conversing with people who have never travelled…
In them, I find, a strong parochial self-defence and a dangerous approach to the culture and traditions of others.
Isolationism is prone to create a fear of the unknown.
It becomes easy to succumbed to a belief in the unsubstantiated.
Negative news on the fate of others of different colour, race or creed are easy time-fillers for an emotionally desperate media.
This limited and simplistic view paints an unknown country with the broad brush of a single incident.
It allows Politicians to lead the less open-minded to distrust of their fellow human beings.
It erroneously simplifies a complicated situation into a black and white-blinkered view.
And yet, I watch them.
I watch the never travelled, the travellers who trust only nations speaking their tongue and the people still living in the hatred of a bygone war.
I watch the intrigue as they listen, in wonderment, asking questions they would have never thought of asking.
Were it not for their accidental inclusion, as spectators, in a conversation between 2 travellers, their education would have little to do with reality.
Stereotyping is dangerous.
In a modern world we do ourselves an injustice if we view others by our standards.
If one is to judge, then it needs to be by an in-depth knowledge of that culture.
No culture be predicted into a Pigeon-hole dictated by the view we pander from movies and fictional books.
A country needs to be tasted.
It needs to be breathed in.
Time is the tool to sample and test our own beliefs and compare the foundation of our own understanding.
Our limitations need to be accepted when proved second best.
The realisation that one swallow does not make a summer can only be proven by the absorption of the feel of the place.
Whatever the case, respect must be paramount.
Respect must also extend to people that possess things more valuable than money.
Their life is tied to a history more personal than a reference in a manuscript.
They love in different ways and fall in love in other ways.
I find a casual meeting in a Bar does not work for me either.
Their happiness is more family-based than comfort attributed.
To be open and accepting of an other's culture is to be your country's most important ambassador.
I, myself, am a hodgepodge of bloodlines.
On my Mother's side, my Great-Grandfather originating from Southampton;
A southern, sea-side town in Britain.
My Grandfather was Royal Navy with shifting postings around the world.
My mother was born in Gibraltar, mid-way through one of his postings.
On my father's Side, my Great-Grandfather was born in Darna, Tunisia from Bedouin stock.
My Grandfather was a well-known Baker in Malta.
My father, an Artistic blacksmith, born in Malta.
I was born in Malta. Lived in Italy for a very short time and now, my life is part of Australia
My First language is Maltese.
Predominantly Arabic, yet a language written in Roman Script.
My second language is English.
This is my Mother's heritage, my Royal Naval connection and my time in Australia.
My third Language is Italian.
For a time living in Italy, music and literary appreciation and a fondness of the Arts made the knowing of it imperative.
I'm hoping to add another, but German, although easier than English, needs a lot of practice and time.
In my travels, there has not been one place that I have felt vulnerable.
I live overseas as I live back home.
Good morning is no less easy to learn.
A smile is a universal greeting.
Looking sheepish commands help from anyone.
A minute compliment buys you long chunks of time while wrestling understanding out of a local who is as pleased to help as you are of their help.
Since VT, I can talk to my type of people.
People that dare to enjoy life by experience it in the environments of others.
Normal people that represent their country as Ambassadors without preconceived ideas or Political bias.
The uneducated Tourist that claims a right to have fun without responsibility does damage beyond their minute time-constrained existence on the sacred land of the offence.
Nothing is a better than understanding as a tool to a tourist.
Many a war has been thought to have put to rest the differences between the Victor and the vanquished.
And yet, years later, the first chance a country has of breathing freedom, the old hatreds divide it again.
For us, the tourist and observer of our hosts ills, falls the duty to understand and learn that some of the devastation comes from humans letting emotions get beyond the talking stage.
Many of our friends and neighbours have differing views on worlds beyond the borders over the horizon of vision.
To have you as a translator of assumption and realism makes both them and you a cog in the understanding of human nature.
And with the many of us comes realisation that the world is not that different.
Fraternity, equality, respect will save the world around us.
Homo Sapience has thrived on mutual help.
Although beasts and plagues do not cause us many ills, we still need to be wary of our propensity to our dark nature.
We defend our family but tend to look upon others as lesser or more foreign than us.
Even in our own societies we feel inclined to relegate some of our brothers and sisters as undeserving.
Let us all pray that we understand and believe that distance, colour and sect is only in the mind.
Go in Peace.
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