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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Philosophy and Travel

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

I once did a post on Physics and travel so why not this too?


I was criticized by a guy a few years ago for being too philosophical. Having been a person in my younger years who hated philosophy it caused me to think about it. Had I really become the philosopher I detested? After reflection I determined he was right. I was becoming philosophical but I'm not sure now you can be "too" philosophical.


In recent years I've become a reader of quantum physics. Way over my head even as an engineer, but I try to grasp the basic concepts of it. I've read over a dozen books on the subject and I saw a constant theme of philosophy mixed with science. One writer, I can't remember which, explained the philosopher and scientist are in search of the same thing, the underlying truths. If there was such a thing as a turning point in my thinking I would pinpoint that.


I used to believe there was only one universal truth in all matters. The world was black and white to me for years. I never saw the shades. But I'm not the same person I was before I began traveling or reading quantum physics. Our truths are different depending on our perspectives.


I'll give you a simple Einstein example regarding relativity. If two men, one with a red hat and one with a green one, are on a train moving along the tracks and another person is observing them from outside the train, the outside the train guy sees the red hat guy in motion. But the green hat man sitting across from him on the train sees him perfectly still. Both are true but different. Perspective matters. Not all truths are universal.


Travel changes your perspective. It changes what you believe to be truths. There was a time when I would have been scared to death to go to some of the places I've been. Foreign land seemed like a strange place where I would never be welcomed because I was different. The mass media fuels that by not putting news in perspective and only showing the bad things in life.


I met a man from Hong Kong recently who told me he's afraid to come back to the USA because of the way we abuse Asians. I told him I don't know a single person who hates Asians. I further informed him the media only airs the egregious cases and portrays it as the norm. Out of 350 million people yes, there are bad apples. But they are the great exceptions and the media won't tell you that. No wonder people are afraid of other cultures. I really detest our news for ratings.


I've found my truth in the matter. People are the same everywhere. They love their families, they want to get along with others, they seek harmony and happiness. They have their faith in their religion and to them it is their truth. This is the norm worldwide. Other nations don't hate Americans anymore than we hate Asians or Arabs. Of course there are exceptions, but they are very rare exceptions. How many reading this in the USA actually know anyone who hates Asians? I bet none! Come on you five, speak up!


The truths people hold to are fueled by bad information and fear. We fear what we don't understand. By interacting with other cultures we gain knowledge to drive out fear. And our personal truths change because our perspective is different. Just like the train example.


One last example:

These kids eat nearly the same food everyday. They live in one of the poorest area of the world. They don't have phones, computers, or any other electronics like TV, other than an occasional movie night from old VCR tapes or DVDs. Electricity is unreliable and not working most the time. They still play marbles as a main form of entertainment.


From an American outsider looking in, what's your perspective? Poor children? Maybe. But I saw a bunch of happy kids that found enjoyment in the simple things of life. They don't know they're poor because they look like everyone else around them. Their perspective is different than ours.


One of the things I fear writing these posts is someone will read it some day and tell me I'm full of crap. They will have gone to the same place I did and tell me it was nothing like I portrayed. That's bound to happen if enough people read a post. Because they will not have an identical experience they will have a different perspective. We don't even view the same thing the same! But that's ok, if I'm lucky enough to get a troll on this site I know I've finally made it in the blogging world!


Regardless, travel changes you. By interacting with others while traveling it changes their perspective too. Hopefully in a good way as long as you're not playing the role of the entitled American (yes I've seen them). Approach other cultures with curiosity and humility and you'll always be accepted and it will change your philosophy on life. Or not, what do I know? I'm just a guy telling you my truths.





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njm lion
njm lion
Oct 05, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great perspectives. Keep on telling your truths. This blog now makes you part of the media to add some balance to what we are fed on a constant basis.

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Kirk
Kirk
Oct 05, 2023
Replying to

Me part of the media! I think I’m the anti-media,

Thanks for your comments and kind words.

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Roger Wells
Roger Wells
Oct 04, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I totally agree. Thanks for sharing.

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Kirk
Kirk
Oct 04, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for reading!

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Oct 04, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I know of not one person that dislikes Asian or Arab people. I think the media makes people think all things are bad .As you had said there are some bad apples out there that get a lot of reckoning. That goes back to the media social media.The young people in this blog are happy this is what they know. They are happy with the simple things in life.

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Kirk
Kirk
Oct 04, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for confirming. I agree!

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