There are times when words absolutely fail me. And for someone who enjoys the fine art of jibber jabber and the written word, to have words fail me really sucks. If I could voice the speedway of thoughts and emotions that are zooming through my brain at this very moment you’d be begging me to STOP!
“Fear only becomes powerful when you give it your power.” Robin Sharma
As I sit here in my comfortable living room, on my not so comfortable sofa, with soul soothing music streaming through my ear buds, in an attempt to drown out the chaotic political noise of the day, I find myself stumbling for words. And even though there are times when words just don’t cut it because they can’t quite capture the emotion of the day, hour, or moment in which I find myself, when I struggle to find the words it, as I said, really sucks.
Hubby is sitting next to me writing a letter to the editor of the New York Times. He is not the writer in the family so how come words are serving him so well and failing me? It’s been an emotional roller coaster here in the United States and I’m sure those of you who live abroad are thinking, what the hell?! Trust me, those 3 little words have become my daily mantra.
As I’ve watched the news unfold over the past
months weeks days I find myself completely saturated and I’m pretty sure many of you are feeling the same. It’s been a constant stream of “Breaking News” stories, one right after the other. I barely catch my breath and out comes another. You know those little punching bags that boxers beat the hell out of in rapid succession? Yeah. It’s like that.
“Don’t give into your fears, if you do you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” Paulo Coelho
I’ve been thinking a lot about what people outside of the US who have travel plans must be thinking. Is it safe to travel to that chaotic mess currently known as the divided United States? Or, on the flip side, as we gear up to travel in 2017 I find myself thinking that maybe we should pin Canadian maple leaves on our jackets. I say this in jest. Kind of. How does the world at large view us, are we welcome in other countries? Do we all accept each other as not being products of our government’s shenanigans? I have to believe the answer is yes, on all counts.
What travel has taught me is that the world is so much more than what mainstream media would have us believe. It’s a great big beautiful world out there just aching to be explored and even better, it’s filled with good and kind people. Yes, there are definitely the disgruntled who walk among us and wreak havoc at times, but they are not in the majority, never have been, never will be.
- “When we meet people in our travels — whether across the seas or just across the tracks — we gain understanding. That journey becomes transformative in that it makes us more empathetic, happier, and less fearful. It makes us smarter, and thus makes it tougher for bad forces to sidetrack our natural good intentions. When we travel in a way that connects us with real people, it makes it harder for the propaganda they live with to demonize us — and vice versa. We become bridges.” Rick Steves
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” Ghandi
When we mapped out our path of retirement we never saw this coming, this new reality in which we find ourselves. Maybe it was naive of us, but I don’t believe so. There are moments in life that we simply cannot imagine. How could we? There are definitely concerns that could come to fruition in this new reality such as, will we lose our health care or our social security? We really have no idea. If we do we will have to adjust to accommodate the loss, but one thing we won’t do is give in to fear.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela
I’m not saying the world doesn’t have scary shit going on out there, but if we give in to fear then we might as well pull out the rocking chairs and call it a day. I never thought I’d march alongside 500,000 people, but I did and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. And, while I can well-imagine the thoughts and potential fears of travelers around the world hoping to visit the United States, all I can offer is, don’t give in to fear. Don’t let fear dictate your travel plans, your view of the world, your life. Life is just too precious to sit in fear on the side lines.
When fear creeps in, some days are tougher than others. What I try to remember is that the world reaches beyond my television or newspaper or computer screen. It is not just the sum parts of the “Breaking News” stories hurling at us through cyber space. And while at this moment in time it may seem like we are all bat crap crazy, it’s not the case. It’s not the majority. Never has been, never will be.
I encourage you to take a break, if only for a few minutes. Turn off the chaotic political noise of the day and listen to what a wonderful world it really is.
You have collected a great assortment of quotes for us, Patti. Thanks!
I think we have to find our way in coping with the rhetoric. I like Rick Steve’s approach. Travel creates a better understanding of the world.
Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…succumbing to the magic of Lucerne, Switzerland
I often look to Rick Steves for a calming gauge on the travel world.
It’s a great tool to turn to quotes from others when words fail us, when we are adrift with emotions. You’ve selected some great ones here, and I’ll keep these for reference.
Thanks, Kristen. When I’m looking for inspiration I often turn to the wisdom of other voices.
Patti, I can hardly whatch the news now without wanting to scream with frustration. it is difficult not to feel scared and worried about the future. Thank you for the lovely and optimistic song, we must keep on hoping.
Gilda Baxter recently posted…A little dose of Dorset – with a dash of Stonehenge.
Totally understand, Gilda! I find I can no longer watch/listen to the news as it causes my blood pressure to soar. Reading is my key to knowledge, I’m old-school like that. Old-school on a computer anyway. 🙂
Thanks for the song/video. It has brightened the end of my day. There is a lot of scary bat shit crazy stuff going on in the world. But we do have to step back, take a deep breath, and remember it is a wonderful world. Keep up the good fight, with a smile and this song in your heart.
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Thank you, Gaelyn, I’m glad the song brightened your day. It certainly did mine and I find myself listening to that song more and more often.
I honestly believe that the purpose of mainstream media is to generate/promote fear & outrage in order to “sell more copies” (or whatever the modern-day version of that is). Actually reporting news is a distant second.
I try to not even listen to it any more, because it’s just too disheartening. I agree with you – the world is filled with good and kind people.
I find, Donna, that I can read the news and not yell at my laptop, unlike what happens when I attempt to watch it on television. 🙂
How did you know this is my favorite song? Thanks for the uplift.
I think people from other countries who know Americans, know we are not the regime. But we need to keep saying it.
My Aussie friend suggested we make voting mandatory.
You’re very welcome! I have taken more and more to my ear buds streaming lovely thoughts directly into my head.
Then listen to his version of Over the Rainbow. His voice is so magical…..
Yes! Magical is a good way to describe his voice. It’s a shame he passed so young.
Bruddah Iz’s song is on my “happy songs” playlist and I find that listening to it and remembering to find something to laugh about each day helps make me make it through dismal times. Like you, travel and living outside the US have shown me that there are amazing countries where peace is valued, the climate and environment are a priority and people teach their children to treat others with respect. I find myself comforted by the fact that, while the world is huge, a traveler knows it’s only a matter of boarding a plane or boat to reach almost every corner in a matter of hours. What DT and the rest of those sowing chaos, fear and spreading their alternate facts forget or ignore is that we are all connected and depend upon each other. And despite DT’s vision of a dystopian world, the only way to make it through each day is to refuse to accept it like you are doing but remember to treasure the happiness you find too. Sometimes words may fail you but many times more they keep you inspired and passing along a light to others.
Anita @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba: An Architectural Allegory
Yes, Anita, traveling – if one opens one’s mind to the idea – can heighten one’s sense of the world and that while it is indeed massive in size, it is small in ideals. Everyone has a love of peace and cohesion, but there are those that walk among who work diligently to drive fear into our hearts which in turn closes our minds. The only resolve is to keep right on traveling and embracing the world.