“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
I’ve started this post, or some version of it, probably half a dozen times since coming to Australia last November. Every time I delete it because what I really want to say never comes out right. Let me try again…
I really dislike Donald Trump and his policies. He doesn’t have the qualities I consider important in a good leader such as:
- Transparency (Tax returns, anyone?)
- Integrity (We’ve all heard that audio clip)
- Authenticity (Orange spray tan)
- Communication (See every speech he’s ever made- he says so much and yet nothing at all)
- Accountability (He never apologizes for anything. Ever. Even making fun of a disabled person)
Etc, etc. The way he has talked about women bothers me. Him not allowing the New York Times and CNN into a White House press briefing really bothers me. His travel ban really really bothers me.
I’ve tried not subscribing to overly one-sided media. I’ve tried to ignore media completely and just not care. I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. That one lasted about two seconds. Nothing has helped me find peace- until this.
I found exploremore2017.com. It’s a community of travelers that have come together and pledged to help bring the world together through travel. Their tagline hits home for me: “In a world that feels more divided than ever, travel brings people together.” It’s just a simple pledge, nothing that will save the world or stop Trump in his tracks. But it reminds me of a very basic learned from traveling: most people, not all, but most people are good. Most people want the same thing in life and that is for them and their families to be happy and safe.
Nothing is accomplished by building walls. Or banning people because they have citizenship in a certain country. Or subscribing to fear when there is no evidence that there is anything to be afraid of. Evil isn’t specific to one religion or one nationality or one race. And I wish my country had leadership that reflected this very basic understanding.
It’s a small thing, this pledge, but it helped me. I thought maybe it will help others who might be feeling helpless too.