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The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer
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Turned on the BBC #ThaiCaveRescue coverage.

Zoned out until I heard the theme music and just for a second, I felt like I was overseas again watching BBC on the hotel TV.

Some weathered hotel in India. Some sparse room in Vietnam or Laos.

Sigh. Not all flashbacks are bad.
I traveled a lot before my son. 35-40 countries maybe. I went to a lot of "hard places" figuring I could always hit the "easy" ones later in life.

I had all kinds of misadventures. Robbed in Costa Rica. Got Hep-A at least once and probably twice. Got lost. Sat through blackouts.
Got stranded in Africa and had to take seven flights to get home. Got run off the road on a rented motorcycle outside Hanoi. Got drunk in the very inland town of Sevilla, Spain and woke up close enough to the sea to smell it.
Highs and lows, laughs and hassles, the thing I most took away from all of that was that people are kind. People are people. No matter where you are & how much or how little the people have, people are the same.

They wake up worrying about their family. Their jobs. Their lives.
People are fundamentally good. They return kindness with kindness. They struggle and worry and work and hope and then go home, wake up and do it all again the next day.
Americans see other countries as monoliths... as if a country is a "thing" instead of a place.

Americans conflate a country's politics with its people. As if all of its citizens wake, live and sleep thinking only of the U.S..
At the end of the day, people are little different no matter their country.

If only Americans knew that.

Oh, how the world would be different if they did.

Sigh, all this from a moment of BBC theme music. I miss the way things used to be before we made such a bloody mess of it
And now that I've gotten all wistful and gone all Anthony Bourdain on you, might as well bust out the slides and torture you with the pictures...

Only a few. I only have a few of them on my laptop.

The thing I liked catching the most were the kids... Like these 2 in Cambodia.
...or these three in India. All grown up by a world made hard by poverty... but then very much kids again when you stop them from trying to sell you trinkets to ask if you can take their picture...
We may worship differently and pray to different gods but beneath the ritual, faith is faith.

The root is the same, a quiet meditation that makes a harsh world calm.

We're more alike than different - even in prayer.
We all have jobs to go to and work to do and a boss to worry about.

We all have people to serve and please. We all generally do our best and wish to do better.

Even in a roadside cook-shack on the edge of the desert in Western India.
We all take pride in what we do. Banker, lawyer, teach or tour guide.

We generally show up aiming to be good at whatever it is we do to feed our families.

Pride knows no class.
We all age and grow old. We lose our youth. We weather and break down and take on the marks and scars of lives fully lived.

In that, there's a certain calm though. We become the elders.
Through it all though, if there's a single connective thread that binds all of humanity, it's family.

We all love our families equally. We adore the people close to us. We value our friends. We cherish our children. We protect them as best we can and grieve when we can't.
People are generally good.

Even in a world set ablaze by bad news and stress and conflict, it is never lost on me that the people though... whoever they may be... are generally good.

Let that not be lost. It's what calls us to resist moral wrongs and protect the vulnerable.
It's hard to see the good in the world these days.

It's still there though. The good is still the people. Countries apart. Different but not dissimilar.

I miss traveling. I miss feeling at home in places wholly foreign.

We should all be strangers in a strange land in our lives
I've been a lot of places - some wealthy, some very poor and yet, no matter the place, I've generally been the beneficiary of kindness.

When you strip life down to its barest essence, people are generally good.

I believe that...

Even now, I believe that. I'm glad I still do.
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