No Matter Where I Go…

I’m still hung up on collectives.  Do they differ from filters?   If ever there is a lesson in being myself and living my life, as I believe best, it should be in examining my own filters and collectives.

I have plenty of time to consider this when I am traveling alone.  If I think or act in a certain way, I can’t lay it on anyone else.  Although it is distressingly easy to borrow expressed thoughts and visible reactions from someone else and add them to my own;  ultimately, here I am… where the buck stops.

And so I’m continually asking myself if I am the person I choose to be.  After all, how we are born and to whom we are born are not our decisions.  The person we become is in our own hands.

So I become hyper aware of my attitudes toward types of people.  Do I tend to like the same groups?  Feel wary of the same types? Secretly sneer at the same attitudes?

Yes, indeed I do!  Prejudice in its basic form.  It’s easy to separate myself from “them”.  All I need do is allow my filters to enhance our differences and set “those” people into separate collectives.

Even in a strange country it’s relatively easy for me to plunk myself down with people who speak my language even if they have a different accent. I can call from my balcony when I hear English spoken on the steps below without embarrassment or hesitation.  And it’s very easy to talk to a woman who reminds me of a friend at home or a man who resembles my brother-in-law.  I can even talk to those who remind me of people I don’t like and who don’t seem to have my values.

There’s a familiarity that allows me to box all of them into categories and then accept or discount them.

It’s more difficult to insert myself into a group of Italian women who might intimidate me if they were set down in my hometown.  It’s really hard to have compassion for the man who is obviously not fully functioning and has a glowering, foreign face.  His repeated requests for something I can’t understand frighten me a little. I am taken out of my comfort zone and left with fewer recognizable filters.

Yet for me, the reason for travel is to open myself to other cultures, different people, and various ideas and lifestyles.  If I continually move in my own concentric circles no matter where I am, then I have somehow defeated my purpose.

Perhaps I’m only capable of small additions to my collectives.  Maybe my filters can only be washed and examined, not shattered and discarded.

I just don’t ever want my heart and mind to be as small as the number of my collectives.  I want to expand myself and encompass unknown groups.  How else can I continue to enrich my life?

One comment

  1. We are the ones we work on the most; examining ourselves to see if we are in resentment, anger, and fight sometimes to stay in love; the adjustments we work on is in our thinking, and our attitudes, and our spirits.
    This is a life long job; we are to control our emotions nor let our emotions control us. We have to SEE why WE act or acted in a certain manner; but then we work on it to adjust it and go forth walking in love again.


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