In our fast paced society, we have identified ourselves with our jobs. We define ourselves by what we do at work (for somebody else’s company), we limit our horizon to what can be done to achieve monetary reward or career advancement, we see our days as workdays, our weeks as workweeks, and we live for our vacation or for our retirement.
And once that job is no longer present many questions arise all of which will have to be answered from within.
Remember when you were children and had no fears? When adults told you to do things and you asked “why?” when the possibilities seemed endless and life was beautiful? When you woke up thinking ” I am going to have so much fun today “? When you thought you will be a fire fighter or an airplane pilot?
Well, all of this is still true now, today, this moment and every moment. We as human beings are incredible machines; we can imagine the impossible and make it happen. We have imagined going to the moon, and now we have continuous space exploration and seriously thinking of building permanent space colonies. We have imagined talking to our relatives across the seas and now each one of us has a cell phone that can reach the farthest corners of the world. We have now oasis where once where desert, shinning cities where once rubble and blood, all we needed is to imagine.
In the land of the free I believe now that there are those who want, those who can, and those who do. And there is no limit to what our bodies can do. Everyday I was amazed and mesmerized at the beauty that was before me, the perfection of nature, how everything fits in complete symbiosis, and how our bodies will do anything that our minds wants them to do.
During my trip, many people asked me “weren’t you scared?” And now I know that fear is the enemy that has permanently rendered countless people quadriplegic, not in the actual physical sense, but in the “can-do” sense. We are scared to climb mountains, and scared to go cliff diving and scared to go parachuting. These are fears that seem somehow logical. But question where they come from and you soon realize that we have been brought up to be scared so as to keep yourselves from injury. But fear is the single biggest deterrent for trying that new sport, going for your different career, traveling to new worlds. But eventually I realized that they meant scared from other people… and no, I refuse to fall pray to fearing our fellow humans. In five weeks on the road, I never encountered a situation that required fear. People are good, and I want and do believe that to the deepest of my core.
Other people would tell me “how courageous, you did it all alone?” And I am surprised, as never did I think I was alone, and indeed very rarely I was. There are always people around us and they in general and actually almost all the time are very nice, and have an innate willingness to help. People offered me water, fruits, even to use their bathrooms. I have hitchhiked when I could no longer bike to the restaurant, strangers would came to help me set up my tent. When I have fallen people all around would come, once even stopping their cars immediately to help. I shared my dinner with Quebecois, Francophone and Anglophone, and when I heard strangers speaking Arabic at a park I did the first steps to introduce myself. At night campers invited me to share their fires, and it was most welcome. At the uphills, cars would slowdown and cheer me on. And when eventually it was rainy and cold and I needed to find a place to stay, complete strangers used their phone books to find the nearest hotel.
“Impossible is nothing” is true…
“Just do it” is true…
All those slogans that we have heard to push us to purchase things… they should be used to change our mentality towards positive outcomes.
Next time, walk to the grocery store, maybe for your daily exercise but also for other reasons, environment (pollution is killing the only planet we have got), monetary (if you walk there not only you will save on gas, but you will purchase less), meeting other people along the way…
Next time, smile at strangers, it is incredible how much easier it is that to frown.
Next time you see a hitchhiker, see if you can offer him or her a ride…
In the end I can only say this:
First treat yourself with the upmost respect, treat your body as if it was a shrine, treat your mind as if it is in continuous need for improvement and treat the World as if it is the only one you have.
Treat strangers as if they were your friends, your friends as if they were your family and your family you have to love them more than anything else.