“Where do we go?” someone asked me when we were talking about the financial crises around the world and the suggestion that everything would break up into one big bang. There are two ways of looking at the question:
- by sitting back in the chair at home and talk about it,
- or while on the road heading for somewhere ourselves.
In both cases we tend to reason differently.
In the chair
When we meet and sit in our chairs to talk about the world, other people, politics, problems, etc we tend to observe and reflect using our own past. We project the items in the discussion on issues stored in our own mind. We use examples of what once happened to us, or was done in the past to us. We mmay refer to a situation when we had to make a decision and compare that again with the way the subjects in our debates take theirs. They are mostly wrong and we were nearly always right. They tend to behave unethically, without consideration and with great self-interest, while we made our decisions back then fully aware of everyone, with excellent balancing of facts and taking decisions with full inner support.
We talk about people and circumstances with prejudism and judgement using ourselves as perfect mirror image to compare to. In fact what we do, we look continuously back. The future is nearly always brought to us by a set of wrong decisions of other people, nearly always in a position of power. We would most certainly do it differently. Of course we admire people too but they deal mostly with a single small part of the complexity of everything, yet that part is repeated over and over again by us as perfect example on how things should be done. It is great to watch the world go down the drain and blame others for it. There is always someone to blame and we have many hours to fill doing so. There is always something to discuss, a chair to sit and someone to discuss it with.
With travel I do not refer to a holiday tour or a weekend out with the children. I refer to the personal voyage of going somewhere with an objective, a dream fulfilling exercise getting from A to B. Like me. I am a traveler. Not that I take the car or train or plane a lot these days. Those times of catching a plane nearly ever day are behind me now. Even though I traveled a lot for the companies I work for, in executive sales or marketing, I flew around the world without really getting anywhere. Now I stay home and travel a lot. The difference is in the objective, the A to B. Sales of products or establishing distribution lines may be interesting but I did this for the A to B of the company. My own A to B got me back home every time, not much further though, only maybe higher up in the chain of command. Now I dream of a better or different world. I try to get to a humanitarian dot on the horizon which has to do with human complexities, behavior and organization. I do not have to go far to view the changes I would want to make and start working on it. That is the kind of A to B I refer to with travelling. These A and B are mine, both in origin and destiny.
When I meet people who also have such mission in life we talk about the mission, the destiny and the voyage itself. “What made you depart?”, “Do you travel alone?”, “What have you experienced along the way?”, “How did you get around this or that obstacle?” “Shall we travel together for a while?” etc. The conversation is about the road ahead and what my dream destiny looks like. When we look back we do so to learn, not to criticize. We pick best practice to try it again and see if it still works. We don’t talk about others who have their own voyage, even if they are powerful and sometimes block ours. We tend to try to figure out a way to go about it. It is our destiny that matters not the obstacles, they are there to be dealt with. The talks tend to be constructive, interesting, always with new insights and experiences, optimistic and passionate.
Get up and travel
At STIR we travel all the time since we have a far away goal but we make many pit-stops to see if we are still heading forward and make progress, adjusting our voyage accordingly. We then meet all these sitting people who look at us and tell their mirroring stories how they would have done things. We get read to set off again and invite everyone we meet to come along on our route, our destiny being promisingly better then where we come from. Some come along, others stay behind. But when they join suddenly they talk different too, they look ahead and around, adjusting to the group and offering their own talents along the way.
We surely talk different when we travel.