Did you know that, in a poll in 2013, 64 percent of the population of the USA—the richest and most influential country in the world—have never been abroad?
If you’re an American and have had the opportunity to travel outside the country, this may surprise you. If you haven’t, you should definitely not feel alone.
When I heard this statistic, I had a thought:
Travel is a beautiful experience and an opportunity to see what’s beyond what we already know.
But to get out of our limited confines, we don’t HAVE to go abroad.
There are so many things we already know. Things we have experienced that no one else has; things that make up who we are; that make us special and different and give us something to share so we can make a difference on our planet.
I mean, think about it:
Last year, a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka was visiting me. It happened to be at the same time as the second biggest snowstorm in history in New York City.
He didn’t own a pair of boots. Or a scarf. All he had was his red robe.
I layered him in all my clothing, (thank goodness he was small enough) and led him out my apartment door to get a cup of coffee at the local café around the corner.
I thought I was walking slowly, taking in the cold air, lifting my boots cautiously through the 22 inches of white powder on the sidewalk.
But then I turned around. And he was still in front of my apartment door, just standing there.
It seemed as though he wasn’t even sure how to lift his foot up.
I doubled back, took him by the elbow and together we walked, step by step, into completely unknown territory.
Little did I know, that I could offer my friend from Sri Lanka something . . .
Something I never imagined.
A monk who was there to teach me meditation; a man who seemed close to enlightenment.
It was as simple as a walk on a snowy Saturday together, arm and arm.
We all have something to teach.
Something we can offer or share to another.
A new perspective someone else might not have had.
An experience that might change someone’s life.
A gift we didn’t know we could give.
A story we didn’t know could impact another positively if we told it.
No matter how we view our life experiences or ourselves.
We have light to shine. And love to spread.
So let’s do our work. Let’s connect with the world one person at a time. In whatever way we can. And those ways are MUCH bigger than the limited confines in our head.
Wishing you the impetus to make a difference in the world!