Lessons from TravelVolume I

Lesson 1: Ask people for directions.

Lesson 2: Don’t generalize.

Sólo los individuos existen, si es que existe alguien.²

Lesson 3: Consume less media and have more conversations.

Lesson 4: Avoid discussing religion and politics.

Lesson 5: Find common ground.

Lesson 6: A government is not its people.

Lesson 7: When in Rome…

Lesson 8: Be a citizen of the world.

But Socrates expressed it better, when he said, he was not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world (just as a man calls himself a citizen of Rhodes or Corinth), because he did not enclose himself within the limits of Sunium, Taenarum, or the Ceraunian mountains.⁵

Many know Socrates as one of the alleged creators of the concept of world citizenship. Few know, however, that he was also quite suspicious at airport checkpoints: “What is your citizenship, Mr. Socrates?” “The world.” “Ah, I see…security!” This photo is a mugshot of Socrates taken after he was detained for suspicious activity at the Miami International Airport in 412 B.C.

Notes

  1. This is one of only two things I know for certain about the future. The other is that, in the future, humanity is still making Fast & Furious movies.
  2. Jorge Luis Borges, “El Otro,” in Cuentos Completos, 1ra ed. (Nueva York, EE.UU.: Vintage Español, 2019), p. 431.
  3. I remember learning in primary school about the four basic parts of any communication: the sender, the message, the medium, and the receiver. I also remember learning that all of these play a role in determining the quality of a communication. So, for example, if a “friend” shares some gossip with me, and I buy into it (and maybe even spread it) without stopping to find out whether the gossip corresponds to, you know, reality, then my “friend” is a gossiper, yes, but I’m not an innocent victim of misinformation: I’m an enabler.
  4. Here’s what he would say to me in Spanish: Con la gente no se habla ni de política ni de religión. And here’s how you say “the mango” in Spanish: el mango.
  5. Plutarch, “De Exilio,” Perseus Digital Library (Tufts University), http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0308%3Asection%3D5.

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Manny Vallarino

Manny Vallarino

Site — mannyvallarino.net | Private Email List — mannyvallarino.net/list/

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