Internet cafe. Hue, Vietnam. 2007

A comment left on the previous post, by William from the blog cafe selavy got me thinking how the world is becoming more homogenised and less diverse.  

Internet cafe in Hue, Vietnam

I basically agree with what William had to say and that’s one of the reasons why I went to Vietnam last year.  A few of my friends had been there and said that I should go very soon, because it was changing so quickly.  When I did visit Vietnam, I certainly felt that it was a society in transition, as it hurtled forward into the future as its economy grows.

One of the main reasons why I’ve travelled is because I’ve wanted to see different ways of being. After years and years of travelling, I’ve come to the conclusion that although most of the world can look a bit different, it is all basically the same.  Everywhere I have been, I have found that most people have a very similar moral code to myself.  Incest is taboo everywhere.  No one anywhere likes a thief or a liar.  Most people just about anywhere in the world will also do the right thing if given the choice, and they do not have some desperate need.

Years ago I was talking to a wise, old friend of mine Ed Arteaga, about travel.  I was telling Ed that I thought that he should travel some more, because I thought it was good for one’s intellectual growth (not that he really needed it as he is far smarter and wiser than me).  Ed just countered my suggestion by saying, “travelling is just changing the scenery”.  I can remember at the time when he said that, thinking to myself, that’s quite heretical!  Now that I am older, and I’d like to think wiser, I feel I understand what he was trying to say.  The mental architecture that we carry around in our heads, informs the way how we decode the world around us.  Basically, we project our own world view onto the world itself.

Recently I heard that up in Queensland, some primary schools have started to teach philosophy to young children.  Just think what a better world it would be if people were taught how to think.  Every now and again, the country I live in surprises me with how forward-thinking it can be.




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