The first leg of our trip coupled with the news we're hearing from back home has encouraged us to reflect more explicitly on the contrast of our experience with the first days and weeks of the new U.S. Presidential administration.
In less than a month on the road, we've had a number of people put us up in their homes, feed us meals, share stories and advice, etc. We've received an outpouring of generosity - our race, gender, nationality, religion, etc. never disqualifying us from the humanity that's greeted us so far from home. The shared moments we've had across ages, nationalities, races, languages, etc. has shown (and we expect will continue to show) us that a shared humanity and goodness between people is a greater truth than any fear, hatred, discrimination, etc. that can be propagated by a few.
In reflecting on our experiences vs. those adversely affected by the words and actions of the new administration and some of its supporters in the U.S., we also recognize that it's important to acknowledge our privilege in being able to go on a trip like this:
-We have bank accounts and jobs that have allowed us to save money for the trip.
-We are all heterosexual white men with English as our first language.
-We are from the United States and do not need to apply for visas in the way that others would.
-We are not likely to face any trouble returning to the U.S. - wall or not.
-We are able bodied, healthy, and can prepare ourselves with appropriate vaccinations and prophylactic medications.
While we cannot shed these privileges, we believe that we have both an opportunity and responsibility to share a truth of kindness and good that we believe will continue to represent the experience of Mundo Pequeño.
In an effort to archive and share these experiences, we've also been making an effort to ask people a simple question: "What does the concept of small world mean to you?" We've recorded responses in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and expect that we'll have a diverse collection of responses by the time we return to New England next fall. In general, we've done our best to leave the question open-ended, allowing the respondent to answer freely and before we've shared more information about our trip. Responses have covered a number of topics including the environment, responsibility within our own small worlds (communities, work places, families, etc.), connectedness, travel and it making the world smaller, etc.
In an effort to resist the actions of our new administration, Mundo Pequeño will continue to share stories of kindness, openness, generosity, and shared humanity that represent a pervading truth - something that no small group of fear mongering, divisive, hate propagating individuals can ever take away from our experience.
In conclusion, we ask you to consider:
What does the idea of small world mean to you?
Please feel free to share your own written reflection, audio or video recording and send to firstname.lastname@example.org - *Also, please let us know if you're OK with our sharing your response on our blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
#smallworld #mundopequeno #lovewins #peoplearegood