The Road to Hell Is Paved. Period.

Don’t take the high road. Or the low road, either. They were built by others, for their own reasons.

What if…we found own way. We don’t have to agree with everyone we meet along the way, but it would be nice if we could accept someone else’s right to an opinion. We all have different experiences and opinions. That’s what they are, opinions, NOT absolutes or dictates.

What if…we make our own path and respect others’ rights to their own paths – as well as everything and everyone whose path we find ourselves sharing. Yes, we’ve all got to find a way to put food in our stomachs, clothes on our nether parts and a roof over our bed. But there are many ways of doing it without jumping onto the sort-of-predictable pyramid of institutionalized life. Love something? Find a way to do it. Think of the entrepreneurs running the ski and dive shops, B&B’s and ready-to-wear shops as well as owners of all the non-corporate amenities in our lives. They’ve all had their ups, downs and in-betweens in a way that they never would have had in a corporate environment. But for most of them, it’s the price they pay for doing what they love. They know life and love are unpredictable.

Visualize the joy, the excitement, the dancing eyes of a child who’s been truly surprised by something wonderful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel that again? When your life is scripted, surprise becomes an interruption, not a joy. Leave some room in your life to live without a script, without a timetable, without that to-do list that will never, ever be completed in any reasonable lifetime.

Most of us have seen “trapped” mimes who are trying to get out of a box only they can see. There are people who, like the mime, see walls. It doesn’t matter whether it’s self-created or imposed. But rather than feeling it, searching for an escape, they very conscientiously layer brick after brick after brick with nice neat rows of mortar, to ensure that they never see or interact with whatever’s outside.

Are these people so sensitive that they can’t bear dealing with whatever’s outside their little bubble? Or are they so elitist that they choose not to leave their bubble-gated communities to participate in the world with the rest of us? In either case, they’re in self-created prisons.

When I talk with those of us who’ve survived adolescence and have learned to negotiate our environments with varying degrees of competence [hey, we all have our strengths and weaknesses], I find that my American friends and acquaintances are somewhat surprised at my travelling and seeking. It looks like I see and do more than the average American.

BUT

When I have these same conversations with non-Americans I feel like a stay-at-home hermit. I’m guessing that there are stay-at-homes in their countries, too. It appears that those of us on the mobile seeking-searching-experiencing path have more in common with each other than with our countrymen. In much the same way that the employee of a multinational has more in common with a coworker on another continent than with their next door neighbor.

Sometimes it’s rough out on that road. But it’s rarely ever boring. Sometimes it’s lonely. But you probably won’t be alone. Even when you think you’re on your own road, you’ll likely find others who are sharing your path. For a little while. Or a long while. Enjoy the journey.

When we encounter something new, do we react with fear or respond with curiosity?

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