I was sitting outside a coffee shop having an easy morning chat when we overheard a man and little girl playing beside us. It reminded me of my sister playing with my niece; making every game fun and yet somehow educational. This man was asking the young girl questions and she would respond with an obviously learned response. At one point, the man asked something like, "What if a boy were to wear a dress? Would that be okay? What about a skirt?" Then the girl responded, "No! You wear a shirt," and laughed it off like a joke. Now, I honestly don't know what the intention was or if they believe such behavior is or is not acceptable, but that's not the point. It occurred to me that this girl is at an age where she will remember these games, and it will shape her perception of right and wrong for life. I started thinking about how different people are; how they teach their children, and how every part of our country has it's own view on what life is about. Watching this innocent interaction, and spotting the newest headline about our government's inability to perform, I started making some curious observations.
It seems that my generation is at a major crossroads. The war era citizens, like my grandparents, were part of what seemed to be a time of obedient far right thought. Very conservative and "as it should be done" society. Then, the Boomers rebounded intensely with the opposite. Free-wheeling, far left hippie mentality. Every generation since then has had a similar struggle - what is the correct balance? We sit and watch this clash of cultures as it continues to divide our nation. The lines are so clearly drawn in the sand, and all effort is placed on which part of the divide you choose to stand. I personally believe that there is a repairable future for our country. But, it is up to those of us who choose to make a wave and wash away the line, finding that way to meet in the middle. After all, aren't we standing on the same beach?
That is when the epiphany hit. I realized the true opportunity I have been given. This tour is more than just a show. It is a chance to gain some incredible perspective on the world that most people will never recieve in their lifetimes. I have the opportunity to actually see our entire country, along with our neighbor to the north, and discover the true fabric of western society; What every region believes, how they implement it in their lives, what is important, what not so much, and with all of these things a big "WHY." And with this newfound knowledge my blog is going to take a very exciting turn.
Rather than make this simply some other space for "ooh ooh look how exciting my lifestyle is" or just another "this is where I am at the moment," I want to also make it a forum for intelligent discussion. Fiddler on the Roof is the perfect example of a show that translates to everyone because of its timeless and universal themes. So I propose a blog which focuses on what I am observing in my travels across the continent, as well as what I am learning from the show, and however the twain shall meet. It might sound a little heady. And you may be wondering why I would want to do something that sounds so much like a never-ending research paper when I am far removed from my academic days. The answer is very simple...
...I am a nerd.
And I love it. So there.
I look forward to many insightful blog posts to come, and hope that those who actually take the time to read my long winded ramblings will join in the conversation.
As for my parting quote, I saw the movie THOR yesterday. I didn't get the exact words, but I liked this piece of advice given to the title character after his fall from grace,
"The thing about learning you don't have all the answers, is that you start asking the right questions."