Hello, everyone. I’ve been thinking of friends and colleagues all around the world, during this very difficult time. And I’ve been contemplating, as so many of us have, what the world will look like when the health crisis has passed — the economic downturn, and the enormous changes that have already taken place, and where they may lead. Many predictions, but no one — not even top experts — can say with any certainty just where we’re heading.
And — intercultural understanding. And travel, to experience and learn about, and from, our many cultures around the world. This is currently impossible — and may not be so easy in the revised global community to come.
Currently, I write to you from Istanbul, where I am sheltering in place. Earlier this year, I spent 7 weeks in Hong Kong, where EWP is based — and during the throes of their early experience with this health crisis.
For these past 2 years, however, I’ve traveled continuously, no fixed home — while, since January 2005, I’ve lived in several countries (other than my homeland) and traveled widely — 105 countries + 5 territories thus far, many of them repeatedly.
I’ve been forging ahead, at times testing my endurance — for the experience itself, to learn both broadly and deeply about the world’s major cultures, to research and prepare for all those additional articles, books, projects, presentations, and classes that EWP aims to deliver over the next 25 years or so. 🙂
Enter 2020 — and this global health crisis likely to result in borders that are far less open, and a new way of being, and of governance, that limits freedom of movement.
I have so much more travel planned. Many more cultures to explore, to learn — both new to me, and all those that I want to know more deeply. To contribute to our collective intercultural understanding — to our global community, to our humanity.
But perhaps the Cosmos is saying, to me, to each of us: “Quiet now. Stop moving. Stay, listen, contemplate, reflect. And: share.”
May we all get through this as best we can. May we not close our doors to one another — at international, national, local levels. May we heal from this trauma, move away from our current suspicions and fear of others — and may we begin, then, to remember: we are a global community. We are humanity.
May it be so.