LISTEN UP: Big World Can Change Perspective
You are never too old (or young) to be blown away.
Like, life-altering, mind-scrambling awed.
Ok, so I’ve never been to Europe.
Yes, I’m just your lame Florida (30-A), California and Caribbean Island traveler. BASIC, right?
Man, when I landed in Florence, Italy for a two-week trip that could really have gone either way, I felt the vibe. Immediately.
Over two weeks, I didn’t see a pick-up truck, a Chick-fil-A or a Starbucks. Crazy thing is that… I survived.
On my flight back to the States, I just recapped in my mind what I just witnessed.
What I witnessed was over 2,000 years of history. Like real history. Old crusty history textbooks I remembered came to life. These ancient ruins that seemed fictional were sitting right in front of me. Like real beauty that has stood the test of time.
Heck, I’ve got a dishwasher that lasted two years. The water system in Rome has been pumping clean water for 2,000 years. What is up with that?
Walking around these international selfie backdrops, something struck me. Thousands of people were sitting in outdoor cafes and restaurants, enjoying their surroundings and actually talking and laughing. Like, engaged using their hands with every word. It was like a symphony. I didn’t understand a thing but it passionate -- love and happiness pouring from them.
Music, singing – people young and old. Nothing was awkward. No phones… just vibing.
What also struck me is that Europe is predicated on family. Family is everything. Your family name defines you. I started to just talk to people to test my theory. Sunday family dinners are mandatory. Not like one little family, but the ENTIRE family.
They hate fast food. Too fast. Eating is their Social Media. They slow down and engage with… other people. Foreign, I know.
Europeans know their history as well. It’s not “Remember the Alamo”… it’s “Remember Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Constantine the Great, Henry VIII and Napoleon”. It’s mind-blowing.
The jam back in the day was art. This cat “Michelangelo” was the Beatles, Michael Jordan, Madonna and Steve Jobs wrapped into one person. Look him up. Dude ran things with his freakish talent.
Greek Gods were really a thing. Like, entire cities built massive buildings to sacrifice creatures to the Gods. There is a whole squad of them that would put the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Legion of Super-Heroes to shame.
At the center of every major metropolitan is the church. Not just one church, but several of the most ornate churches you can imagine. Statues, carvings, art that took decades to complete. Regardless if you are spiritual (which I am) or not, you just can’t ignore how powerful religion is overseas.
So, what does this all mean to you?
The world is big. Different cultures are fascinating. People are generally good-natured. Don’t believe everything you see on TV or on Social Media. History is important. Family is really important. Faith is real. And you are never too old to learn and have your perspective turned upside down.
But, I am not gonna lie – my return trip to Chick-fil-a was one for the ages.