Friday, March 27, 2009

People Everywhere are People. And they're Good.

Did you know that Germans are warm, friendly, expressive and sensitive?

Back in Canada, as I imagined myself cycling through Germany, a wave of trepitation hit me.   Every nation has its stereotypes.   Germans are this way, Romanians like that, and the French like this.  My mental picture of GERMANY was this rigidly defined country with stately castles castles, flocks of engineers, and men and women with rigid posture that would  be cold and distant and unapproachable.  

Terrible eh?

It was not that I consciously thought this, it was more of a subconscious anxious expectation.   I've traveled alot.  I speak so many languages, I can't remember how many.  Yet, even with all my cultural exposure, I still have these residual stereotypes and biases.

I am meeting German after German that shatters these stereotypes and bias!  Heidrun, from Leer, couldn't stop giving me friend hugs and pats!  Her warmth literally melted my preconception.  Last night a bunch of German 20 year old talked my ear off two nights in arow and then gave me a gift basket!  I could give dozens more examples.

In America, it was the same thing.   I was shown great kindness by people I would have pegged as stereotypical Americans.  Indeed, I felt ashamed for ever thinking this way after been treated with such warmth and generosity.

I am becoming conscious that this a primary theme of my journey:  Experiencing first hand that people everywhere are people.  If you smile, they smile.  If you show respect, it comes right back at you.   People are by nature kind and helpful and generous.  Everywhere.  Humans are good!

What I am typing is soooo simple and obvious.  Yet, to actually experience this-- the kind people in Germany are one and the same as the kind people in America, is quite profound.

Experiencing our essential humanity fits in beautifully with my Oneness Mandala project.   

I feel a little bit like a thread and needle being drawn through a giant multicoloured tapestry.   As I am drawn through one distinctive and colourful section to the next, I am deeply feeling how its all connected.  I am experiencing how we're all unique and colourful threads, inextricably connected and united to our fellows in one big explosive burst of distinctive and dazzling unity.

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