The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. – Hunter S. Thompson
My friend Pat posted that on his Facebook page. I felt I was on the edge. I was writing about a very difficult part of my life when I read this and felt if I looked to see if I could see over the edge, I may fall! So this put things in prospective for me… maybe I am not as close to the edge as I thought. Most once thought the Earth was flat and if someone expanded their boundaries, they ran the risk of falling off the Earth. But isn’t life close to the edge so much more fun? The view is so much better than most realize!
Life is more exciting to me when boundaries are challenged. I start my day usually with a cup of Colombian coffee like a lot of Americans do….but I am drinking my Colombian coffee IN Colombia. I buy my bread at a bakery instead of WalMart. I have no need for a car so when I go anywhere, I usually walk and see things I would never notice if I were in a car. I buy my vegetables at a farmer’s market not at a grocery store. I have created for myself a healthier lifestyle. As different as my life may be, life here is routine. Going to the bakery, going to the farmer’s market, walking where I need to go is typical to me now. I feel I have adapted.
My weakness living here is my lack of Spanish….that I have not adapted to. I also live in an English bubble here. My friends all speak English and I know just enough Spanish to get by. I feel this is a weakness of most Americans. We feel everyone should speak English. I have friends that get upset because they have to press 1 for English and there is even an option to have services in Spanish in the U.S. I feel this is a beauty of American life… LAND OF THE FREE!! Everyone is free to speak their own language. Many Americans do not realize that English is NOT the official language of the U.S. There actually is no “official” language, just English is the most common. Why do we have such an arrogant attitude that everyone should speak OUR language? Why can’t American say, “it would be good for me to know another language”?
Beyond the benefit of knowing another language… people could learn about other cultures. After my first visit, I was ashamed of how little I knew and understood about Colombia and the Latin culture. Most Americans only think drugs, jungles and guerrillas. Knowledge is not something to be afraid of. I know with school, I learned what I needed to pass and get by. Sometimes even using Cliff Notes instead of reading the books assigned. Now I am older and learning is more difficult, I regret that I did not make more of an effort when I was young. Sarah Palin running for vice-president referred to the country of Africa…. I bet she wishes she made more effort also!! I do not feel Sarah and I are alone.
If we expand our horizons – know more learn more – then our world become larger.