Thursday, February 26, 2009

Global Thinking


One of the things I liked most about my time in the U.S. Air Force is that I got to travel. I made sure that anytime there was a tour going to some place I hadn't been, I was there. At first, my travels were limited to just the United States but, by the time I was in my late twenties, I knew that I had to see the rest of the world.

Starting with Germany, my travels took me to France, England, Italy, Bosnia, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, and Mexico. At first, my motivation for going was purely because of the money and I got paid more for overseas trips (per diem). As I got older, my motivation became knowledge and that is what brings me to the reason for this post.

It has occurred to me that a lot of the guys I grew up with (and a lot of Americans period) have never really been anywhere. I know some guys here who have never been anywhere but Atlantic City... and, if you live in New York or Philadelphia, you know that that's not far. Some folks haven't been out of their neighborhood and it's a shame because, when you limit yourself to just your surroundings and to people who look and think like you, you limit yourself to a whole world of possibilities. I think everybody who can, should travel to some place different at least once a year. If you can go to another country, even if it's in this hemisphere but, by all means do so.

I didn't come from a wealthy family... my beginnings were quite humble. I would say that we were lower middle class at best but, I was able to use the opportunities that were available to get a college education and travel to other countries. I will say that getting out of Philadelphia and seeing how other people lived changed my thinking a lot. For one thing, I began to appreciate what I have in America a lot more. I've been in countries where people of my particular class can't even dream of owning a house or where three square meals a day is a major achievement and not an expectation.

I've also learned enough of the native languages to talk to the common people in these lands. One thing I learned is that, in most countries, it's not so much that they hate the American people... they hate American policies and alliances with governments that are holding them down. I've also seen some Americans go to these countries and disrespect the customs of the people there and treat these people as if their ways are beneath them and backwards. This goes a long way to understanding why some Americans are not thought of in such a good light by some people in some countries.

The average American citizen living in "inner city America" or "small town America" who has never been outside of their area, doesn't understand it when he sees people in Pakistan or Iraq burning American flags or burning our former president's image in effigy. They just think that these people are ignorant and hateful. They have no idea what is sometimes done abroad in their name at any given time by people representing our government.

Many people were stunned on September 11, 2001 and they really didn't understand that there are people who hate America, whether justified or not abroad. Just as many people are shocked that our "little recession" is being felt around the world. The reason why is because they don't understand the global markets and how they are all interwoven... that doesn't make interesting reading. Nobody I know personally reads a foreign newspaper or watches a foreign news station. If you have cable, BBC News is broadcasted nightly as well as Spanish News and Japanese news. It's all on basic cable and I watch everything. I have a natural curiosity and I like to know how other countries report the same things that I see on CNN.

In this millennium, with what is going on now, I think it would be good for every American to start thinking globally... to make it his or her business to read just a little of what is being reported in other countries. To learn about the global markets and how they effect you. And, if you can't do anything else, take a vacation somewhere out of the United States, talk to people, and consider another point of view. We can't afford xenophobia any longer.

(That's why I went to college... so I could throw around cool words like that and dumbfound mah friends. Just joking!)

21 comments:

Political Sean said...

Excellent Post Again Keith..It is important that all Americans begin to think outside of their little communities and think globally as you said.

Toni said...

I agree with you 100% Keith, there is a big world out there.

Angie B. said...

It's a shame how many people have never even been to other parts of the city, let alone outside of it.

James Perkins said...

We are going to have to think globally, there is no other choice..Too much of our economy is interlocked with foreign markets.

Simon Bastion said...

I consider myself a global citizen.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

There you go, droppin that science
again baby!

Halo said...

I'm all about traveling to different placesand meeting new people.

Lisa said...

We borrow money from China...Asian
Markets and European Markets are facing a recession also..It's amazing how all of this is connected.

Vanessa said...

Good Post, Like most of your posts
this made me think and it has had an effect on the way I am going to look at things in the future. Thank
You.

Sunflower said...

Great Post Keith and very insightful. Global Thinking is very necessary in this world and in this economy.

TATE2 said...

Good Post Keith, Had to go to the dictionary to look up that word..
Xenophobia...lololol..I thought you
were pulling my leg for a minute.LMAO

Jazzy said...

I've been reading foreign newspapers and magazines for years.
I don't dig spanish news on cable too much...but I have watched the BBC news a little bit. Good lookin out Keith.

Swaggie said...

This post made me think Keith , about expanding my own horizons and getting out a bit..Good post once again.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rich Fitzgerald said...

You are bringing it man. I like how you think and I agree wholeheartedly. The real shame in this is that the powers that be count on our not knowing so they can shape the minds of the public. It's no wonder so many people have the views that they hold. They have been brainwashed.

Captain Jack said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this subject Keith. We, all Americans have got to start thinking Globally. We are not on this planet alone. We can not afford small mindedness.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

I'm from Small Town USA. I know plenty of people from my town who has never been outside of the city limits. It's crazy. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who knew there was more to life then our small town. We always traveled out of town. I knew at the age of 12, I was never going to live in a small country town ever again.

Kofi Bofah said...

Most Chicagoans stick to their little corner of the city.

You talk about people in the Northeast - only going to AC.

Out here - a lot of folks have never seen the ocean or any mountain.

Personally, I have been through the East Coast from Boston to Miami, all through the Midwest to Minnesota and to California.

Outside of the U.S., I have only been to Windsor, Ontario.

I would like to explore all of the 50 states before going international.

And you are right with your news insight. Most people do not care to read up on world politics or economics.

Octomom going to buy a video game is much more entertaining.

Mizrepresent said...

Great post Keith. I haven't seen the world like i need to, but i am going to. Thinking globally is worthwile to all of us. BTW - thanks so much for your continued support my brother, it is greatly appreciated!

ShellyShell said...

Great post Keith! I grew up in a small ass town 50 miles South of Buffalo. I was only one of 4 black people in my graduating class! My dad's from rural Alabama and my mom was raised in an upper middle class family in the north. They always took me and my siblings on trips and funded all my spring breaks in college. I have been to almost all 50 states,many parts of Canada,Mexico, ton of Carribean Islands and Europe. I will be going to Barcelona and Italy in September and I can't wait!

I've lived in DC,Richmond,VA,Houston and NYC. I'm sad I've never lived on the west coast but hey maybe I still can! I love the fact that we have options and it's unfortunate that people don't capitalize on them. I knew people in that small azz town who never went to Buffalo(which is were the airport is and major mall). It's a trip when I go home the people always say how's the "big city?" I met someone here in Brooklyn that has never been to the Bronx. My coworker who grew up here has NEVER been to DC or Phlly(this woman is 45). How are you right up the road and never have gone and have lived here you're entire life. That's crazy to me! Especially since she has a car and always had one. I know me as a youngster would have been up and down 95! Shyt I went on a ton of roadtrips living in upstate NY! Ok sorry for the rant!

**Star said...

I do visit...

I don't comment as much as I would like...

busy college student...


thanks for compliment too...




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