The more I travel…I can finish this sentence in so many ways, but I will choose to finish it like this for today. The more I travel, the more complex the world gets. As an American, I often think about how I am perceived and how my home country is perceived when I am visiting different countries. I know for myself, I oftentimes take my perceptions of others and situations as truth.
Some of these most recent observations in South Africa have pushed me to think about people’s place and purpose in the world. With that broad thought, I can’t help but to think about the lack of access to resources as I am here in the tiny seaside village of Arniston writing in my cottage. While South Africa appears to be a country of plenty for the “haves,” the “have-nots” are struggling. Struggling for jobs. Struggling for adequate housing. Struggling for education. Struggling for access to the economy. Struggling for health care. Struggling for basic human rights outlined by the United Nations. Struggling; albeit, with a smile (sometimes). At least in my perception.
Consequently, the current perceived challenges within the United States are unmistakably similar to South Africa’s post-apartheid society. To illustrate, we are having a post-racial rhetoric programmed into the nation’s collective consciousness to wash away the memory of human rights denied. Although we have elected our first black President, the nation still has deep economic, social, and racial issues. However, it’s all about perception. We aren’t struggling as badly as Greece, Mexico, or even South Africa. Right?
The world is a complex place with many layers of thought, practice, and purpose. As I continue traveling through the country studying with and about its’ people, I hope to see glimmers of the unbiased “rainbow nation” countless unnamed people, black, white and in between, fought for and continue to fight for.