Updated: Jan 6, 2020
Being a restless creature, Man feels compelled to constantly travel, seeking, but knows not what.
Not all of our travels are physical. We also travel with our minds, hearts and spirit. We travel when we work, play, read, observe, converse, think, contemplate, pray and meditate.
Why does the same activity of travel, have a different impact on different people?
Why is it that, Travel, makes smart people wise, and fools worse?
In my experience it has to do with attitude and level of openness, of the mind and heart.
Smart (not to be confused with cunning) people, know that they know so little and there is so much more to learn and experience. They are open to meet with others, examine and even adopt new ideas, and influences.
Fools, are people who usually know little or nothing and are easy to identify. Not only are they ignorant, they arrogantly bask in their ignorance. Fools usually take refuge in 'blind faith or following'. They are smug and usually have closed mind and hearts. In the extreme they are fanatical.
In present day society, which is primarily materialistic, smart people are seen as, those people that have acquired, wealth, power, degrees, rank and position. Fools are seen as those that have failed to acquire in any significant way any of these things.
Foolishness and smartness manifests irrespective of how much schooling or college they attend, or what their rank and position is in society or how much money they have.
Smartness and foolishness are traits mostly acquired in early childhood, usually at home, by familial influences, teachers and caretakers.
All travel of the mind during later schooling and in all travels in life, only amplifies this already developed nature.
We are all born innocent and ignorant.
Education and travel allows us to shed our ignorance and hence our capacity to think and achieve.
Retaining our innocence provides us the capacity to be happy and experience well being.
Smart people take the most out of travel and engagement with others. On the other hand, fools only seek reinforcement for their biases. The more sense of superiority that they have been pumped with in life, the worse they become.
Smartness and Foolishness can also be identified by the level of open-mindedness.
The open-minded person has a willingness not only to accept new ideas but also from a wide range of sources. He or she seeks to journey outwards, but eventually land up introspecting and looking within themselves.
Such people come away with a wealth of experiences and learning. This is why travelling usually helps them become wiser.
Many people are closed mind. They have been fed somethings usually fictional, irrelevant and often destructive and since it is all they have, they feel compelled to cling to to it. Such dogmatic and foolish people reach a conclusion before they arrive at it and call themselves believers and followers.
Blind faith without actually experiencing anything, is the path of the taken by the intellectually, and spiritually lazy individual. So travel is wasted on them for all they seek to do is, find selectively traits and so called 'facts' which reinforce their existing rigid idea and concepts. Such people become worse with travel.
As mentioned earlier not all travel is physical. We can also journey through our minds and hearts. Sharing reading, observing, conversing, working and playing provide great opportunities to travel intellectually and emotionally.
The dogmatic person and the fool have a closed mind, so it is difficult for them to gain much from an encounter or experience particularly travelling and meeting other people.
Actually society is mostly filled with open-minded individuals who find themselves trapped within groups in society or families where they have been indoctrinated and conditioned to think only in a particular way and to reject all else.
Such 'middle-minded' people, seek to learn and experience more and publicly they appear conformists and closed but privately they are open. Such people have the maximum possibility of intellectual enrichment from travelling and association with others. Their faith is either reaffirmed or completely demolished.
Unfortunately, 'middle-minded' people who travel, experience great stress. They face the great challenge, how do they recalibrate their lives when they return from their travel, to their closed minded indoctrinated society?
They know, what they are doing is wrong, harmful and negative, yet they cannot live nor can they leave. For them to go against the majority trend is to court disaster and most choose to live in intellectual and spiritual distress rather than face social isolation.
Values and attitudes are best shaped by parents and by others within and near the home when the child is young. Unfortunately most parents are too preoccupied with themselves and other concerns, so they outsource this most fundamental responsibility to others.
Servants, caretakers and professional priests and teachers usually take up the responsibility of opening or closing minds by imposing their individual and group ideas and biases on the virgin minds, of the young.
Eventually children imbibe the nature of the 10 people with whom they spend most of their time.