Last Friday we were invited to participate in a marriage just outside of Luanda. Having had the chance to live in few different countries I knew that you don’t really dive into another culture until the moment you see how one celebrates love.
When in a very different environment it is easy to start comparing what you see with what you have back home, wherever home is. It is the easiest trap a human being can fall in.
Last century (literally) when I had the luck to finish high school away from Portugal, more precisely in Montana, I experienced for the first time the challenge to walk in someone else´s cultural shoes.
One of the most powerful concepts I have learned while living away from home was the conscious that there are not better or worst societies or communities, there are just different experiences.
More than twenty years passed by since graduation day, nevertheless it remains fresh in my mind the wise words from good friends – If you open yourself to other people and cultures you became a richer and bigger person while the world becomes a smaller and friendlier place.
Back to the church in Angola I was glad my heart was able to see what usual vision does not, while trying to translate to my wife and our youngest son the meaning of the ceremony, I quickly understood that there was no need for that, Love is a universal language which does not require translation.
For almost two hours, we traveled back and forth in an ocean of emotions, reinforcing my believe that what we have in common is more than enough to live globally in peace.
Returning back home, our five years old son leaned his head on my shoulder and ask me if the marriage we just attended was a picture of Love.
For a moment I did not capture the enormous depth of his question, but then my mind start travelling in time for similar moments in life and I was able to touch the infinite intimacy that only Love can give us.
With a smile on my face I could only confirm that he was right, it was a picture of Love that we should keep in a very special place inside our heart.
By chance (I have serious doubts that chance really exists) the very next day while enjoying at home a relaxed Saturday, I risk something haven´t tried for a very long time, I turned on the TV to see what was on the other side of the magic box.
Indeed magic. I catch a wonderful documentary named I AM by Tom Shadyac, a journey about two key questions; what is wrong with the world and what we can do about it, it was the missing puzzle piece for the weekend.
In 1945 a brilliant mind wrote the following; “A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” ALBERT EINSTEIN
The more we open ourselves to others and to the world the more we find out that we are interconnected at a fundamental level, Desmond Tutu putted in a very simple and powerful way; WE ARE BECAUSE WE BELONG.
We all heard once that time flies, what we are not so much aware is that we can also fly with time and for that all we have to do is to keep tight in our essence all the special destinations we visited with our hearts.
Good Journey to all,