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the hitchhiker

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This month in France has filled in the gaps left by my last trip to Europe.  Despite my modest efforts, I was mostly a “tourist” during my last trip to Europe.  This time, greatly facilitated by wonderful hosts and one eccentric exchange-mate, I have achieved the status of “traveler.”

Now, I have couchhosted once, couchsurfed several times, and hitchhiked some 12-24 cumulative hours over some 500 kilometers.  I love hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking takes a bland sightseeing itinerary and turns it into a true adventure.  Sure, there are places in this world where hitchhiking may be inadvisable, but one thing I’ve learned is that in most places (even more so in developed nations), people are nice.

Think about the local and regional roads you frequent—going to the supermarket, driving to your parents’ house, driving to school:  What kind of people drive on your roads?  Parents, uncles, middle-managers, carpenters, university students; what I’m getting at is that the vast majority of people on the road are decent human beings.  The world is full of good people—and when they see me, the quirky hitchhiker, they will honk in support, laugh in good humor, throw up their hands up wishing they were adventurous enough to pick me up, or…  they will pick me up.  The people who pick up hitchhikers are among the nicest—but not only that, they are sharp and confident people.

Interestingly, more women picked myself and my female traveling companion up than men.  The men that pick us up are nice, but these women—they are smart and confident women; they have good sense and they are not the type to tolerate a bullshit or malicious hitchhiker.  However, just like these people who pick up hitchhikers, hitchhikers themselves also tend to be good, smart, and world-wise people.

Now, I’m not advocating recklessness—everyone should know how to get out of questionable situations if they want to hitchhike.  I just want to note that, in my dozen pick-ups, I have never felt threatened—and of the dozen hitchhikers I have met, none have ever been assaulted by their drivers.

With this trip to France, I have gained fond memories, great friends, and improved perspective.  However, the best thing I have gained (or regained) is my faith in humanity.

Power can do nasty things, corporatism can systemically ruin whole populations, but humans…  Humans are good.  Couchsurfing, hitchhiking—I’ll never forget the time I’ve spent traveling on nothing more than the kindness of strangers.


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July 30, 2011 at 11:02 am

limiting beliefs

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I just read a blog about limiting beliefs and it has made me realize the dangers of my cynical view of people.  “Limiting beliefs are statements about life that we are emotionally invested in. They color our thoughts, feelings and choices. They skew our perceptions and influence our actions—so that the consequences we get reinforce them.”

What is it that I believe?  I believe that, in general, people are zombies.  People are unaware of themselves, people are unreflective, and people have nothing to offer me.  The guy standing in line in front of me?  Probably a douchebag.  The girl with him?  Probably an airhead.  This is what I believe…  Not all the time, but far too often I realize now.

For sure, there are many douchebags and airheads in this world, but I can’t go through life considering every stranger so harshly—if nothing else, it’s far too much negativity to carry around.  From now on, I will assume the best rather than the worst in the average stranger.

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January 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm

comedy central is no joke

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The Daily Show, with John Stewart, featuring recent guests like Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, and King Abdullah II (of Jordan)–discussing extremism, distortion in American media, and the middle east peace talks.

I watched the Daily Show today and caught Mr. Stewart’s interview with King Abdullah II. I was extremely impressed. Television is bullshit. History Channel, Discovery Channel, Scifi, CNN, FOX–it’s all bullshit. Then, there’s Comedy Central… oh my there is Comedy Central. Comedy Central is a troll in the idiocratic sea of cable television. With the premise of providing shits and giggles, Comedy Central engages viewers who laugh, at first, but think… and think critically, at last. It’s subtle. It’s smart…

Jimmy Carter: “I’ve heard about a rally. So you’re getting involved in politics?”

John Stewart: “No, but it’s going to be pretty funny.”

…It’s the seed of exactly what America needs.

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September 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm


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The unconscious is immensely larger than the conscious.

Deny any part of yourself and it will destroy you.

“The only way forward is down.” The answers lie within.  Self knowledge is the key to wisdom. ~Socrates

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July 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm

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Holy Fuck

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Marilyn Manson is the shit. That is all.

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April 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm

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