Growing up and learning about the world is an endless process of hearing stories of the big, bad and competitive world out there. Ironically enough, we hear more stories of divide, differences, fears, hatred and the dark side of the world. Probably, because most people do not venture out of their comfort zones and only interact with a minuscule part of the world that is barely representative of the real picture. The picture that they hold as an ideal is a biased one, based on the limitations of their surroundings.
But for those who venture out into the unknown, the stories they live through and have to tell are full of surprises, kindness and warmth that make you want to believe in the large-heartedness of the world. For often, travelers know well how to truly embrace the world for what it is instead of focusing on what it is not. Do these people not face any difficulties? That’s the rule of life- black and white are only two ends of a spectrum, life for all is mostly lived in the shades of grey. For those who embrace what they cross, will also see beyond what is said and spoken of things that make places come alive.
After all, how different can a planet of 7 billion homo sapiens be?
O for One World
No matter where you go, if you dive deeper, you will be able to connect strongly with people, places, history, flavors and the cultures. You will connect for various reasons, but most importantly because you connect with the core human nature and its interaction with the world that make us all alike. Different names, state boundaries, different tongues and tones, ingredients and flavors, cultural recipes, varied art forms cannot divide us. Instead, they are only a reflection of the diversity of ideas and thoughts that are common to the human race.
Ever wondered why every country a culture?
Why every country has a staple food?
Why does every country have its sets of traditions and societal norms?
And if you think further, why are most of them so similar and yet so different?
We believe that One World is the answer to all of it.
What is One World?
We’ve got just one, of this amazing planet that we live on. But that’s not the one world that we are referring to. One world stands for the oneness that unites us, with all our similarities that exist and surpass our differences. It’s identifying the similarities that lay the foundation for the ‘supposed localized versions’ that exist.
The idea of one world is not restricted to anything. You can see it countries, in cultures, in food, in art, in textiles, in sports, in movies, in machines, in everything and a lot more in the basic human nature and emotions.
We’re on big family on this one small and yet large-hearted planet, called the earth.
Importance of this Philosophy
To be honest, the ‘one world philosophy’ is not a literal idea explored by our ancestors. It’s a phrase we often use when trying to tie humanity with one thread. But to me, this philosophy was realized only after reflecting upon the good and the bad through my travels. Before and after every trip I took, I was often asked about the differences that exist. A lot of these questions came with the core question of human survival in different conditions. Probably out of my additional experience or extensive research, my response was always of wonder and amazement as to why would survival be so hard in a place where other humans exist.
Unfortunately, for mankind, differences being a bad thing is a notion deeply entrenched in our minds. A notion that blinds us to all else. Because it is the differences that expose us to a life beyond our own acceptance. It is the differences that make us see things beyond our own comfort and liking.
Ask yourself, would you respect the soldier of a neighboring nation just like you respect your own?
Would you appreciate an opponent who is competing against you?
Would you consider another’s religion as sacred as yours?
Now think, why is another soldier lesser than your own, when he too is doing the same job- that of guarding his country by his life.
If your opponent is good enough or even better than you, does he/she deserve your envy or your admiration? After all, they’ve worked hard to get to the place that you too want to claim for yourself.
Why is any religion inferior or superior when every religion is supposed to show you the way to the almighty and bow to the superior powers?
We often become blinded to the similarities that bring us together because we are not willing to make room for another’s dreams, perspectives and existence. And yet, we all have something a lot in common that brings us together.
One World Stories
Throughout our travels, we’ve been blessed to experience and witness stories that unite people because of the common core. While you could dismiss these stories as mere stories or coincidences, we strongly believe that the reason behind their existence is the cosmic force of nature. We choose to look through the lens of compassion, empathy and love. Here’s what we found!
Naples, Italy (2018)
On our trip to Naples, we were staying at the Naples Experience Hostel. We were impressed by the warm and welcoming staff and the hospitable environment that felt like home. One of the caretakers at the hostel was a Pakistani man, living away from his family to earn their living. No matter how nasty our politics gets each time, even with the barrage of cheap headlines dividing the two countries, when an Indian meets a Pakistani abroad, they instantly become friends. On our last night in the hostel, he actually cooked Pakistani style Chicken Korma for me to enjoy for dinner.
After over 40 days of travel, it felt like the homeliest meal I had eaten- taste wise and emotion wise
Europe (2016 & 2018)
Our travels across Europe have always been long trips. We’ve mostly traveled across the continent for at least 6 to 8 weeks, across different states. The constant travels and country hopping helped us see through the similarities in these countries. At some point, we would think how the big cities look alike, the culture, the architecture, even the layout. (Here’s one of our favorite memes about European cities to give you reference)
At one point, even the food felt alike or borrowed. Trdelnik in Prague was served as Chimney Cakes in Budapest. Goulash was native to Hungarians, as well as the Slovaks and the Austrians. French fries are actually Belgian. Portugal and Spanish debate over the origin of Sangria.
Rotorua, New Zealand (2019)
We had dedicated a day to learn more about the Māori culture in Rotorua. The Māoris are said to be the original inhabitants of New Zealand. And even though most of the culture we see today is heavily influenced by its colonization by the Great Britain, the roots of the Māori culture are still there to trace. The Māori culture felt strangely similar, especially due to the similarities in the religious practices. Worshiping the forces of nature, passing on the knowledge of their skills to younger generations, tattoo culture, respecting the elders, are all values that feel closer to home and share semblance with the Vedic traditions that have been a huge part of mainland India for centuries now.
In food, in architecture, in culture, in traditions, in lifestyle, in art, in practices, in people, everywhere we went we found something in common, something that tied them all together. Something that made the differences seem much smaller than the similarities that we shared. One world has been the way this world goes on.
I am sure we have all encountered it at some point. Whether it is calling a Vada Pav, a Desi Burger or whether it is calling Paella, a Spanish version of Biryani, we’ve all seen, and lived through these similarities that make our world. And I hope that we keep getting to experience more of them!
The next time someone talks to you about the differences in the world, help them learn about One World and it’s beauty too. Here’s to traveling and experiencing the best stories!