Cultural differences is an aspect of a trip which is particularly significant for me. It might seem that the life of young people in less developed countries is simpler. Perhaps simpler, but by no means easier. In most cases much more difficult, but in my opinion that doesn’t make it worse.
If you were to live with a large family of an Andean farmer, fighting for a traditional existence surrounded by the onset of destructive globalisation, you might have a life changing experience. It is difficult to understand the world looking at it only from one perspective. We are not born to suffer, unfortunately most humans on our planet live in conditions below those considered adequate. If you go south, and then return to this prevailing consumer society conformism, to me this indicates that you have not done your homework. Do you still want to fuel this artificial development madness or perhaps would rather return to the fundamental values. Each one of us has their own ideas about what the world should be like. For me it was imperative to first see it up close, for what it really is and then to ponder and find a place where I might be able do to some good.
I believe it is important to give others something of oneself. Each one of us has a gift which should be made use of. During my travels I discovered many of my own, and today I want to use them to pursue positive, creative ideas.
I fail to understand, when I see descendants of the Inca or other ancient cultures, generally considered to be primitive, unable to provide decent lives for their families through honest work. Could it be natural that they are condemned to oblivion? For me, it is not natural when land, to which before all had equal rights is snatched up by human greed. They impose progress which is founded on destruction and annihilation. This is a fight which representatives of old traditions cannot win. Today, the world is not ruled by man, but by money.
It is difficult to say how much I learned about myself and us all delving into the knowledge of the oldest cultures of our planet. These people have been standing guard over timeless values through which we may find harmony and mutual prosperity. I am certain that one day we will come around and they will be afforded the respect due to them. In Europe, historical changes and political games of the ruling classes have practically cut us off from our roots. We should not forget that every nation takes its beginnings from indigenous cultures once living in a close relationship with nature. In the days gone by, nature was treated with respect, in an altruistic fashion. Unfortunately with the passage of time it was degraded to the status of an object of unrelentless exploitation. Luckily places like the Andes or the Amazon still exists, where one is able to meet people who have been brought up with far reaching attachment to our home, land, planet and the entire cosmos. It was here that out spirituality arose which over time became entrenched in the canons of institutional control. I know it is difficult to see the immense worth of those last people still living in accordance with the ancient order, and how much we can learn from them.
Be it America, Asia or Africa, destruction in the name of material hegemony of the most prosperous countries prevails. We cannot pretend that it is not happening. We have to stand up to it. Efforts to contort the inherent knowledge of indigenous peoples and reduce it to superstition have been made for hundreds of years, but once we discover it for ourselves, an important change takes place within us. Our conversations reflected the unfaltering belief in positive change. The more destruction and problems spewed out by the world of politics and economy, the faster that “primitive” awareness arises within ourselves. The truth is, that no matter what those most primal instincts embedded in today’s politics do, it won’t be enough to stop the great evolutionary change which is taking us into the future. Furthermore, that process is gaining momentum.