Which road do YOU choose?

I had a long and interesting discussion with a friend recently about travel. Particularly travel to the Southern states of the U.S. Even though I have strong family heritage in the old South (one of my great grandfathers was a Confederate soldier during the Civil War), I’m probably the ‘Yankee’est Yankee’ who ever lived. I was born and raised in California and have lived most of my adult life in or around big cities. In spite of that, I’ve also been fortunate to be able to spend time in the South visiting the areas important to my family history.  I’ve also spent some time in Appalachia. I’ve been to the wealthy old monied areas and also to the poor ‘hollers’ of that region. People all over the South are nice, but the simple people in the small towns and villages are the nicest, in my opinion. I’ve also found that the people in tiny Appalachian hamlets are open, welcoming  and friendly.  My friend seemed surprised that I’d had this experience there. Maybe it’s me, but I never have the problems some people say they have when they travel. Never caught a ‘whiff of anti-American feeling in Paris or elswhere in Europe either. I don’t understand why others seem to have difficulty with other people when they travel? I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe it’s a person’s own fear that projects outward when they travel. We’d all like to think we are more tolerant and diversity-oriented than we really are; myself included.  This can carry over into almost everything else in life that we encounter.  What do we expect from others?  And does our expectation actually project onto others?  This energy can bleed over into relationships, work, family, almost EVERYTHING!

That brings to mind this story I once heard:

An elderly man is sitting on his front porch, when a stranger comes along.
“What are the people like around here?” asks the stranger.
The elderly man thinks a minute. “Well, what are they like where you are from?”
The stranger replies: “They’re mostly stupid jerks.”
“Well,” said the elderly man, “You’ll find the people here to be about the same.”
Thirty minutes later, a second stranger comes by. He asks the elderly man the same question.
The elderly man thinks a minute. “Well, what are they like where you come from?”
The second stranger replies: “They’re pretty friendly people, and generally nice.”
“Well,” said the elderly man, “You’ll find the people here to be about the same.”

As we travel along the ‘road of life’, there are a lot of choices we can make about how we interact with others– for every action, there’s a reaction.  We also project our ‘stuff’ onto others, sometimes subconsciously. Once we start to identify this behavior, it is extremely easy to adjust it!  The resulting change in our own energies and in the behavior of others towards us can change very drastically in a positive way.  It is often difficult to get perspective on this when it’s YOU that is experiencing it and living it, though.  This is an area where I can be of help to you as a set of outside ‘eyes’ looking at your situation, circumstances, and the feelings of others.  Sometimes we need a little help from a neutral person who can help us navigate our energies into traveling on a more optimum ‘road’.

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