Friday, May 15, 2015

My changing perspective

In prior Ethical Musings' posts, I have remarked that nothing remains constant. Everything changes, although sometimes the pace of change is so slow that the casual observer mistakenly believes that no change is occurring. For example, the rate at which most rocks change would lead one to believe that the rock was unchanging when in fact the forces of gravity, electro-magnetism, and perhaps wind and water are slowly altering the rock. Alternatively, other things change at an almost stupefying pace, e.g., some internet content and much of contemporary culture.

Ethical Musings is changing. I'm moving from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Honolulu, Hawaii. Next week, my partner and I vacate the house in which we have lived for the last decade. We will embark on almost four months of travels that will see us visiting family and friends in the southeastern U.S., spending time with friends in England, making our first sojourn in Vienna (Austria), enjoying a month in Florence (Italy), and then driving across Canada before flying from Los Angeles to Honolulu at the end of August. My blog posts will most likely become somewhat infrequent during those months.

If past travels are indicative, my travels will alter my views, at least subtly and perhaps substantially. Having spent three to four months of each year in the last decade traveling, I can confirm that travel broadens one's perspective (it can also broaden one's waistline in the absence of unrelenting personal discipline with respect to drink, food, and exercise!). Parochial attitudes and values reflect a small-mindedness incompatible with our rapidly globalizing world.

Community used to consist of the people who lived nearby. Community now consists of people whose lives intersect with our own, regardless of geographic location. Ethical Musings' readers form such a community with readers literally from around the planet. Common concerns bring us into community without homogenizing either our ideas or lives. I'm thankful that in relocating from the east coast of the U.S. to a Pacific island the Ethical Musings' community will come with me.

I'm moving because my partner and I believe that we will enjoy a more abundant life in Honolulu. The weather is great year-round. The island is truly multicultural, with no race or ethnic group comprising a majority of the population. Life in Hawaii is intimately connected to sea and land, but in Honolulu is also urban, i.e., capturing what we think is the best of both rural and urban life.

In beginning this new chapter of my life, I again experience a change. Even for the most sedentary and greatest lovers of routine, life invariably consists of chapters. The first chapter is being an infant; the second being a toddler … the last is one's death. In between, most of us are privileged to have several chapters. In this chapter, I have focused on reading, thinking, writing, and traveling. In my next chapter, I anticipate less traveling, less writing, and more active engagement, though I have no good idea of what that will look like.

What is the present chapter of your life? What would you like the next chapter to be like?

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