It suddenly occurred to me, when I first published this article a couple of years ago that I hadn’t written this before, at least not quite like this. There is too much that stays unsaid, because it’s self-evident, but perhaps it should be said anyway, and far more often. The way the world works today, one should definitely do that.
I’ve traveled quite a bit, a lot in my life. The places I enjoy the most is filled to the rim with cultural variety. London is such a place. The city is a smorgasbord of cultures from all over the world, both residents and visitors, travelers. One million people that aren’t residents are visiting the city at any time. You’ve never quite experienced the true value of the multicultural society until you’ve visited or lived in London in spring. Growth is everywhere, and the plants are just a minor part of that. You hear dozens of languages and witness virtually an infinite number of behaviors. I used to live there, and have visited countless times beyond that, but every single visit is still an experience. Even whatever may exist of daily routines become a great experience there.
New Orleans is another city with similar pleasures. It enjoys Spanish, English, American, French and native roots, and has for centuries been a melting pot of cultures. You notice it easily when you walk through the distinct streets, the amazing mood virtually assaulting you. New Orleans is a poor city in financial terms, also before Katrina, but aside from that it isn’t really poor on anything.
These are two cases. There are many more, all over the globe.
The obvious truth, heard and stated rarely, way too infrequently is that this, in such melting pots is where true creativity and display of humanity is exhibited in earnest. To a true seeker and artist such places are a fabulous inspiration. Throughout history they have been an ever-growing source of growth, the reason a group of people have moved on from possible stagnation, while people living in isolation and being full of themselves have ended up on the graveyard of history.
I’ve never truly understood racists and people hostile to strangers, and I never will. They’re scared and sad creatures, a fact that’s easy to understand. But what’s going on in their heads aside from that is impossible to guess. They close themselves off from life, and wish to do the same with everybody else. They give me the creeps.
But in melting pots like London and New Orleans one forgets those kind of humans, dismisses their narrow view on reality like the bad dream it is, and remembers easily, beyond memory… what it means to be human.