Monthly Archives: November 2015

Just Might Be OK

Friends,

I havent blogged in forever and a day. Theres no one reason why, but at least in the last few months I was reassured in my slackery by telling myself, “Its okay, as soon as I start traveling, the spirit will catch me and I will start writing again.” Twelve days in, and here I am writing a post less out of inspiration and more out of circumstance. You see, various factors have coincided…conspired… to leave me stranded in the city of Manzanillo without a place to stay and right now Im killing time in this internet cafe until it closes in 45 min. Im waiting for a couchsurfing response, waiting for my electronics to charge, waiting for them to kick me out…pick one.

Perhaps now is as good a time as ever to elaborate on what #justmightbeok means to me as Ive been using that hashtag on all of my trip related instagram posts. Well, for one its the title of a Lupe Fiasco song from his first album, Food & Liquor. The song itself is great and can be found here. Certain of the lyrics resonate with me generally and more particularly with regard to my mindset for this trip.

Broadly speaking however, the spirit of the trip goes beyond the scope of the song, or at least my appreciation of it. You see, In a very immediate sense I am quite afraid to be out here alone and vulnerable in poverty stricken countries with expensive electronics and a conspicuous looking set of equipment. But I cant let that fear rule me. I have what is in my estimation a righteous goal and to be struck down in pursuit of that goal, if thats what it ideed comes to, is an honour few get. So I have to move confidently toward it, in spite of fear, informed by previous missteps and always trusting my heart/gut.

If I do this, I just might be ok.

But I have of course extrapolated this mentality outward because its very important to me that if I am to be ok, so must everyone else; otherwise whats the point? I truly believe that I am, like Don Quixote professing knight-errantry as his cause and calling, out here for the good of the general public.  I am helping people by putting myself at their mercy so they can rise to the occasion and help me in my quest.  I am helping people by showing them how good they truly are.

You see, too often we approach each other with suspicion, mistrust, or in pursuit of advantage or exploitation. People who have that expectation placed upon them, whether implicit or explicit, rarely rise above it. But if you expect better from people, and I do, you will be amazed at how often they will not only rise to, but exceed that expectation. Its a beautiful thing to experience and it enriches and uplifts all parties.

You gotta be wide open though. If I dont make myself vulnerable or if I mistrust someone, they can sense it, even if its not on a cognitive level. Something is just off. But if I go in righteously, with the power of belief behind me and with an attitude of humility and meekness, well theres a way in which I…WE can appeal to peoples better natures, to their innate heroism, and yield more desirable results.

Are there missteps? To be sure. Do some people abuse the trust I place in them? Of course. But how can I let these events, which really equate to less than popcorn farts in the grand scheme of things, sour my disposition? Even my most “negative” experience on the road, getting robbed for all of my stuff in 2011, well I look back on it as perhaps the most valuable lesson I ever learned: “He who wishes to travel happily must travel lightly.”

But I digress. What I want to say in summary is that while I “just might be ok” in the immediate sense in spite of the danger and stresses, in the bigger picture, we all just might be ok if we go forth with an attitude of love, trust, and reciprocity.

I want to show whats possible when you cast yourself out into the abyss and trust that others will catch you. Talking isnt good enough, I gotta live it.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

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