It is not far from reality to claim that it all started in our back yard, under the shade of our orange tree, when the temperature soared to 110ºF. Digging a hole with a stick and exploring the depths of the garden laid the groundwork for what became the first sparks of my passion to see and learn about the world. Many years passed till I had even the slightest understanding of the struggles that go on every day on every corner of this green and blue ball we call our planet.
History is filled with epic feats and compulsive conquests, narratives of national heroes climbing hand over hand to the top of great mountains, and civilizations being destroyed by greedy conquistadors over what they hungered for: gold. Although I have climbed big mountains, traveled much and seen more, after all those years, I still have not found greater contentment than knowing the people themselves. The sheer joy of sitting down with a sunburned farmer in Mexico or sharing a bottle of wine with a French cutie in Paris is what I value most.
Was Alexander the “Not So” Great wrong to burn the Persian Empire, or Francisco Pizarro for destroying the magnificent Inca civilization? Were all the lives of indigenous Americans who died on their own land lost in vain? Perhaps.
I am in no position to pass judgment on history, nor is my goal to “save the planet”, as we have not yet learned how to take care of ourselves. Lastly, I am not pointing a finger at any group or person per se, I am merely trying to understand it, taste it, and live it.
O. Christopher Sorbi