I was fortunate to be born and brought up in a country not unlike US in size and diversity. I also had opportunity to visit places around the world and learn new languages. Every new place that I go to has two rather opposite effects on me:
On one side, I can relate every new place that I go to with some place that I have been to earlier and the world seems such a small place overall and getting smaller all the time, that perhaps there wouldn?t be anything that is totally unfamiliar anymore.
On the other hand, not only every place but every person and oftener than not one?s own self seem to be something of a deep sea, with a humbling thought that the world is too big a place to quite fully understand.
Humans, as indeed any living thing on god?s earth, seek security. Security, among other things, comes with familiarity, but familiarity in turn comes through exploration of what had hitherto been unfamiliar. The joy of exploration lies in making unfamiliar things familiar, perhaps patterning them and putting them alongside something that exists in one of our mind?s infinite cubbyholes, while perhaps unknowing creating a new cubbyhole for this new entity. Conflicts arise when beings choose to look at the unfamiliar aspects of a familiar thing, feel unsecured and try to distance themselves from that thing, or worse still, seek to distance it from themselves.
We can choose to live in a very small space, one that we are much more familiar with, thereby creating an eggshell within which to perceive security, while continuously contemplating a crack developing in the shell leading to exposure to unknowns which by their being unknown must necessarily be hostile; or we can choose to live in an open world where most is unknown, leaving just enough know for an explorer to feel familiar and secure.
World around us is not unlike the geometric ratio pi, we know we would never know it accurately, but the better we know it the better we get to feel it and more ?acceptable? our little solutions to life?s puzzles become.
-- (July 23, 2003) on University Reminiscences