30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

We Are Different, But So Much Alike...Colombia

The difference in cultures when I travel over seas are so overly noticeable to me because that's one of the greatest parts of traveling globally to me.

I mean, if I wanted to see trees and hills every day, I'd stay in Southern Indiana and never leave, but I want to see the world, both here and abroad.

When I recently traveled to Colombia, I wasn't there but a few days, but long enough for me to notice some similarities to other places in the world.

People are hospitable.

Sure, those who are in charge of taking care of your needs like room and board, but so are the people you come into contact with.

Some part of it, I'm sure, is because I am a basketball coach in a basketball world where the US is respected greatly.

But some of it, I think, is because people often who have less worldly goods, seem to have a joy that we miss here. I think that speaks volumes to our murder and suicide rates, and to our alcohol, and drugs addictions here in the good ol US of A.

But a couple things that I noticed in Cali the night we drove from the airport to our hotel stood out the most.

First, it was about 1-2 AM in the morning.

Second, we went well over the speed limit through downtown not stopping at stop lights. We were told that when you stop at the lights, or you go too slow you will be in trouble. Either the policia think you are doing something wrong, or people will run out at the lights and rob you, possibly worse.

Third, everything was locked up. I mean houses, businesses, everything had fences around them and were locked up and the fences were not the kind you would want to climb over either or you would be injured or worse.

Fourth, on the second day of our basketball clinic, I pulled out money to pay for something, and when I did, I was told quickly to put the money away, to never do that again in public or around strangers.

Though the people were considerate, there seems to be a crime issue. Maybe the joy from those who have less is nice, but they are also striving to have more whether legally or illegally.

And I am in no way naive to think that Colombia or other countries do not have drug or alcohol issues. I am in no way willing to think that other countries are some perfect utopia and I would be much happier there than home in the US.

But I am willing to make the statement that you can be happy other places and I often wonder if Capitalism (the best form of economic structure that exists) isn't responsible for some of the worst things in our world.

And really, it's not Capitalism's fault, it's our sinful nature of wanting, desiring more.

That's something, I'm not sure I would have fully understood unless I had been overseas.