Men are supposed to take risks. Educated, calculated and measured risks, certainly, but risks nonetheless. Avoiding risk and running from the unknown are NOT the hallmarks of a leader or an achiever. Risk avoidance merely means accepting complete defeat without even trying.
Such thoughts occupy my mind because what I am planning could be described as risky if not reckless. I plan to leave the safety and comfort of home, travel to a foreign land, live among the natives, eat their food and learn their language. I know that employment will be challenge, just as I know that it’s a virtual certainty that the people I will meet will have a distorted and negative view of me courtesy of the filth, propaganda and outright lies that media and government incessantly publish.
I’m going anyway. In my estimation, there is little that could happen to me overseas that I don’t already face right here at home.
Besides, I’ve had the privilege of working with too many refugees and immigrants who faced TRULY dangerous risks merely to go on living. Every so often, I encounter a former student or client. For the most part they are doing well. MANY are doing extraordinarily well. Many of these young men came to this country straight from the refugee camps, spoke very little English, had NO local family and had little familiarity with cold weather or American cuisine. Most of those same young men have now earned their first degree and have moved on to advanced studies or started businesses and jobs. Most of them are “non-American” looking, speak with “strange” accents and have “funny names”.
They didn’t give up. They didn’t quit. They took risks. They persevered. Hell if THEY can do it, why shouldn’t I?
Like this guy…
Panama here I come!!!!
Well its not quite that simple.
I am still battling one thing… my own fear.
On one hand I am on course to do something that I have wanted to do for years. This decision marks the beginning of a new adventure, a new lifestyle and possibly a new career (professional blogger). I am very excited about all of those things. But, there are many things about this excursion that make me very uncertain. First of all, I have not saved nearly as much money as I should have. In addition to that, I am going somewhere that is completely new and strange to me. I do not know anyone there and I don’t speak Spanish. I do have relatives there but I do not know them. So for now, I feel as though I have no family there and will be very far away from the family that I have known all of my life and love
I have also heard about the violence and poverty in certain areas of the country. When I think about the violence I have to think about my mother and my big brother. My mother came to America and was murdered right here in the good ole USA, as was my big brother and several other people close to me. And currently poverty in the US is worse than ever. Therefore, I can not use the fear of violence and poverty dissuade me. I take comfort in the stories I hear from people who said their fathers and grandfathers came to America with $7 to their names and became very successful. Maybe one day my kids will sit around in a mansion and tell my grandkids the same thing about me.
Ultimately I pray that this journey is going to provide an enlightening experience for me that will bring me closer to my mother by learning about her country. In addition to that, I want to have some damn fun. I want the beach, the sunshine, the women, the culture, the nightlife, the Art and whatever else I can squeeze out of Panama. And I plan to share as much of it as I can with you.
And I am not going to let a small thing like fear keep me from that.
Peace & Love,
I agree. In fact, let me be emphatic;