Seeing the world

I sort of want to see the world. Only, I don’t know about the monuments – to be totally honest, I’m not actually that smart. I don’t know that much about monuments now, and while I admire them aesthetically and think they’re cool, they’re not my first priority. I don’t think the world is a collection of buildings and monuments. I think it’s a collection of ideas and souls.

I want to see the people. I didn’t mind seeing the Taj Mahal – it was great, I enjoyed it. But I really liked hearing the story of how Shah Jahan cut off the hands of the workers after the tomb was built, so that they would not be able to re-create it. I liked the romantic bit, about how Shah Jahan loved his wife too much to let her go quietly, so he raged in the dying of her light and built her a tomb. I don’t know if it’s true, but I like knowing the folklore. I like knowing the bits and pieces of stories that make culture.

I want to see the people of the world. I want to help the ones who struggle, I want to help take down the ones who oppress. I want to see the weirdest animals, and hear the best stories that people have to tell me. I want to know about families, and communities. I want to know local traditions, and urban legends. I want to see the world, but when I say that I don’t mean the valleys or the hills or the buildings or the monuments. The buildings don’t mean anything without the people who built and inspired them.

I want to see the parts that people don’t always want to show me. I want to see the minorities in history, the unspoken narratives of each century. I want to see what hidden underneath the grit or the glamour, way down inside the souls of the people, and the hearts of their loved ones.

I really just want to see everything.

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