Strangers in a Strange Land …

I have been the ‘new kid on the block’, many times in my life thus far. Three times, I was the ‘new kid’ in school when my parents moved around in my youth; I was the new kid, in several martial arts schools here in Australia, and then the foreigner in a dozen more of the same whilst embracing the odyssey of training in south east asia; the gaijin in Japan, the gringo in Brazil, etc, etc. Most of us have found ourselves in similar situations in the course of our recreational, educational and vocational lives. Being the new kid has it’s challenges - but it is also the process through which we forge who we are.
Novel situations are central to the process that forced humans to evolve as intelligent and problem solving beings. New terrain offers new challenges … challenges our ancestors overcame … and now here we find ourselves. We all, each and every one of us, are the progeny of a vast line of people stretching back into the mists of time, every one of whom overcame, prevailed, even thrived in extraordinarily difficult conditions (at least until they had opportunity to procreate). So when I look at those sitting on their arses and bemoaning how tough things are … I shake my head in utter astonishment. It only requires the barest amount of reflection to realise who we are, where we came from … and to then appreciate, that we live in a virtual paradise. What would our ancestors think?


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