The Woman on the Bicycle

Walking out of the apartment today I saw the most lovely old woman. While pouring down rain, she rode her bicycle while wearing heels, hoes and a long coat that covered a beautiful dress. In that moment, I felt so much compassion for this strange woman that I had never met. The simplicity of the life here is beyond what I can fathom. They value beauty and fashion and works of art that were established long before their time. One of the things I have realized since journeying out of America is the complete and total lack of culture in our society. Instead of marveling at small delicacies on a walk through town, we stalk celebrity news and gossip while judging our counterparts harder than we appreciate the life we are currently living.

I think this may be so prevalent because we have hardly anything to hold on to that resembles our American culture. We value work over anything else in life, pushing our familial values to the way side as we strive to make money rather than making relationships. One of the questions that continually circles through my head comes from one of my favorite movies, Eat, Pray, Love. The question is “What is your word?” If given one word to describe yourself, what would you say? Most Americans might say Teacher, Doctor, Mother, Wife. However the true meaning of this question lies in the values that go beyond your title in American society. We have lost the ability to truly get in contact with our feelings in order to sort them out in a proper manner. This trip has already given me a little perspective into appreciating the good things in life. Whether it’s a piece of the best pizza in town or finding a statue in the middle of a piazza while looking for something entirely different, I have begun to realize that these are the aspects of life that make up the most precious memories.

I will include more about my adventures over the past few days in my next post but until then, what’s your word and how do you use it to define yourself?



One comment

  1. Joel – Very eloquent. My husband and I talk about this often. Yes, you learn a lot when you
    travel to foreign countries. I wish things would go back to the way they used to be, but I believe so much damage has been done that this is not possible – at least during my lifetime.

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