Stumbling over photos I’ve taken in the last few years, the following two speak volumes when placed next to each other.
People told me I’d be robbed in the highlands of Southeast Asia, and kidnapped by the crooks crawling all over South America.
I don’t undermine concerns about safety – luck, commonsense and confidence must all come to the table when in unknown places.
But the widespread ignorance (and that’s not written with malice) held of the people in foreign lands seems, for the most part, entirely shaped by inexcusable one-line prejudices that blanket and smother all the richness of diverse peoples. I’m looking at you, sensational news products punctuated by hour-long pieces perverting all reason.
People told me all Colombians were drug dealers.
That in Vietnam, they kidnap the tourists for trafficking.
They said the French were all rude and presumptuous.
And most Chileans rob people to feed the gang wars.
There’s a chasm existing – help stifle its growth by thinking of Others as humans, with heart.