Sunday, December 26, 2010

a small world….

I remember as a kid, my dad used to tell me that if I dug deep enough, I could reach China. 

Growing up in Jefferson County, where a trip to Madison was cause for us to check the oil and make sure the tires were good, things have changed a lot for me over the years.

My first trip on an airplane happened as a result of a job.  I went to Knoxville, Tennessee to go to work with The Berkline Corporation.  Never did I think it would lead to this.

Today, I travel at the drop of a pin.   Last week, I booked travel to Brussels, Belgium to attend a trade fair in Cologne, Germany, about 120 miles away.  A grand adventure?  No, a three day business trip. 

Stay in Cologne?  Not for me.  I’ll take high speed rail from Brussels to Cologne and be dropped off walking distance from the fair.  Are you kidding me?  And, I’ll be in Las Vegas three days after I get back.

I left Shanghai (the one in China) about 10 days ago at 5:00 p.m. one afternoon and arrived in Chicago at 4:00 p.m. the same day.  I got home earlier than I left?  Yup!  If I kept flying, I could have a “Back to the Future” experience.

After I got back from China, I flew to Roanoke, Virginia to visit my daughter and watch a football game.  A day later, I shipped off to Salt Lake City, Utah for business….for a day.

In 1900, a trip to Chicago from Fort Atkinson was probably more difficult and exotic than the trip to Shanghai today.

As I do all of this travel, it’s very clear to me that the world is a single place.  It’s not such a big place anymore.   We are all people of the planet, not from one country or another.  Countries are just addresses.   

All of this travel shows me that people from everywhere have wants and needs.  Everyone has hopes and dreams.  I feel a lot less them and they and a lot more we and us.  We’re all pretty much the same.

I hope, as we move forward, we begin to realize this, and we have to find a way to get along.  We have to learn how to play nice with each other.  It’s necessary for the survival of the planet. 

In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”


  1. My sentiments exactly Tom - and as always, you so eloquently express it :)

  2. the world is flat...per Thomas Friedman

  3. Travel never ceases to fascinate me. You wake up in one part of the world, go to bed in another.

    Or, as was the case for me for a work project, I woke up in my apartment in Chicago, grabbed a cab to O'Hare, caught a flight to New Orleans, picked up a rental car, drove to Lafayette, did a press check, got back in the car, drove back to New Orleans, got pulled over by a cop within about 50 yards of the car rental return place (I was booked on the last flight out of Nawlins to Chicago, and it wasn't a late flight at that), was grateful to the cop for letting me go, returned the car, got on the plane, flew back to Chicago, grabbed another cab to my apartment, and went to bed.

    So I woke up in Chicago, spent the day working in Lafayette, Louisiana, and went to bed in Chicago. Trippy.

  4. Thank you Becky.
    Pam, I agree on the Friedman part. Although, I think he really simplifies the more complex social issues.
    Beth, you fellow traveler and police ticket talker outer. They always write my tickets.