It never ceases to amaze me how people can stay in one place their entire lives and be perfectly content. I was told about a man who passed away a few weeks ago. He went to school, trained and worked his entire life in essentially one building. The thing that amazes me is how happy – I was told – this man was with what he got from life.
The world is full of different types of people, which is the essence of humanity and the reason it’s possible for us all to occupy this increasingly small planet. That said it seems so strange to me that people could live perfectly happy lives without ever having lived in more than one town, village, even house for that matter. How can this be all they need to live perfectly content lives?
I come from the opposite end of this spectrum. One of my greatest fears is being tied to one place due to work or financial restraints. I am a firm follower of Diogenes’ assertion that ‘I am a citizen of the world’. I aim to experience everything that the world has to offer and immerse myself in any culture that I come across. Often this leads me to move sporadically because familiarity breeds contempt, as the old saying goes.
But I must admit that I do feel a certain amount of jealousy – or something akin – for people who can be content with such a limited experience of diversity. Why can they be so happy to experience so little in vast detail when I cannot be content unless I’m in a constant state of flux? Do the settled triumph over the wanderers? Or do they also – deep down – wish they had seen more of the world around them?