Writing Disgruntled I became aware of another issue with Ric and got stuck on... Ric says "I apologize for this person’s actions." I find that very obnoxious. Who is he to apologize for my actions?? Who is he?? I can apologize for my daughter, she is my child after all, and she is still not of age. I can and I actually should apologize for my daughter's actions if I see that she caused someone trouble, did something she shouldn't have done. I can even apologize for her actions when she becomes an adult, after all, she is my child and I've raised her. But even then, I'd find it a bit obnoxious to apologize for an adult person's actions. And I'd only do it if it is a very grave issue, like if she harms someone, steals etc., not oh she wrote something to someone on the internet and oh my God, they might have been bothered!
Or perhaps my husband can apologize on my behalf. Depending on the circumstances. For example, if I have done something wrong unawares and he becomes aware of it first. He may say sorry for what I have done. He knows me, he knows that I'd be sorry too if I knew about it. We have a very close relationship with him, we represent a family, a one front to the outside world.
But who is Ric? He has no relation to me. It is so patronizing of him to apologize for my actions. He obviously does not know his place.
The only thing Ric has the right to do is to take responsibility for getting people included in such a mess and being the unintentional intermediary causing such "harassment." Ric can only apologize for his actions, not mine. Not another adult's!
The contrary is insolent. But we knew that from his previous actions and non-actions to correct his mistakes. So nothing new here.
Just recently, I rented my summer house in Turkey. Being in Italy, I put someone else in charge. Not being there to supervise things myself, I bought some fruits and ice-cream to the guests thinking there might be some shortfalls of the house. When the guests arrived, they complained. They said the house was not clean. I said "I am sorry." I didn't say "Oh I am sorry on behalf of the person in charge." I didn't say "I apologize for the person in charge not cleaning the house." I said "I am sorry. I take the responsibility." And I offered to pay some of their money back.
The person in charge is supposed to apologize to me and the guests if he has the opportunity. As for me, I take responsibility and apologize for the inconvenience of the guests on my own behalf! To me, that's what maturity calls for.
Oh, Ric did not issue any public apology for his slander against me, for something he broadcast through all his media. But he is apologizing publicly for a personal message I wrote to one of his patreons!!!! Woooow!! What a great personality!!!!
And I don't think the other two patreons were bothered at all. The only person who could have a right to complain was Stephen. And Ric is issuing a public apology for that on someone else's behalf! But when it comes to the huge wrong he has done me, oh not a word! Of course, the only thing he is concerned about is his financial interest, the goal is not to compromise that. He doesn't have an ethical responsibility towards his guests or any feeling of guilt for defaming someone. What kind of a person is this?!
If his interests are compromised, he apologizes even for someone else's actions. Sorry, of course it's easy to apologize for someone else I suppose. Where is the manhood Ric? Where is the maturity to stand up and take responsibility for what you have done?
I'm waiting Ric... Take up responsibility and apologize for your defamation. Stephen apologizes to me for misleading me with a thumbs up and for his unkind response. I am ready to apologize for my nasty retort. Only after both of you take your responsibilities in this situation. I am the one who was wronged in the first place and I am the one who this situation caused the most unease and stress to.
Click to read to find out The Best Sleeping Pill...
It's not what you expect.
I haven't been able to sleep lately. I mean my sleep routine has been turned upside down since the lockdown. I started staying up late and getting up late. It happened gradually. I thought I'd be getting back to the normal routine when schools reopened. But seeing the constant postponing and finally the decision to be closed for this semester, I let go.
Whereas my husband, as a slave, sorry as an employee, had to keep up his normal routine. So we are on duty for the house with my husband. It's not a bad arrangement. This way his work doesn't bother me so much as we have only one space and one work station. When husbandish and daughter go to bed, I can work in peace.
However, now that we will be going to Turkey for the first time in ten years by ferry and by car, plus too many stressful things to settle over there, plus too many decisions to make for the selling of our current house, the construction of the new, the moving plans, the change of schools for Lara etc. I have literally been overwhelmed after the calm and peaceful period of the lockdown. I have never been a good sleeper but I was going to bed at 3:00-4:00 am and sleeping around seven hours. The last couple of days I started going to bed at 6:00 am, not being able to sleep, then getting up to work more instead of turning around and around in bed, then going back to bed at 8 am, dozing off a bit, waking up at 10:00-10:30 am to start this unhealthy routine all over again.
Carlo suggested I take some camomile, or some alcohol. Camomile might be relaxing but it doesn't put me to sleep. As for alcohol, I cannot have more than a couple of sips, which is not of much help.
All of a sudden, I had a bright idea! I said “I'll be putting on Ric's podcast when I come to bed tonight, it won't bother you, right? I won't put it up too high,” I said to Carlo. Luckily, he is a classic man and he sleeps the moment he lays down and puts his head on the pillow. It irritates me so much when at times I say I'm going to sleep, he comes next to me and says he will only rest, then he starts snoring even before I start winding down!
Anyway... I don't know how I did not think of this before! as I have fallen asleep a couple of times when I said I'll listen to the podcast in the bedroom not to disturb my working husband. The voices or the tone of the interview is so dull, the questions so boring that it is difficult to listen to as hard as you try. Your mind drifts off. And then you drift off to sleep.
Luckily, the podcast worked like a charm and put me to sleep in my direst moment. I finally got a good rest. Thanks Ric!
Haha! I gave out a good laugh when I was listening to Ric's podcast Counting Countries on Very Hungry Nomads
and heard him say:
“Also, a quick note to some of my listeners and supporters. A former guest on Counting Countries who is a bit disgruntled has been harassing some of my listeners. I apologize for this person’s actions and hope you have not been overly inconvenienced.”
He is talking about me of course :)))
It's interesting he didn't mention my name. Neither did he use a pronoun to refer to my sex. No giveaways as to who the mysterious disgruntled person in question is ;) I bet he constructed the sentence carefully. I don't think he “feared” that I'd again start with “Oh you saying that I am harassing people is defamation” etc.
I don't know what's the point of that note was, not that I care.
Have I been harassing people? I don't think so.
But I know what Ric is referring to of course. He doesn't tell the story, just throws dirt on people without any evidence. He has made the judgement that I was harassing, so that's it. He doesn't tell people the whole story and let them decide for themselves.
Anyway... For anyone that may be interested, here is the whole short story:
Sure, I was disgruntled. “A bit disgruntled”?? You bet I was a lot disgruntled at Ric's baseless accusations, when he slandered me publicly and did not post any apology for it. So I wrote a post making A Call to Ric Gazarian's Patrons
Then I went on Facebook and found them there. Only four of them. And sent this short message to them.
Now... Would you call this harassing? I wouldn't. There is no harassment here. It is just one “disgruntled” person as Ric put it, making a call, trying to campaign for correcting a “perceived” wrong and unethical broadcast. It is just two lines, takes a minute to read. If people are not interested, they are not obliged to click and read the link and can simply discard my message.
Facebook does not publish messages from people you are not friends with on your Messenger openly, they are very non-invasive; they simply show you that you have a message from this person. Then, if you click to read and interact, fine. You connect and from then on you can both see if the other person is online. If you find the message or the person to be bothering, you can simply click the “I do not want to hear from this person” message that Facebook displays at the bottom of all unsolicited messages. All set and done.
Now... I had sent the above message to four people. I did not hear any word from three even until now. And I did not bother to resend or do anything. I do not care. My task was to write and tell my story and share. It is out of me. If anybody is interested, they read. If not, I do not force anyone to anything, not that I can either. I am insistent when I believe someone has done wrong; however, I do NOT harass people. I just let my thoughts out, express myself and go about my business when I am done.
I never get any feedback or returns to any of my writings/solicitations. I have no expectations of people. But in this case, I was surprised! You see how Stephen Rothwell responded to my message, right? He put a like!
I said “Hmm?? Perhaps he got what I was trying to say and he will stop supporting Ric.”
I felt like I needed to thank him. Also, getting encouragement from Stephen's like, I wanted to ask something. Because you see, I am always trying to understand people's actions and the reasons behind them. So I wrote and said: "Hello, thanks. May I ask why you are supporting Ric? Just out of curiosity..."
You see, I am trying to get support for my Mission to Every Country to Burn Passports to Protest Birthplace Racism and Global Apartheid. I thought knowing/understanding why people support others might give me some insight into my endeavor.
And the answer I got from Stephen was: "I don't care about your problem with Ric. Please don't contact me again.
My first reaction was Hoppalaaa! (That's a Turkish word for Gosh!) “Why did you bother to put a thumbs up then?? Yeah, all you people are strange.”
But I was really bothered. Seriously... You may not be interested, you may not want to hear from someone, but there seriously is totally no reason for you to be mean like this. No reason for meanness. Unnecessarily. I wasn't a pest who was tugging at his shirt. I sent a simple message, which he put a like to and upon which I asked a simple question. Seriously... You don't treat people like shit. You don't just hit an old woman who only held an open hand to you asking for your help. Go on walking your way, you don't need to help. But don't be mean. Be ignorant/dismissive of people kindly.
I know there are millions of people out there asking for something, either money, or your signature on a change.org campaign, or calling for help for someone in need of blood, school money, help for finding shelter for cats and dogs etc. I understand... We are bombarded with these through social media. I understand... We cannot just dig into all of these and care for even a couple of these. The most we do is click a button, relieve our conscience and move on. But again, seriously... We don't have to be mean towards people who ask something from us.
I don't think Stephen had a right to respond to me like that. Especially after he put a like to my message. Perhaps he did it by mistake. But please, please... Take up responsibility if you have given the wrong impression to someone by mistake. I wrote to him first and asked.
“Then why did you put a like?”
I expected an answer at that point. No answer. Or for him to block me. He did neither. Then I thought hard about it: Whether to write something else or not. As obvious, I decided yes. I do not care what people think about me. Especially not those who are incapable of looking at themselves and the trouble they cause others.
To hell with any unnecessarily unkind person in this world. I'm trying to understand. He might have been upset, and might have responded like that. But no, he doesn't have a right to take out on me whatever unpleasantness he had. That's no excuse. Besides, if you do, you should be ready for repercussions like mine. Yes, I was upset. It felt like a slap on my face. And for no reason. I felt like a child slapped for asking an innocent question. I was fed up. Seriously... There are simpler and less aggressive ways to get people out of your life in the cyber world. Helloooo.... There is the block button.
I was very upset about him responding to me like that. I can never think of being so dismissive of anybody who has not done me any harm. Plus, he is giving me an order, and I don't take kindly to orders. Yes, there is a "Please" before the "Don't contact me again," but it's still an order. You know why?? Because it is something he could have taken action himself. If we ask other people to do something when we could simply solve it ourselves, it is definitely an order. There is a subtle difference there. Between kindly asking, requesting something from someone or being dominating.
I waited for him to respond to my question about why he put a like then? Just for him to say "It must have been by mistake" or something. I waited two days. No response.
Then... For the first time in my life, I wanted to be mighty like these people, so uncaring about others. Be mean like them. That's the language they understand.
If you call this harassing, then yes, I "have been harassing some of Ric's listeners."
I beg to differ.
Did I like writing and sending that? Well, no.
Do I think it was a nice thing to do? Not really.
But do I regret it? Hell no.
I don't like aggressive people who do not care about others. And I learnt, or rather life taught me to treat them in kind. So I don't care a bit about him or Ric either. Writing is my way of getting the poison people inject in me out. So that's it.
And oh sure, I blocked him right after sending that message ;)
Disgruntled II- Who can you apologize for?
Click to read to find out The Best Sleeping Pill...
It's not what you expect.
There once was a man in a town among towns. Was a lot his property and estates, his titles and reputation, he had inns and taverns and Turkish baths, he had children and grandchildren. He was also healthy and even happy.
There was another man far among faraways. Didn't have this or that, diamonds or other. But he was healthy and happy too.
The man who had everything got curious about the man who had nothing. People around kept talking about him. How could a man with nothing be happy? Our man was intrigued. Curiosity... It's not easy to hush once it takes over, makes a man hit the roads. As such, our man left his comfortable and warm house, to visit this man who had nothing.
When he arrived, he found the man he was looking for sitting in a naked room with a few worn out clothes and furniture. After an exchange of greetings he asked timidly: “May I ask your permission to ask you a question?”
Well, this was a question in itself but our man didn't seem to be aware. The estimable reverence didn't seem to mind, he nodded solemnly.
Upon which, our man asked “Where are your possessions?”
It's not good etiquette to answer a question with a question but the reverence reflected a mirror and asked:
“Where are yours?”
Surprised was our “man with so much”... Wasn't it obvious? Still, he answered the question not to compromise his manners.
“I'm a passer-by, I've come and I'll be going.”
The one with nothing answered as if he was waiting for this reply:
“I am a passer-by too in this world, I've come and I'm going.”
The Persian story of the ring with “This too shall pass” is famous.
When I was travelling the world as a solo woman, people always asked me if I was not afraid. My take on it was always “If no permanent damage is done, all is fine; it's just adventure.” I knew, from experience, that things that seemed troublesome at the time turned into fun stories later on. Whatever hardships you faced, you took a shower, had food, slept through the night, you were like brand new.
However, the key point here is... As long as no permanent damage being done. Unfortunately, in some cases, permanent damage can be caused. In such situations, it is not so easy to say “This too shall pass.” On the other hand, we humans are habitual creatures and we get used to everything.
The caption underneath this photo reads:
“How many days does poverty last father?”
“40 days my son.”
“Would we be rich after 40 days?”
“No son. We'd get used to it...”
Even with worse situations... Yes, there are worse situations. I have read stories of paraplegics. After a disabling accident or unexpected sudden illness, people are devastated. However, after some time passes, they get used to the new situation, psychological tests show that the overall happiness turns back to previous levels and stays the same. We are resilient.
That is, mostly... There always are those of us who cannot bear their situation and decide the only way out of the darkness is ending their life.
I used to see those people as weak links in the chain. I was brought up with the belief that taking one's life was a big sin, that you'd be burning in hell forever if you did. In fact, that fear held me from committing suicide during my adolescence years when my parents were going through an ugly divorce with constant fights involving physical violence. I don't know if I would have acted on it had I not been installed with the fear of hell, but it certainly was a deterrent from even contemplating the thought for long.
Anyway... Now, as someone with half a century behind her back, so many experiences and so much reading, writing and questioning, I am an agnostic and I do not judge those who commit suicide. Who knows that we don't get another chance at life after we die? Perhaps they are in a better place. Or perhaps, they are still struggling with their demons. Who can say? What I know is that this is what life on this world is, this is what humanity is. We all have our existential problems and no one is immune from this, not even the richest or the most famous. You may or may not like Jim Carrey, but I find his quote very illuminating:
To me, the other part of the story is more important. That is, thinking that moments of glory shall pass too. As someone who has been on the front cover of a national newspaper, I have sort of an idea what that means. I know people who are trying to reach every country, aiming for Guinness World Records. I follow some of them and see how they are after the spotlights and the interest that comes with it. However, in the end, they all fade away into the distance. A new person, a younger traveller, or someone after a more daring adventure takes their place under the flashlights. It all is transitory. Yes, sure, some last a bit longer, but in the end, all fade.
So “This too shall pass” is a good reminder to let go of your pride at such times.
However, there is a flip side of the coin here too. Because, if you see everything as passing by, you feel no need to do anything. So it is more about finding the balance and doing things with the knowledge and apprehension of our, our lives' and possessions' transitory nature.
Kim Kardeshian has millions upon millions of fans, she has 165 million followers. Similar personalities abound. They make good money too. Do I want to be like them? Sure not! Heaven forbid!
I am happy in my 3+1 small world. Even though it would be nice to enlarge it a bit more replacing the bad apples with some nicer ones and to have some sort of a following who cared for what I wrote. But I cannot complain. I know enough of the world to appreciate my blessings.
Puff... Some magic dust!
A bit of background for those who do not know Thor. Thor is a 40 year-old guy going to every country in the world (193+2), plus some more, he decided on 203 countries. His gimmick is he is doing this without flying. Ever.
Why did I need to add that “ever”? Because there is already Graham Hughes who is on the Guinness World Records for travelling the world without flying. However, Thor argues Graham flew a couple of times, back home and back to the place he left off. Even though Guinness had no objections to that and approved Graham's record, Thor says that does not count.
Where is Thor now?
In Hong Kong.
Stuck in Hong Kong.
How far is he into this project?
You want to know time-wise, distance-wise or country-wise?
Well, he left in October 3, 2013. So that makes 6,5 years.
He is in country number 194. That is he has 9 countries left.
Seems sort of the end of the road is close. Not really. All those countries are islands and with this coronavirus outbreak, every gate is closed; be it the countries closing their doors or cargo ships, the only alternatives to flights, not accepting any passengers who are not essential for running of the operations on the ship.
Thor is also trying to promote the message. “Keep on keeping on” and that you'll get where you want to be if you never give up.
That is a good motto.
Unless of course you are stuck somewhere where you don't wish to be, when you've got better things to do. When life is going on without you, passing by in front of your eyes while you wait for things to change, biding your time... No, it's not so good.
Biding your time when you are mentally at the end of your limits, when you have been like that for such a long time. Nopes, not a good idea.
You see, Thor has been stuck in Hong Kong for two months plus.
He's been stuck in Lebanon and other places too before. Waiting for visas. Hoping to get some access to some hard-to-get-in country.
He has had to deal with bureaucrazy too many times. He has had to do turn arounds and retrace his steps for tens of thousands of kilometers because there was no overland access to the place he wanted to go from the place he was.
I wouldn't want to be in Thor's place now.
Well, even he doesn't want to be in his place either.
But isn't it funny?
He has put all these restrictions on himself. 24 hours in every country. It doesn't matter if he has to sleep like homeless people out in the cold on the street, twisting and turning.
Here are two screen-shots from his blog:
Ah, and of course no going back before the trip is finished. Well, this one he has to keep because he wants to be unique. He wants to be above Graham. He wants the grandeur. He wants to bask in the glory of being the one and only. Well... Even if not one and only he will always be the first. That's what he is after.
At the end of one of his posts, Thor says he did a Skype call with students in Hong Kong and he got asked the question “Is the journey more about experiences or setting a record?”
Thor just says: “Brilliant!!”
Doesn't answer the question directly. But I suppose when he says “Brilliant” he implies that it is about experiences. After all, we all know that that is the “correct” answer!
However, I'd say, if Thor was honest to himself, he'd admit that it is more about the record or at least finishing up what he started rather than experiences at this point. As it is obvious he doesn't enjoy being out there and would much rather prefer to experience a different life after so much time on the road.
But he will not tell you such a thing.
Actually, he will tell you he is doing other things with this project. He is inspiring people, he is showing people that you'll reach your goal when you keep hanging on. Like he answered the person who labelled his saga as a vanity project.
Well... I'd ask him:
“Thor... You want to give the lesson that it is ok to torture yourself by self-impositions which aim at grandeur??”
You know what would be so cool and really shoot Thor up to respectable status for me (not that he'd care to be respected by me of course but still...) If he could just go to every country and skip the last one. Even find the boat or transportation to the last one and not go. Or go and not stay 24 hours.
Like the great sailor Bernard Moitessier did in the “1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first non-stop, singlehanded, round the world yacht race. With the fastest circumnavigation time towards the end of the race, Moitessier was the likely winner for the fastest voyage, but he elected to continue on to Tahiti and not return to the start line in England, rejecting the idea of the commercialization of long distance sailing.” (From Wikipedia)
“One of the world's most famous ocean sailors, Moitessier had sailed for more than a year from Plymouth, England to the Indian Ocean when he inexplicably abandoned the lead in the 1968-1969 Round-the-World single-handed race. He sailed to Tahiti, dropped anchor and dropped out.” BoatUS
Sailing Inland & Offshore writes:
“For Moitessier, the race finished in mid-Pacific after he had passed the three Capes and crossed his outward track, leading, and with the hardest sections behind him, he decided to forfeit the race and continue into the Pacific again, to anchor finally among friends in Tahiti. His actions were never explained by the news media; they could not have been, for the voyage had always been seen by Moitessier as something other than a sponsored, publicized, competitive event. It was on the ocean, alone with his boat, that Moitessier began to regard this as a voyage that could not end for him with the reward of those whose values were not his.”
A voyage that could not end for him with the reward of those whose values were not his.
Yes, this is the important point. What are your values?
Unfortunately, for Thor, the values are his too. That's the trouble; that's the dilemma.
I wish he could be strong enough to give up these values.
It really would be to his advantage/profit. As a person. Make him grow as a person.
Sunk Costs Fallacy- Escalated Commitment
I know Thor is never going to do that.
But apart from that, he should still be giving up the project. If only to cut his losses.
On one of Thor's posts, Ric Gazarian commented:
“Keep up the good fight! Your patience is amazing!”
"It's not patience, it's having no other choice!" I replied.
"Going back at this point after investing so much time and effort would be such a downer that it is not really an option. Plus, obviously, having the right to brag about being to every country without flying is such a big deal to Thor to pass up."
However, if Thor knew any better he'd give the sunk cost fallacy some deep thought. Sunk cost fallacy makes you act stupidly. There is something called Escalation of commitment related to that. Which is "a human behavior pattern in which an individual or group facing increasingly negative outcomes from a decision, action, or investment nevertheless continues the behavior instead of altering course. The actor maintains behaviors that are irrational, but align with previous decisions and actions."
One can never get back the time, nor the money spent on some dream to pursue. So people keep playing, they keep on keeping on to avoid the pain of loss. Negative impulses are greater than positive ones. It is so designed for our survival.
However, for Thor, he shouldn't feel it as a loss. As he has greatly benefited from the experience already. In fact, he has benefited enough. But now, it is just costing him, taking away from him. Without adding any more value.
On his “You Are Not So Smart” website, David McRaney writes about the sunk cost fallacy:
“It is a noble and exclusively human proclivity, the desire to persevere, the will to stay the course – studies show lower animals and small children do not commit this fallacy. Wasps and worms, rats and raccoons, toddlers and tikes, they do not care how much they’ve invested or how much goes to waste. They can only see immediate losses and gains. As an adult human being, you have the gift of reflection and regret. You can predict a future place where you must admit your efforts were in vain, your losses permanent, and when you accept the truth it is going to hurt.”
There is merit in giving up. When you realize that what you are after is not worth it. It's called cutting your losses.
IT IS OK TO QUIT!
I believe Thor is now at a point where whatever he does, he'll be regretting it later in life. He will always wonder what if he had taken the other road, done the other thing.
If he goes on, he'll regret it:
I suppose by now it is clear that this Covid-19 is not as innocent as Thor was claiming at the beginning. Someone in his family or his circle might get sick. He'll be feeling the guilt of not being there for them.
Or suppose he completes the project and returns, but they have trouble having a child. Thor will be blamed. “You and your stupid saga...” I can hear his now fiance, future wife if be, saying.
Perhaps I am too pessimistic. I am a doom's day scenarist.
I really hope he doesn't hear these words but if he does, they will definitely hurt. They'll hurt much more than a stranger calling his project vain.
He will wonder if he should have gone back. Gone back when he was stuck like this. Instead of trying to push it through, waiting a pandemic wave to pass.
He will wonder if it was worth giving up his personal life for the glory of that Guinness World Record he craved so much.
Upon return, he will realize most people do not care at all. Even the ones who followed him back then, that is those who are applauding him now... They'll be long gone too, gone after their own life, or following a new traveller guru after Thor has finished.
At that point Thor will realize the meaninglessness of it all, he'll find life empty once again. He will realize that all these “rewards” he was after were not worth. That they do not give satisfaction.
Yet I know... If he returns home now, he'll regret it too. He'll always wonder what would have happened if he had grit his teeth and endured, what opportunities he missed.
I, of course, wish none of this happens. That the road is cleared soon, even if a month or two, and he goes on to complete t/his project.
It means so much more to him, I know that very well. I wish he finishes his saga, returns and has a happy life, basking in the glory and reaping the rewards of his efforts and “patience”. Unfortunately, real life rarely works that way. It never runs smoothly or as we hope it to. The repercussions, the unintended consequences of our actions follow us.
Life never matches with our expectations.
Even though, of course, it sometimes does surprise us and exceeds our expectations. Mind you, that usually happens when we listen to what it is telling us to do instead of persisting stubbornly on the path we are obsessed with.
The question is... Which one you will regret less?
It is said that at the end of your life, you regret the things you didn't do, not the ones you did. But here, Thor is not doing one thing when choosing to do the other.
Another thing that is said is that you never think "I should have worked more" at the end of your life. You wish you'd have spent more time with your family and for yourself.
So for Thor, I think the choice is obvious.
I know you want to keep on keeping on but life has a way of letting us know when to stop. It guides us, if only we should listen.
We are human beings who should be capable of weighing situations and changing plans.
As in Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler”
"You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run..."
PS: Actually, this piece was meant to be written privately to Thor. However, I couldn't find his email address on his website (he doesn't have it). So I changed all the second persons to third person and published here thinking it is also good advice or good food for thought for everybody.
PPS: Of course, for Thor to give up at this point, it would mean such shame and feeling of failure. So how to deal with that? How to get over that?
The Way Out... is hidden in the wind.
PPPS: If you think what I write is worth something, please support me on Patreon
Somebody has apparently called what Thor is doing “a vanity project” and he found it hurtful. I understand that very well. There is always someone who interprets what you are trying to do in a bad light and it is not nice. I've had my share of hurtful comments like I was waiting for applause etc.
Most “ordinary” people are not aware of what it is to be out travelling like Thor, they have never been out in the world like that. They do not know what it is to be away from your home for so long, to miss the familiar, to have to run after visas and arranging transportation day after day month after month year after year. They do not know what it is to not to be able to enjoy the small ordinary things of routine life. You cannot expect them to understand either. We all use guidelines based on our own experiences.
On the other hand, it is true that it is a vanity project. Every “every country chaser” is a vanity project especially those who do it publicly, publicizing, not privately.
Safe from mine of course ;)
Just joking... I mean I of course I keep my project out of the vanity travel projects but -apart from the likes of Anthony Asael, the Israeli guy who has been helping villages etc. or Sal Lavallo or perhaps a handful of other people's who do not center on themselves but their project- most world travel “expeditions” are vanity projects.
Thor says he replied saying:
““I have met with and promoted the humanitarian work of the Red Cross Red Crescent across 189 countries. In turn this has brought the movement more volunteers, more donations and more visibility. In addition to that I have shown thousands of people a world behind the cameras. A world where a mothers love to her child is no less across any border. The Saga also inspires many people to chase their dreams and motivates them not to give up when it gets hard. It is such a vanity project”.”
Well... Sorry but if you are after a Guinness World Record, that definitely goes under the category of a vanity project.
What's worse, there are now people going to every country twice; it is becoming a race towards vanity and stupidity.
Open Message to Thor
I had written this to Thor as a comment on his website last year. If he could do this, he could get out of the classification of a vanity project:
Keep on keeping on on your project. But please do NOT keep on keeping on the blind faith in the antiquated status quo of borders, people defined by the borders they are born into and their radius of movement on the earth defined by their nationalities and visas required from them.
Ahh... And I have a proposition for you. Would you like to take over my flag and burn your passports at the end of this trip? :)) I guess that would be too much to ask of you, I believe you cannot bring yourself to burn and destroy those passports which you have worked and suffered so much for. They are a testimony to your feat. Well, you can get the Guinness certification and burn them ;)
I know you won't be doing it, but if you did, I believe only then would you take your place in the records of humanity as a true pioneer. Just think of this... How would people who live in a borderless world and see this current state of the world like the way we see Apartheid or slavery today look at you and your project? How would those future generations look at you?
Someone in that distant future would be just travelling all the “countries” without the need to get any visas or cross any borders in no significant amount of time; s/he might even trace your exact steps, only without the visa and border hassles. How long would it take? Definitely less than a year.
What do you think they'd think of you? I'd say they'd think you a fool. So I'd beware if I were you, lest you go down history as a laughing stock while intending to be written as the biggest hero in history ;) Or of course there'd still be people who hail you as the greatest hero of your time because of your achievement. I believe those will be the minority though.
Homo sapiens is the most stuck-up name a species has bestowed upon itself. If there really will be a true homo sapiens in the future, I have no doubt they will look at us only as fools, hopefully they'd not only condescend us but feel pity for us too. Even though being pitied is not a nice thing either, under the circumstances, I suppose that should be a welcome judgement for us.
This is part of a seven piece series on the EPS- Every Passport Stamp Facebook group and Counting Countries podcast. The following are the foreword to this piece:
My EPS Adventure- Behind the Scenes
Asked to Come Back
A Call to Ric Gazarian's Patrons
Threats and Controversy
A Podcast Gone Wrong
Why am I still bothered with this issue even after two years??
1- I was mobbed for no other reason than trying to do something good for the community. Mother Theresa has said “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.” It is so true; they do. Afterwards she said “Do good anyway.” Well... I'm not so sure about that. Why should I still do good to get back sticks and stones??
2- Then the discussion was closed to comments. My right to answer was taken away from me.
It is feeling not being heard. Worse, it is feeling someone covering your mouth, preventing you from even speaking up. So I realize that's why I feel relieved when I write these and express my thoughts. It's not important that anybody cares and understands; I mean it is important of course, if people cared and understood that is much more preferable. Still... Even just Knowing that you spoke your truth is liberating.
3- I was slandered by Ric when he announced I was kicked out from the group for several violations. That wrong was never made right.
It's not okay and not enough to just simply change it on his website where nobody goes and reads, the mistake had to be acknowledged and the correction had to be disseminated to the same audience. A Call to Ric's Patrons
4- Ric also dismissed the most important thing to me at the time. The wish to protest Global Apartheid, Birthplace Racism. I say “at the time” because now our lives have changed with the coronavirus and all that has lost its meaning, people are not moving anyway. But I am glad that at least the Western world is not moving either, so it doesn't feel so unfair.
5- There was en masse hatred for some people in the community and the ones who spoke out the hatred were never reprimanded. I was the only one who spoke out against the unjust hatred, nobody backed me up. It upsets me people not having any values.
It also upsets me that this hatred was illogical and seemed like a womanly jealousy.
Mother Theresa also said: “People are illogical, unreasonable, self-centered. Love them anyway.”
Well... It is really hard to like such people. Sorry, I'm not there yet. As a matter of fact, got a long way to get there! Misanthropy seems to fit me better. But maybe one day I'll learn to love people regardless.
6- I was disenchanted that Stefan went along with it too. Didn't say anything to them. The fact that he was not present and not invested in the group but was there only to reprimand when someone complained makes things even more upsetting. The double-standard was so in your eyes. Plus, singling out of individuals to ostracize is wrong.
7- Ric asked me to go on the podcast a second time. I accepted but asked why. He said I had interesting stories, good. But he also said “this one is going to be even more controversial.” Which was basically his motive, to use me as controversy material for his interest. I understand him, but he doesn't understand that I don't say things to be controversial but I believe in them. And it is seriously not nice to feel you were used.
8- When a conflict or an argument ensues, especially in a group, nobody remembers the details after some time.
People just keep the feeling. The feeling of being wronged or someone being unreasonable. We just attach a label to that person and put them on a shelf. That label is either “like” or “dislike”.
It is the same even with our friends, family and immediate circle. But because we interact with the immediate circle on a daily basis, we sometimes get a chance to review that label, we sometimes go back and discuss the issue over with the details that has stuck out on each party. So it is possible to update that label. Seeing the other party's view, being able to look at it from different angles makes a difference. Plus, the passage of time provides you the distance to put things into perspective. The more distance you put between the event and yourself -that is you get away from taking it personal- the wider view you get to see things more clearly.
However, when you have been the victim of mobbing in a group, your label is generally never put into review again. People do not have that kind of time to invest on strangers. None of us do.
So I have been labeled the “irrational” or “crazy” one, the “wrong” or the “problematic” one. Which I do not agree of course.* Still, it is not nice.
People have a right to their opinion. But when that opinion is formed without full information, it is upsetting.
I am not a person who is after being liked. That is my husband. I, on the contrary, show my difficult side and try people. To sort out the worthy ones.
Do I care about the ones who label me like these? Obviously, they are not the ones for me, to understand me, to care for me.
Plus, there is something else in there. It is not true I had no one who understood me. I have a handful, or let's say a couple of people from the group who still interact with me and consider me “worthy”. That is enough for me. Those are the people I care about anyway.
So in the end, all is good.
* There is some reason for people to label me "irrational" but that only means they have not tried to understand. Not all rants are equal, just like not all children who throw tantrums are wrong. Sometimes children throw tantrums and it is well within their right. Sometimes adults go into rants and they have totally valid reasons for it.
This place is full of issues I had with people, with institutions. They are not meant to be gossip but are written as case studies, to show human nature and how the world functions. They are basically a way for me to gain insight into how things might work better.
I know people think I should let go. I let go. But then something happens to remind me of the hurtful event and my grievance is triggered.
So I have to just write it down. I write to treat my wounds. Words heal me.
Yeah, they hurt me too.
They hurt me more than they do other people.
I believe in words.
I believe in the moral of words.
I believe that the world would be a much better place if people used their words responsibly and kept them clean.
Unfortunately for me, people are very shitty when using words. They do not get what their words do to people like me, people who live with words.
Yeah, time heals too. You forget.
But then you remember.
When I do, I go to bed and I cannot sleep for hours. That's why I need to write and get it out of my system. That's how I function. I mean if I do not write this stuff, I cannot function. That's my nature. Even though I do not appreciate it, I've come to accept it. I do what I need to do. So that I can go on with my life.
Forgetting the Past
Ah, there are people who advise me to forget the past, or just boast about how they live in the present.
Sorry but what bullshit!
The reason we are here today is because of yesterday, because of the wrongs of yesterday. There is so much to be gained from dissecting and analyzing the past. I know I sometimes get lost in too much detail. But detail is important. That's where the essence lies. The nuance lies.
If we could have healing circles like in some old traditional tribes, where people of the community sat down together and discussed it when some member was grieved or felt violated, things might have worked much better be it in families be it in virtual groups. The modern world might have provided us with so much, yet it has stolen our sense of community and belonging. It is so easy nowadays to walk away from people, groups you do not like. There is some other friend to make or another date on Tinder waiting. The challenge of the next generation will be to be able to form meaningful bonds and then to preserve them.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with discarding the relations which are not working, which are giving you too much pain and trouble. Yet, we still need to give it a try and hold a mature discussion before going separate ways.
It is common knowledge that the width of our circle is around 150. More than that, we cannot keep track of. Just like downsizing, the more you age, the more you long for fewer, distilled relations to keep.
I'm working towards establishing that few now.