I imagine it would happen something like this.
The man is seated at the court of a tribal chief; his white skin glaring amidst a sea of black and brown tones. He’s received permission to be where he is and has been welcomed, warily at first but over the course of the meal laid out for all, tensions finally relaxed; as is generally the case when a good time is to be had. The talk was energetic as food and drink were consumed in between colorful phrases spoken in a language foreign and unfamiliar to him.
With dinner done, the conversation becomes increasingly animated as men gesture madly, vying to introduce their anecdote in the hopes of outdoing the tale which was last told. Despite his unfamiliarity with the tongue, the man nods and laughs at all the right moments because the gist of the accounts rendered is all too familiar; a legend heard many times before and on countless different continents. It’s a narrative of evolution, a story of prey and predation, survival and sustenance; a universal saga that’s as old as mankind.
It makes no difference where you live, the color of your skin or the amount of money in your pocket. Anyone can relate to the chronicles because they all revolve around a singular thread; man’s need of food in order to live and the manner by which he gets it. It hit me, all of a sudden, this commonality we all share and the fact that it was so obvious concerned me that I hadn’t noticed it before.
It’s in our blood that we’re so ready and able to point out the differences between us that we oftentimes overlook the vast number of similarities and the resulting opportunities to meet on what would be common ground. It’s the cross we bear for our uniqueness, I guess.
Still, it’s the little things that hopefully will bring us together, as one, into the global collective of humankind. And although they may be only fish tales, they’re indicative of this greater concept of the harmony inherent in our being and regardless of whether we know it or not, it’s something we need, today more so than ever.
So, I’ll continue to watch weekly, the man’s adventures as he treks cross the globe searching for the ones that get away. And hopefully, every week I’ll learn a bit more about my neighbors in Africa or India or Thailand, or even the United States. It’s a process but one that I’ll enjoy and that’s as it should be.