Do you know this feeling that you forget about something after leaving the house? I have this feeling each day and my friend from Spain can assure you that I need to come back for things a couple of times before I finally leave the house. Umbrella, tissues, meal for break, water, laptop for work, documents, wallet, keys, earphones, sometimes even my glasses.
After I came here I realized that there is one thing that I really miss. Books especially written by one author which is really important for me – Ryszard Kapuscinski.
Especially two of them I want to mention because they had the biggest impact on me and on how I see and feel the world.
The first one is “ A Reporter’s Self-Portrait”. In this book is visible his passion for travelling but also his passion for work as a journalist and the nature of this work : about the strong need to put life at risk in the name of truth and high values.
The second book is “Travels with Herodotus” which is not only a collection of reports, ancient stories, and thoughts of the author. It is a book containing reflections on the world and its perception. Kapu?ci?ski teaches that there are no cultures better and worse, respect is due to everyone, and knowledge of different customs, traditions, stories, allows us to understand ourselves better.
Below I decided to add some quotes from his books that I liked the most. Fortunately I am coming back home for Christmas time soon. The first thing I will do will be to pack these two books to my luggage.
“I understood that every distinct geographic universe has its own mystery and that one can decipher it only by learning the local language. Without it, this universe will remain impenetrable and unknowable, even if one were to spend entire years in it. I noticed, too, the relationship between naming and being, because I realized upon my return to the hotel that in town I had seen only that which I was able to name: for example, I remembered the acacia tree, but not the tree standing next to it, whose name I did not know. I understood, in short, that the more words I knew, the richer, fuller, and more variegated would be the world that opened before me, and which I could capture.” – Travelers with Herodotus
It was a kind of malady, a dangerous weakness, because I also realized that these civilizations are so enormous, so rich, complex, and varied, that getting to know even a fragment of one of them, a mere scrap, would require devoting one’s whole life to the enterprise. Cultures are edifices with countless rooms, corridors, balconies, and attics, all arranged, furthermore, into such twisting, turning labyrinths, that if you enter one of them, there is no exit, no retreat, no turning back. To become a Hindu scholar, a Sinologist, an Arabist, or a Hebraist is a lofty all-consuming pursuit, leaving no space or time for anything else.” – Travelers with Herodotus
“Every one of us living on this planet is an Other in the view of Others – I am in their view, and they are in mine.” – The Other
“To understand our world, we must use a revolving globe and look at the earth from various vantage points.”