A banana cuts like a banana no matter where you live. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Boston or Sydney or Kathmandu: when you peel a banana with your hands and slice it with a knife, it responds in exactly the same way.
Does this seem obvious? It shouldn’t.
Think about it: you can travel across the entire planet to faraway places where language and culture become alien and where your previous understanding of the world no longer applies.
You can find places where cars drive in the opposite direction, where numbers suddenly change their meaning, and where light switches are on in the off position.
You can find places where a blanket is not just a blanket but a lifeline; where an empty bottle is a shower-head; a shaded sidewalk is a home; a large bucket of water is a source of life; and where cats and dogs are not just domesticated pets to be loved, but food.
Even how you define life and death can change depending on where you go. For some, death brings a sense of loss and represents a time for mourning. For others, death represents a time for celebration and funerals are a way of celebrating life.
But a banana still cuts like a banana. The water in your teacup still responds to your movements in exactly the same way. Birds fly through the air using the same principles of flight they used millions of years ago.
In my travels I can always find things that are different, things that don’t match up with what I already know. It’s not easy to accept those things, to lean into the discomfort of embracing the unknown. But the more I embrace the unknown, the more I find myself recognizing universal truths.
Laughter still feels like laughter no matter where I go. Kindness feels like kindness and authenticity feels like authenticity. It doesn’t matter who it comes from or how alien my surroundings.
The realness of those things doesn’t require thought or thinking; attempting to impose expectations of how they’re supposed to be only clouds the simplicity of their truth.
The truth is, when it’s real, you’ll feel it.
What universal truths have you felt?