The following is an excerpt from the afterword in Sailing Faith: The Long Way Home.

In four years and a half of traveling the globe, we found no strangers. We found people everywhere engaged in life, in love, in vocation, and in worship.

Curiosities abounded, but rather than focus on the curiosities of others, we gained a perspective allowing us to see our own cultural curiosities. In residential architecture, homes are designed to isolate parents from children – an American curiosity. As a nation, we have determined that corporations as legal entities, possess the human right to free speech – an American curiosity. We consume far more than this
planet is capable of supporting; we are quick to sue each other; we profess love for our freedoms while we allow the erosion of those freedoms in the name of security – American curiosities all.

We embrace the notion of rugged individuals, and flee from social responsibilities aimed at assisting those not sufficiently rugged.

Another American curiosity was brought to our attention from people in every place we visited where it became a topic of discussion. “The Constitution of the United States of America is the greatest document ever written” (sometimes qualified by “except the Bible,” or “except the Koran”). People everywhere aspire to the ideals held forth in that document, and surprisingly, people everywhere seem to have a better understanding of that document than we do.

Just as a first date provides only so much knowledge to want or not want to learn more, so too it is in our travels.

America, my motherland by birth, can never be a first date, and the depth of that relationship holds insights into wonderful characteristics and flaws gained only in a familial relationship. I cannot undo the knowledge of here any more than I can gain a similar knowledge of any of the other places we visited.

It would be pleasant to say we went in search of the world and we found it, but it would be an exaggeration. It is impossible, as outsiders and as amateurs, to gain a solid understanding of the cultures we experienced. Perhaps this account attributes a higher degree of goodness to people of other cultures than is warranted. I
make no apology for that, as interests far more powerful than I work endlessly to vilify these same people.

If my small voice can cause only a flicker of doubt of the reams of misinformation of the black deeds and darkness surrounding those unfortunates born outside our borders, I will call it success.

Certainly the creation we experienced has been stained by evil, in the same sense that my own heart has.

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