My roommate and I are getting ready to plan an adventure. I've been dying to go north since I was 15 years old, when I first met my Finnish friend Jenni. She would tell me all about the most beautiful things that made up Finland and it made me want to go. So now I'm trying to find low budget flights and hopefully grabbing a kind cruise between Stockholm and Finland. Because we are on a budget (we're trying to do all of it for under 300 euros) we thought we might have to get creative with our sleeping arrangements. In Helsinki we will be staying for free with Jenni and her boyfriend... but in Stockholm we aren't so lucky and don't know a soul. We looked at hostel prices and they were in the 26 euro range - a cringe worthy range if you will for our two night stay.
We deliberated over what we should do, but quickly found a possible solution : couchsurfing.com.
I am a self described geek - and I'll be the first one to admit it - but I was in love with the idea right from the start. I immediately signed up and started my profile.
One of the questions asked was "What is your philosphy in life?". I paused at the question, not really sure what I would say. I thought of the usual Ghandi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Shakespeare quotes ... but nothing seemed right. I've been taking a sort of philosophy class in France and it has of late made me think about what I believe in. We spent near 2 hours discussing the difference between Good and good. Finally coming to the conclusion that Good is something we can only purely attain or discover, whilst "good" is something that can be taught and learned - both resulting in a positive end but through different means. After giving my philosophy some thought I decided what mine would be : "If we can't count on each other, we can't count on much." And honestly it is something that strikes a chord with me, it is really how I feel most days. I count on so many people to do things kindly, compassionately, and fairly - that if I ever left a shred of doubt in all of that mix... what really would I do.
Some people might say that is naive and maybe it is, but really if it is - there isn't any point to all of this anyways. When you are abroad you meet a ton of people, and many you know you aren't going to see again, you know it is only temporary, but in the end, in those few moments something happens that makes you trust and feel like you know that person. At the end of most days, there isn't much more than simple kindness.
My philosophy professor taught us about the three kinds of love the other day eros (romantic love), philia (friendship), and agapan (selfless love - agape). He told us that the early Greeks stopped at philia because they didn't know how to encompass agape love. Agape is most widely recognized by the teachings of Jesus and the selfless love of a god for his people. When I start thinking of the goodness of people and how it all works out in the end (even with so much Bad/bad out there) - how we need and depend on each other. It makes me think that maybe there is some kind of god out there after all.
But that leads us to the God/god discussion. . .