I spent some time in a small town west of Toronto, many decades ago, trying to grow up (still working on the ‘growing up’ although I seem have the ‘growing old’ down pat). In this town is a correctional institute. I am currently attending an educational institute.
The word ‘institute’ may be defined as a society or organization having a common factor. Many people are gathered in one place, literal or figurative, with an underlying universal attention to a common goal.
Institute may also be defined as ‘community’. Community may be defined as ‘culture’. Culture may be defined as the attitude and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group.
After almost half a century on this planet, I decided to step onto a new planet; launch myself out of my known universe and into a new culture. What I have learned will sustain me forever. I learned that we are ‘too comfortable’ in our boxes; we are all afraid of new things, yet we are all strong enough to try. I have built strong relationships with people one-third my age, given in to ‘not knowing’, and embraced experience and learning.
Life begins at the very edge of our comfort zone. Life expands when we embrace strange new worlds. Life explodes when we take ‘fear’ out of our vocabulary.