New Passports, Global Citizenship, & this Wide and Beautiful World

One of the many projects on my desk at the moment is the passport renewal application for both me and Rebekah. I know we’re not going anywhere any time soon – not even to the beach or the mountains – but it seems wrong somehow not to be equipped and ready.

Other pressing details include new driver’s licenses, my imminent application for medicare, last year’s taxes, and more.

Looking through the soon-to-expire passports, I confess to being a little disappointed at the dearth of interesting stamps from ports of entry. I see Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Bermuda, Italy, the U.K., the Czech Republic, and Germany. But that’s just about it for a stretch of almost ten years. There is so much more world out there to see!

There are definitely some noticeable changes in the photo on the new document – but I’m pretty sure it’s the same guy! Regardless, I am anxious to see dozens of new entry visas from all over the world appear over the next few years.

For the majority of human history, covering eons, ages, millennia and centuries, people seldom ventured far beyond walking distance of their homes. Then eventually, less than 200 years ago, rail began to open up the horizons of more and more people. The 20th century, in turn, saw an explosion of travel options. But the 21st, via pandemic and an alarming increase in isolationist ideologies, is witnessing regression back in the other direction – away from globalism and toward tribalism, with more and more people unable to look beyond their own narrow perspective. Consequently they are unlikely – and , worse, unwilling – to learn from the world’s teeming bounty of people and ideas.

We need each other. We need to be connected with other cultures, to meet disparate peoples, to learn varied viewpoints, and to engage multiple perspectives.

So you bet Rebekah and I are renewing our passports, and we will absolutely be committed to making good use of them.

Because God’s good people are everywhere, and this is a wide and beautiful world – DEREK

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