Thursday, July 8, 2010

Come Fly With Paris!


Hello Optimists,

In the last post I gave a hint as to which city I was stopping in next...did you guess correctly?

The next part of my trip takes me to The City of Light...Paris! I will be spending three days in this glorious city and I hope to see as much as I can while I'm here. I don't know which site I'm more excited to see...the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, Versailles, the Seine river... ah, I have a feeling these three days are going to go by very quickly.

One other thing I am very excited to see is the fashion. Parisians are world-renowned for their incredibly chic fashion sense and I just can't wait to get out and "people watch". I tried my hardest not to pack clothes that would immediately identify me as an American tourist, so I hope I can fit in seamlessly with the locals. Though fashion seems to take the cake in my eyes concerning French culture, France has also paved the way in art, cinema and cuisine (just think of Julia Childs!), so don't count them out when it comes to world powers.

When most people think of the French, they have an image of a person wearing a baret, carrying a baguette and smoking a cig with their nose in the air. The idea that the French people are rude and condescending toward others is not really true. I have heard from many people that the French are warm and friendly people, who, contrary to popular opinion, do not hate Americans. In fact, today's French proverb turns the tables a bit and is a little reminder that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge the French...
Il ne faut pas juger de l'arbre par l'├ęcorce.  
One should not judge the tree by the bark.
This is something we should always keep in mind. And for that, we say merci to our French friends.  Judging by outside appearance alone, we cannot know the details or beauty of a tree's inner life. We don't know how many rings are inside, how many flowers bloom from its branches in the springtime, how deep its roots grow, or how much shade and comfort it can provide a person on a hot day. Its bark is just a shell, a mere piece of armor against many years of cold, wind, rain, and sun, and it would be foolish to assume anything about it based only on its (probably) weathered appearance.

I think we can learn a lot from this French quote, though we need to apply it more than just to trees. Keep this quote in mind each and every day, and remember not to pass judgement based only upon appearance....what lies beneath that exterior can sometimes be the opposite of what we can see.

Next up is the country I have been waiting my entire life to visit. It's where my roots are grounded, so even though I'll be across the ocean from my family, I don't think they will feel that far away. Here's a hint: In this country, the average citizen consumes 26 gallons of wine a year. Salute! 

Don't forget, I want to read your favorite quotes! Learn how to submit them to be featured in a future Optimal Optimist post here.

Keep Smiling,

1 comment:

  1. "Go Confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." Henry David Thoreau


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