…today’s secret…Chris Columbus Day
I am going to continue to celebrate Columbus Day.
Here’s Chris’ back story…
Italian Marco Polo found his way to China and back with some spices that Western European elites couldn’t live without.
For the next 1,400 years or so trade developed between Western Europe and China via the 4,000 miles Silk Road.
When the Road became too crime ridden, Europeans thought they could sail around Africa to China. “Just keep the land on the left side” was the prevailing advice.
Columbus, as we all know, went west to get to the East. Most people at the time believed the earth was round, but nobody knew how big around, including Chris.
He thought he had landed in Tiawan, but it was the Bahamas. He explored his way to Cuba, never setting foot in the United States. Then he made it back home. No one had done that since Leif the Viking about a hundred years before.
The Columbus tongue-in-cheek version is that Chris didn’t know where he was going in 1492, where he was when he got there, and where he had been when he got back home.
How would he know he missed China by a continent and another ocean? How would he know there were about 500 Indian nations and about 55 million early Americans already on this roadblock of a continent?
The political winds these past years have pretty much crucified Chris. Give him a break! He had a contract with Spain to pillage China and keep a percentage for himself. He was just trying to fulfill his contract.
When he systematically enslaved and murdered the Indians he was just doing some nation-building that had been going on for centuries. No new news here. See the Roman Empire.
Why I like Chris is that he had the gift of curiosity. Yep, curiosity.
He hungered to go, touch, experience, and do. He connected with people for funding, persuaded others to follow him to possible death, and then convinced Europe there was a big piece of land over there worth exploring.
It’s people like Chris that solves riddles, discover what’s missing, and then provides it. You go big boy!
Some of the people you are helping have Chris’ gift of curiosity. If you see it, fan their spark and watch it blaze into a passion for living.
People will continue to argue the rights and wrongs of Christopher Columbus. Me? I think he facilitated social, economic, and political change still felt in the world today.
However, I’ll celebrate this second Monday in October for Chris’ curiosity.
Just curious. Is there any way we can vaccinate people FOR curiosity?