Walker, there is no path. My blog is dedicated to caminantes, those who act with purpose, even if the way forward is unclear.
Antonio Mahado‘s poem “Caminante, No Hay Camino” is one of my most cherished poems. It’s written completely in Spanish, so here’s a rough English translation:
Walker, There Is No Path
Walker, the only way
Is your footprints and no other.
Walker, there is no way.
Make your way by going farther.
By going farther, make your way
Till looking back at where you’ve wandered,
You look back on that path you may
Not set foot on from now onward.
Walker, there is no way;
Only wake-trails on the waters.
But what does following your purpose really mean?
There are many times in our lives when there is no perfect path forward. But when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.
Contrary to popular belief, acting with purpose is NOT about knowing exactly what you want to do with your life. Just as Antonio Machado taught us, purpose is not about the path.
Purpose is thinking: Not me, but you. Purpose is using our resources to give back in whatever small way we can. Purpose is seeing those who are too often invisible. Purpose is choosing diversity as a way of life.
How to be a Caminante…
When organizations connect the world through business abroad or give back locally, they are living with purpose. Companies can teach their customers about diversity, whether they prepare cultural foods or sell environmentally conscious products.
Travelers can choose to spend time among cultures disparate from theirs. Students can choose to learn about foreign languages and world studies. We can all befriend peers from different backgrounds.
Following your purpose is as simple as chatting with a stranger about how their life isn’t much like yours. It does not matter where you are in the world.
Caminantes seek to understand the world and give back to improve it.
“Caminante” means “traveler”, “walker”, or “wayfarer” in Spanish. Caminantes act with purpose, even if the way forward is unclear. I focus my blog on what I learn from these people and companies who foster global competence in their own way. We are all caminantes.
We must work with those who are different than us.
Professional careers are no longer centered around a small town. Rather, the best companies and universities are worldwide. Notice how international campuses, offices, and distribution centers are popping up everywhere. Global competence is not only a way for you to grow personally, but professionally.
What if we saw the world as it truly is?
Let’s throw away the narrative of division and conflict. We do not have to board a plane or give up our lifestyles to understand others as they truly are. Let’s move forward into a future of unity.
Join me in seeing those who are not often seen. Let’s celebrate the beauty of humanity, found right here, right now. We are all caminantes! Together, we make our path as we walk on it.