The Daily Dick: Musings on the relevance of Moby-Dick Today
"I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in."
There is some good advice in this passage. Sometimes things are frightening when we leave safe harbors (metaphor alert). Still, Melville seems to say that even if we run into customs or rituals different from ours, we should embrace the people who hold those practices close. It's interesting how we seem to crave adventure through travel only to complain when we experience any discomfort. This passage seems to be about acceptance of the people we share this earth with. Perhaps this is more important today than ever before.