I recently attended a wedding of a dear friend in Croatia and got chatting to a lovely local man, who was excited to tell me how Croatia beat England at football. As usual I was happy to practice my poor Croatian vocabulary and commented how great it was to see a small nation (mali narod) beat such a big nation (veliki narod) and erhhh… bad choice of words! The whole energy suddenly changed, but the lovely man brushed my comments aside and the evening continued without an incident.
When I returned home I got thinking about nations, countries, nationality and how we truly view ourselves. My choice of words was certainly poor. What I meant to say was how nice it was to see a country with just 2 Mil people beat a country with 70 Mil people, especially at a popular game we (the British) invented. I have to admit this whole thing about nationality seriously rubs me up the wrong way, but it also makes me understand just how much we are programmed to fall for “MY COUNTRY”. This two words are entrenched deep into our hearts from early childhood and especially politicians are quick to exploit it when a diversion of our attention is needed.
None of my parents are English, but I was born in London and yes, I sincerely love England, its people, customs and am also incredibly grateful, even proud, to be British. I feel at home there. I know how to get about, what to expect, all the great and not so great details, it’s just – home… even though I’m rarely there these days.
I can truly say the world has become my home… and this home is rapidly changing. We now have EU, NAFTA, BRICS and a whole line of international synergies and cooperation agreements in place. So the question came to my mind: would I fight for and be prepared to die for my country? …my country?!
It was immediately clear to me that this question is no longer relevant. These days conflicts are less about the land, but more about values and (still unfortunately) beliefs. What I discovered about who I truly am is this:
“I would fight and be prepared to die for this world and everything humanity stands for.”
Things may not be perfect and the process of change is painful and slow, but we are growing in consciousness, coming together and increasingly comprehending each other as “human beings”. In a not so distant future, I hope, nationality, race, religion and gender will serve much more as a point of reference, rather than a definition.