I’ve often wondered during our travels to international destinations why the concept of my country is so important to us. In a networked age where the world has been shrunk to fit into an iPod shuffle, why are we still tied to the notion of our motherland? Isn’t it just by accident of birth that some geographical location becomes “yours”?
Why do we live in one country, but are “loyal” to another? Why do we want to use our skills and our money for “our” people first? It’s obvious that you’d feel attached to the people you grew up with, be more familiar with the customs and traditions of the region (not nation) you spent your childhood in, but as adults who have spent a significant amount of time outside of the country we were born in, why do we still hold a candle for “our” country? I fail to understand why we defer to the default in this case.
When you help the needy anywhere, it’s appreciated the same. A hungry child in India is the same as a hungry child in Ghana. A home built with love is home no matter the turf it’s built on.
I guess I’m challenging the notion of patriotism, but seriously do these possessive definitions really hold any value in today’s impoverished world? Shouldn’t one care more about the cause of humanity than the idea of nationalism? People at the very basic level are the same everywhere, with the same needs, the same desires, the same emotions … then why do we discriminate?
Why can’t we buy into the idea of “this is our world” — this is where we were born, this is where we live, and this is where we’ll help those who can’t help themselves. Period.