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The problem with patriotism

Just to be clear. This is my personal opinion. I am not trying to push my beliefs onto you. My main goal is to make you think about the topic.

Patriotism is bad for humanity. There is no way about it. By definition patriotism is an ideology of attachment to your homeland, culture, ethnicity, history and so on. At first it may sound like a neat idea, but the more you think about it the worse it gets. And now we are going to think about it.

Let us start with a simple and some what cliche example. Imagine there are two individuals in their mid 30s. Both educated, well mannered and highly patriotic. Imagine them having a discussion about patriotism and their homelands. It most likely is a mutually respectful and generally nice conversation. Now imagine those same two people, but with a little bit more context. First of them is an USA citizen, the other one is German. Their interaction is taking place during WW2. Both individuals have lost some family and friends to the other side. How are they interacting now? Most likely they’re both extremely hostile. My point is: there’s a fine line between patriotism and chauvinism. And the line is context.

Life in a way is context, you take some event like the first scenario mentioned and it becomes a lie, an illusion in comparison to the second scenario. What patriotism does is it manipulates the context to the point that people feel they are on the right side when they’re harming others. Now take patriotism out of the equation. There are no more sides, interactions are based on pure morality of humans that are interacting. I firmly believe that the people who would take a life of an “enemy” wouldn’t do it if the decision would be made by their moral compass instead of political views and in a way patriotism.

And this is what patriotism does. It clouds our mindsĀ if the circumstances change. It lets us rely on something else that our morality to make decisions. Humanity isn’t evil by default. We are born good and we should be good to everyone. There are on races. There are no nations. We are all human. Let’s act that way.

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I just spent a few days at my parents. I took a stroll through the park that I always used to walk and it doesn’t feel the same. It’s not my home anymore. I passed a boy (now almost a man) who, when i lived there, was a chubby kid and now he’s all grown up has something similar to a beard (not really a beard) and is jacked. I saw some more familiar faces but they are all different. I enjoyed the walk, but it felt like a visit.

Nothing has changed at my parents home since I moved to another city, well just a few new things but nothing major, but I felt like a guest there. And i thought to myself, when did these walls that i spend around two decades at, stopped being my home? I still remember when I used to come back there all the weekends when I was a student, back then it still was my home. Maybe it all changed when I rented an apartment. But it’s rent! I don’t own it and I’m even forced to move soon. Given the situation, I came to a though, Do I even have a home?

Maybe some of us who rent don’t have a home at all. We might be living somewhere and feel comfortable there but at any moment we can be evicted. It’s scary to know that you don’t own anything, that you can’t change this or that in the place you live because in reality it’s not yours. Given the situation when will I truly have a home that I can change to my liking? Or will I never be able to make something my own? I guess only the future will tell and in the meantime my home will be where my loved one is.