Of all the made up stories we tell ourselves the one that causes most harm is the one about national identity.
It is a daft enough story on an island like Britain where the edge is where you meet water, but on the European mainland where a border is just a line on a map – and even more so in The Middle East where the border is an unnaturally straight line drawn by people from another part of the world altogether – it is madness.
To then pin our identity on such arbitrary concepts and fight wars because we have crossed those imaginary lines is tragic.
Now that we are able to choose what gender we identify as – why not go the whole hog and have pronouns for those of us who feel connected to the entire human race rather than someone else’s crazy idea of a sub-division of it?
3 thoughts on “Identity”
Yeah it’ll be tough to do this methinks. National identity is ingrained. It’s not just the physical borders which can be disputed and fought over; or made through pacts and alliances. I guess it’s the art, culture, history, songs, dances, language and stories like you mentioned in a previous post. That’ll be so hard to strip away or start again. My personal opinion is that as humans, we will always try and find some kind of collective where we feel like we belong but where I get irritated is that we revert to combattive approaches and don’t use our skills in kindness, compassion, respect and cooperation. Maybe these times are showing us that we need more of that now.
I have lived in the south of England since 1984. A few years ago I said to my dad that I didn’t think of myself a Scottish anymore and he wasn’t too pleased. But it’s true. I’m me, I live where I live, and know the people I know, and that’s it. In fact it fills me with horror when I’m travelling abroad speaking at conferences and I’m introduced to someone who, just because he’s from Glasgow, I am meant to immediately get on with!
You are right about national identity being ingrained. It’s more like indoctrination. That’s a problem.
Until the advent of “media“ there was no real concept of nationhood, or at least not in the thinking of every day people in their everyday lives. This is what I meant about it being a made up story.
And as for made up stories, don’t start me on the subject of Australia! 😉