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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where do you come from?

Where is it that we are citizens of?  Do we live in one neighborhood?  One city?  One state or province?  One country?  One region?  One world?  One universe?  One still unknown thing that we haven't discovered yet?  At what stage of this process do we differentiate ourselves? Usually we differentiate ourselves wherever along this spectrum we need to in whatever present company we are keeping, and usually this is about differentiating ourselves from that specific company.  Thus, if you are in new york city you differentiate yourself as being from the upper east side, the village, brooklyn, whatever.  But as soon as you leave new york city, you are now from 'the city' if you're in the region, or 'new york' if further afield.  If your in a place where the discussion changes to nationalities, all of a sudden ones' identification changes to being 'an American'.  'Europeans' can identify themselves as such regionally and then by country as needed.

But outside of sci-fi movies who identifies themselves as 'citizens of the world', or of 'the universe'?  There is no need to do this in our daily lives, where we are trying to find some way to separate ourselves from the masses of humanity and other living things that we share our places with.  We do this simply because there are no things 'not from this world' or 'not from earth' to differentiate ourselves from.  This is a shame.  Because it is specifically the type of differentiation that we keep undertaking that leads us to focus and judge specifically on the places that we claim, and not on those that we leave be.  All of a sudden various parts of the world are not as important as "our own" - the ones we immediately identify with.  But how can this be?  We breath the same air as someone in china, we share the same biological features as someone in Africa, eat the same foods as someone in South America, and live amongst many of the same trees and soil types as someone living in Europe.  Why then is it that we must differentiate - and in turn - prioritize areas of the world as more or less important to us?

Ultimately the world is one holistic entity that works together and feeds off of every aspect of itself - including the universe it itself inhabits.  So why then do we all not consider ourselves citizens of the world?  Why is one nation and/or its citizens deemed as more or less important or valuable than another's?  Why do we not claim equal right to existence with the other 'citizens of the world' we share it with?  Humans, animals, plants, insects, bacteria, algae, what-have-you.  The world is in-fact bigger than our own specific places in it. Shouldn't we value them all as being equally important?

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