23 April 2012

Do you claim all of your home?

One of the central problems with associating the idea of home too much with a place is that you're making a claim to be a part of something that you probably do not even begin to understand.

Our ignorance is unlimited.

When you say that you are proud to be from a place, you should do so knowing what that place really is and what it has been.  Pride in nationality or group often stumbles when it is presented with all of the requisite negativity that comes from the way that groups and nations work.  There is very little that is moral or compassionate in the way that a state functions, and the ways in which groups define themselves and confine themselves leave little room for the questioning and personal growth that is a standard part of the good life.

Be a human being, not a Brazilian.  There is an overwhelming history of compassion and love that comes with that humanity, and it sits right alongside an overwhelming history of brutality and hate.  That is not to say that there aren't things about your community or your people that you shouldn't stake a valid claim to, that you shouldn't be proud of.  There's little of you in that claim though, besides that which you choose to take for yourself.  And if it is a taking on of your own choice, why limit it to one place or one people?  Search far and afield for the positive.

Take all that is good, strive to be all that is good, and always keep in the back of your head the fact that goodness and decency are something to be fought for.  All too many throughout history, around the world, in your town,of your people, under your flag forgot that. That is part of being human, but it is also something that you claim when you put yourself under their banner.

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