At college I joined the territorial army. The union jack and the national anthem always stirred my emotions. I was deeply proud of being British. I even flirted with nationalist politics but was frankly put off by the other people I met on the right wing fringes of the Tory party. Even then, I liked to buck the trend. It was trendy to be a leftie so I did the very opposite like the contrarian Aquarian that I am.
But I grew up.
Firstly, I traveled a lot. At first inside the UK with three years in the midlands, a year in Leeds, three years in Glasgow, three years in Aberdeen, 3 years in London. To be honest, my parents liked travel too so even by age 16 I had seen almost every region of the UK, France and Switzerland already. The west coats of Scotland was always a big favorite and from age 10 or so to 18 we always spent at least 1-week in and around the Lochs of western Scotland. Later, I moved to Texas and broadened my horizons considerably traveling all around North America and Europe. Seven years ago, I landed in the Czech Republic and I have traveled extensively since in and around this beautiful land. When you travel and observe, when you meet people from different cultures and backgrounds I think you cannot help learn two remarkable things;
1. We are all the same. To put it crudely, we all poop and pee the same way but what I really mean is that we all have the same needs, insecurities, feelings, fears and so on. We are all bound together by the mass of commonalities that far outweigh the differences,
2. Local culture is important and it should be valued. The world is becoming too uniform and cultures are being erased in the process. Local culture should be celebrated in my opinion.
Secondly, meditation and reflection over the last 10-years has completely changed the way I look at the world. I have had experiences in which without a shadow of a doubt, I know all is one. I know that rather than be divided, we should all be trying to work together to improve our lot. No, this doesn’t make me a ‘leftie’ either (another trend in my opinion is pagan and left wing). Rather, it has taught me that we are responsible for ourselves and while charity can be a good thing, people don’t actually grow much when given everything on a plate. No one but me is responsible for my development as a person.
To me, one thing that seems to be on the rise again is nationalism. The idea that by some accident of birth and nationality or identity, people should have different enclaves in order to keep what they have from being shared with others. That is what nationalism is. Its not about preserving local culture. Nationalism means building and creating barriers between peoples. It involves politicians exploiting divisions, grudges and disagreements – real or imagined. Nationalism is ugly, no its obscene.
Humanity needs to come together as one yet it should celebrate our cultures and traditions. This means education, sharing and joining together – uniting – to pit our wits against common threats like ignorance, disease and poverty. It does not need artificial division centered around a sense of superiority or inferiority and intolerance. It does not need nationalism. Not now, not ever.
Us and Them
Us and Them
It’s Us and Them you see
It’s Them to blame if you ask me
Am I doing this to Them or to me?
All is One don’t you see
I am hating and killing me
Them? – Simply shades of me
From Astral Messages by G. Michael Vasey