Thursday, 27 September 2012
On 1 September (I'm just catching up) Meike aka Librarian wrote in her post about an annual walk with her Mother entitled This Beautiful Country "It is, I think, a beautiful country I live in, and I am glad about that - while I never got the point of patriotism (we don't, after all, choose the place where we are born, or the family we are born into, do we?), I appreciate very much living in a country of peace and prosperity, where I do not have to fear for my life every time I leave the house (as is sadly the case in many countries all over the world, not just in Syria)."
As I read it I realised that those words could have come out of my own mouth. As a person who came from a city where so many identified themselves by their ancestry eg Liverpool Welsh, Liverpool Scots, Liverpool West Indian, Liverpool Chinese and particularly Liverpool Irish. The one thing I never heard a reference to was Liverpool English. (When I was very young I don't recall anyone from the Indian sub-continent living in the City: they tended to inhabit central Lancashire towns). The point being that it was a very eclectic and cosmopolitan society in which to be brought up. I then moved to Scotland where I have spent the majority of my life and now spend my time divided between Scotland and New Zealand.
So what place is there for patriotism in my life? There are two things that have caused and that are causing unpleasantness and unhappiness from taunts in the classroom to death in wars: nationalism and religion.
Today I am thankful that I live in countries where there is peace and a relative tolerance of both these things and, despite the terrible consequences of the current economic situation for many people, where there is relative prosperity. I wish that it could be so for everyone.