1 EAGLETON NOTES: Thankful Thursday

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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Thankful Thursday

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.  

9 comments:

  1. Your home in Scotland does seem stunningly beautiful, GB. Mine isn't so spectacular, but I love it just the same. As you say; we're lucky.

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    1. The view from my home is, and my surroundings are, stunningly beautiful (I am a supporter of the Oxford Comma you will observe). However if I were ever to put the house on the market I would advertise it as 'Perhaps the ugliest house on Lewis but the one withe the best view'. Fortunately the outside belies the inside.

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  2. This is such an honour for me - thank you, Graham, for using something I wrote in your own post!
    I have no idea how much you know of current events in Germany, but that dreadful anti-Muslim "film" (it doesn't deserve the name, does it) has lead to protests all over the world; thankfully (to keep in line with today being Thankful Thursday), not as violent over here as in other countries. It made me think once more about how lucky everyone who lives here is for being able to express their own opinion, whether we like it or not, and take to the streets to defend their political or religious views without having to be afraid of ending up in prison (or "missing").

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    1. I haven't seen any description of the film I just heard about the unrest when a friend's cruise ship decided not to dock in a muslim country because the passengers were unhappy at the prospect. Saying that I decided I'd better look at some information and it seems to be receiving universal condemnation. Actually Meike I worry about the US and fundamentalism where teachers are being sacked if they wish to teach about evolution which is denied by certain fundamentalists. It smacks of McCarthyism.

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  3. You are so right, GB. We are lucky to live in places where we can feel free to speak out. And I totally agree with you about nationalism and religion. Perverted nationalism is responsible for many of the ills of the world, and religion -- supposedly a civilizing influence -- seems to only pour petrol on the flames. I was raised a Lutheran, married in the Methodist Church, and for the past several years have been attending Catholic churches. But seeing the hatred and intolerance expressed by the Conservative Christian Right and the Born Again Christians here in the USA has pretty much turned me off of religion in general. I know there are many good tolerant people who also go to church, but they seem to be in the minority, and the number of them seems to be dwindling all the time. I will be so glad when the elections in November are over. Some of the things being said about -- and by -- the candidates at every level are truly appalling in their ignorance and bigotry. Kindness and courtesy seem to have completely gone the way of the passenger pigeon.

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    1. Ah Carol, I've just alluded to that very subject in my response to Meike. It frightens me.

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  4. Everyday I am thankful that I live where there is no serious oppression or unnecessary wars.
    Not the richest territory in the world, but I love the fact that there is clean water, beautiful sunshine and a stable government.
    Of course all the other little things matter too....I love my island home.

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    1. To be able to love one's home, Virginia, is a blessing.

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    2. I can't come up with a better comment than what you just wrote back to Virginia so I'll just say Amen to that!

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