Member of the human race, a nationalist or both?

I’m indelibly stamped British. I grew up and I was fortunate to grow up in a country that had at the time a free health care system that was a world leader. My schooling despite some wonderful teachers left something to be desired but I continued to learn and still do through my adult life. Although the country has been involved in wars, many unnecessarily so, I have not had to take part. Do I know what it means to be British? Not particularly. You could point to a map and say roughly what Britain is but then you would find places like the Falklands that controversially are part of Britain. Do I know what it means to be human? I think I know more about that than I do about being a person of a particular country that involves drawing imaginary lines on the planet’s surface.

I’m one of those followers of Recent African Origin where my ancestors like those of everyone else, walked out of Africa and therefore we have a common human origin. On that basis I treat everyone the same with the caveat that if you look down on other humans as being lesser than you then you are no friend of mine. It’s my personal belief that I’m a human first and a British national for the sake of convenience second. I also believe that if we are to solve the great problems of the world that we need to teach people that being human is more important than their nationality. The physical processes that govern the planet do not recognise our imaginary lines of division. The big bad wolf of climate change is going to come knocking at your door no matter on which part of the planet you live.

So where am I going with this? Well it’s about joining the dots again. In the 366 days of 2020 the Earth’s population grew by the equivalent of ten Switzerlands, 80,000,000 people. How anyone can still think that the equivalent population size of Switzerland can be added every five weeks or so without destroying our life support systems is beyond me. Knowing this look at this story where at the same time the nation of South Korea is worried about not enough births and here lies the problem for me of nationalism. A good friend of mine, English, married a South Korean girl but it is still not the done thing apparently. So when are we going to get past this ridiculous limitation? South Korean men and women should be free to marry who they want but for that to happen we need everyone to recognise our humanity first and our nationality second, if at all. Here’s the article, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55526450.

Author: paulpaddington

Author of books for children. Eight published so far and working on several others.

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