Friday, February 8, 2013

common ground

when i was young, i believed in my blood. and then somebody told me about the portuguese legacy of conquest, that they decided to sail across the sea and take by force lands they found on the other side. and my pride and belief in my heritage fell away.

when i was a bit older, i believed in my citizenship. i was proud to be a canadian. and then i learned things about the canadian legacy that made me shudder, about what they'd done to indigenous people in the past, what they were doing to all of us now. that if i chose to serve my country, i would not longer have any choice. i shucked those thoughts and began to consider myself a citizen of the world whether or not i had a passport to give it provenance.

when i was older than that, i still believed in political parties. i voted one way, and i believed if you ascribed to a party politics, you were all united in doing what was best for everyone, within that party and without. but then i saw that lines blur and alliances are made in what might seem the unlikeliest of places, that leadership changes and parties collide. and i dreamed of a different kind of vote.

now i am older still, and find i can only believe in those individuals who do what they say they're going to do, and act in good faith toward other people, regardless of their politics, their nation and their blood. i believe that most would like the right to believe in what we want, to do what we want to do, and to take the path that makes the most sense to us without having to impact the choices of our neighbours or have them affect us in our turn. i choose to believe in people when i see the proof of their actions, appreciating those actions are always filtered by their own life experience, who want to be free to choose but not have others hurt, who honour the rights of the individual and the world. i wish we could all discover some way to do that. on that, i wish we could all agree.

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