Tag Archives: holidays

Independence or Interdependence?

I am wearing beautiful cotton clothing stitched by sun-beaten hands in a faraway place where the Buddha was born. The dyes used to color them come from ground up plants and a broth of chemicals. The bright blue bag sitting next to me that holds my books comes from Germany and is made from old truck tarpaulins. As I write, I am sitting in an elevated wooden chair in my favorite coffee shop, with a steaming cup of tea within reach of one hand. The tea leaves are left to dry under a distant sun. Millions of trees are ground into pulp to make the disposable cup I drink from. Gigantic steel ships traverse the seas, every day of every year, to deliver these goods, leaving hundreds of miles of smoky, black trails in their wake. After crossing the invisible line of arbitrary borders, they are waved in to dock by the welcoming flag of good relations.

Is patriotism a symbol of a false sense of division? Does it reflect what we might think of as communal ego, that serves only to separate—as if we could? Do we find solace in it and a sense of belonging, security and community? Or is it through political obedience? Are either valid?

Imagine there’s no countries 
It isn’t hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for 
And no religion too 
Imagine all the people 
Living life in peace 

You may say that I’m a dreamer 
But I’m not the only one 
I hope someday you’ll join us 
And the world will be as one …

~ John Lennon

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