Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.      —Albert Einstein

It is indeed important and essential to love one’s nation for it is the best way of expressing one’s love towards the same people to which one is belonging.  It is good to be attracted and appreciate one’s people; that does not mean that we need to hate others who does not belong to the same category as ours, for loving one people can never lead hating others.  But rather it increases the capacity of our attitude in love, which needs to extend to a greater size and dimension.  We, as human beings, who live especially at this stage of human development, where the technological advancements are breaking down the barriers of boarders and boundaries, we are somehow forced to think and act very differently, in which we have never thought and practiced it before, for the need and situation of the world, whether we liked it or not, are persuading us to change our own perception in viewing the world that we are in.  Human beings are currently forced to shift the current mental settings into a different paradigm that allows working and living so differently as was not before. 

Today, things are different, where the unseen forces are pushing the world of humanity to think in different perspectives, and mentality that the complexity and challenges of the world is getting interconnected and interlinked together.  The challenges and difficulties that the world is facing are becoming global in aspect and nature, which require global dimension and outlook in terms of finding specific solution.  Terrorism, for example, is one of the social and global catastrophes that the world of humanity is facing, which has no boundary, afflicting nations and the people as well.  AIDS is another challenge that the world is facing, no matter how far manageable in some countries is, it is still a challenge that many countries are terribly facing and suffering in.  There may be other challenges and complications that may be borne tomorrow which persuade humanity to think so differently in attitude and conceptualisation as well.  Challenges and technological advancements are forcing the world to reorient, reorganize and shift the mentality and perspective toward the world we are living in, to a different aspect and way of viewing of the world, and managing its affairs in a different way than as was before

In such a world, to feel so nationalistic at this critical time of the planet may not mean important and necessary, but rather we may need to enlarge the boundary of our nationalistic feelings considering our planet as one nation, which demands the change in attitude and mental settings.  Our attitude towards nationalism needs to be changed in terms of perspective as well which considers the entire globe as one nation, which may not be simple, but we can give a try and see how the world will look like if the world of humanity perceives the whole planet as one nation, and try to work together in building this world by integrating the necessary components that are necessary to form it as one big nation.  And I think, this kind of nationalism is what we are forced to have, which considers all states as one, and all human beings as citizens of this one big earth.  This is indeed what we are obliged by the situations of the current world to erase any kind of feelings of obsolete nationalism and converting them to a global one.  If we are thinking with the traditional mentality of nationalism that we already have, we are not capable enough to solve the problems that we are facing, for the nature of many problems are more of interlinked with many nations, and our attitude of nationality, as we can witness, is another additional problems to the ones we already have, which needs further and different remedy as well.

Nationalism is indeed one of the gods that people worship, for they have pride being a citizen of what they assume a good nation.  It is good to belong where our life is easy going and become simple.  One can have any nationality, for it is not derived out of effort and hard work, rather it is created by the exercise of the free will of other people before us and by the power beyond our control.  Who else is borne in a country where one wants to be?  If that is the case none of us will be borne no where, except in a place where life is good, and the world will be densely populated in one place than the other, and no enmity and such chaos would have been in abundant.  It is the free will of our parents that brought us to this world, and to a very specific country, tribe and family, but not our original desire and mentality.  It is not our excellence and brilliance that made a contribution for any one of us to be borne in a particular place, which does not need our expertise and intelligence, rather there must be a mystery to us that we need to find out.

When we are brought from non-existent to existence, it was not even the choice of our parents, but as a matter of the design of the nature of this world, in which they have also no choice and it is not their free will to have us and be born in their house, and our mothers to carry us in their womb, but they are already destined for that.  None of us need passport or visa to be born in a particular place.  We came from the world [even if it is non-existent] that we have never experienced limitations like this one, where our identity is tagged by the many listed identifications of this world, and our actions and reactions are controlled by the many rules and regulations that awaited us without the original consent and advise of us, in which we exercise and accept them with such obedience that we have no choice and options.

People are proud for their nationality is different and assume that they are better than others due to their birth and growth place is different, but they have twenty fingers, two eyes, one nose, two legs, the inventory is the same as the others, and there can be no difference between human beings because of this.  Their different nationality, which makes them to pride, have never helped the world of humanity to solve the problems afflicting today, but rather it is becoming by itself a problem and a ‘sick mentality’ that the feeling of betterment towards identity creates another complication whose effect puts the world of humanity in a vicious circle of crisis.  People should help with each other than have pride one with the other, for in cooperation lies the nobility of human beings, not in competition.  Human beings have been competing for million years, and it should be enough.  The end of days for competition has to come, and people should work hard to close the chapter of competition.

Competition should leave the place for cooperation.  There should be no pride in feeling superior to others.  Pride is a veil that curtains to see the nobility of other beings.  Cooperation should rule the world and every one should consider others as their equals, for no one has lived everlastingly, and all human beings are entitled to perish, and none of us win death, and all live under one sun, for all eat with a mouth for a stomach, and none of us changed so different in terms of inventory and thinking.  It is not such a big deal to belong to one nation, which never allowed us to escape from the stress of this world and no one can be special, for none has lived eternal.

Nationalism is so contagious that the moment one gets into this world, it welcomes every one with registration and identity, and gives no chance for any one to think and to decide, and binds all to live under it.  It is such a dictator, and every one has no choice except to be tagged and labelled under it, which creates boundary, differences and feelings of antagonism between the peoples of the earth, who should belong as citizens of one nation and one world.


 Written by Dereje Amera

The views reflected in the above article  are solely of the author and are not necessarily shared by Meskot.  You may contact Dereje Amera  for comments at .