Posts tagged world view
My Itchy Leg

I have an itchy spot on my right calf. It’s probably mild eczema. I have seen the doctor who has referred me to a skin specialist but I’m yet to follow-up on that appointment. Dr Google says it could be one of eighteen conditions. I’m ruling out some of the nastier probabilities on the basis that there are no other symptoms and if it was something really nasty then I’d probably actually feel sick or it would have gotten a lot worse by now. In the meantime, I don’t always notice it but occasionally it gets insanely itchy and I find myself scratching the hell out of it. My sensible voice says, 'don't scratch, go and find out what it is and get it treated'. The sooner the better as the unknown can often be more problematic than the known. So that’s my leg, and apart from it registering itchy sensations, it’s strangely giving me a little perspective. I mean, it’s itchy, it’s been itchy for a year and yet I’m so slow to act. Like everyone, I’m so caught up in everything else I’m doing that I keep telling myself I don’t have time to see a doctor. It’s just an itch and everything will be ok, surely? Well I actually do think it will be ok, but what if I do nothing and in another year it isn’t just an itch? While I continue to do nothing about it, my annoying itch makes me think, ‘Is the increase in global temperatures just the world’s itchy leg? Why do we ignore the obvious until it’s too late to do anything about it?

I’m calling the specialist today and making that appointment. I can’t expect anyone else to listen to my resolutions if I don’t act on them myself. I don't want to lose the argument with myself and wind up not having a leg to stand on. Perhaps you have something of your own you should be getting checked? The world does, and while we are very busy living our lives we are missing the obvious. If we don’t take care of ourselves and where we live then this whole thing is going to be over much faster than any of us might like to think. Forget about not having a leg, I'd really like to keep having a world to stand on. 

Evan Shapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @

Beyond borders

I love my country. It’s a wonderful blend of cultural extremes and unquestionable natural beauty. The natural environment feeds the national psyche but is quite possibly under appreciated by a majority of inhabitants. The contemporary, urban environment I call home is richly multicultural, spiritually varied and is underpinned by an ancient civilisation that existed for thousands of years before it was subjugated by western ideals. Sounds like a lot of other countries yet we all have our particular unique characteristics. Much of my outlook has been shaped by the filter of my national psyche. There are parts of it I adore and other parts that I am ashamed of. I will defend it and then at other times criticise it for failing its citizens.

So even though I love my country, the idea of nationalism doesn’t work for me.

The main reason I don’t feel overly nationalistic is because I see national borders as divisions rather than unifiers. I see myself as human first and citizen of a nation as secondary.

Take a big picture snapshot. Looking at the history of space and time it’s hard to accept attaching my entire identity to something that has only existed for a very short period of time. It’s like going to the beach, picking a grain of sand and saying ‘I define myself based on this grain of sand’. It’s random, an accident of birth, granted, for some of us, a lucky accident. Just imagine if you had been born in a different country, or born at a different time in history. What you love suddenly becomes very subjective.

It doesn’t make sense to me to decide who I help, who I protect or who I care about based on national borders. They are arbitrary, completely subject to change and not nearly as important as the people in charge would have you believe.

Not believing in nationalism does not mean you don’t love your country. On the contrary, you love it for what it is, not what others tell you it is. How much do you allow borders to determine how you think, feel or love?

Evan Shapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @