Myth of Countries

“As I think of the many myths, there is one that is very harmful, and that is the myth of countries.”
– Jorge Luis Borges

How did it come to be that
we have erected so many
boundaries between
ourselves and others?
A fence between neighbors
became a border,
a border became a wall.
Walls have become
countries, separating us all.
Small differences have
grown enormously vital.
Our skin shades don’t match,
best you stay over there.
Your speech has a lilt,
you should keep quiet.
You believe what?!
Oh no, that’s wrong!
And instead of peaceful
coexistence, our leaders
have directed us to believe
we must have those
walls to protect
ourselves from you.

Margaret Bednar is our hostess at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2014/08/play-it-again-toads-8.html

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32 Comments

  1. So thought-provoking. And how the world is experiencing the pain that follows our attachment to boundaries.

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  2. countries and tribes are hard-coded into us.

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  3. Tres Longwell

     /  August 24, 2014

    Please remove me from your mailing list

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    • It took me a minute to think who you were… I haven’t added you to any mailing list…perhaps you unwittingly “followed” me.

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  4. Well said and us small folks wonder why.

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  5. Yes, we erect walls … we are so concerned about space, but not peace…Great write

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  6. why have we erected the barriers between us…the recent issues at the US border have had me thinking of these things…protect ourselves or…

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    • I understand some of the reasoning of borders…I was just wondering how it all got started in the first place. Fear I suppose.

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  7. Walls to keep us safe are the same walls that divide us ~ A lovely message to ponder Gayle ~ Thanks for sharing ~

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  8. You are right-though I think it has a lot to do with economics as well as history–all pretty complex, and the divides within countries almost as much. So difficult to resolve. I was reading today about the many millions dying in the First World War–it’s hard to even understand what it was about, and yet millions and millions dying. Thanks. k

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    • Yes, it has become a very complex issue…little by little. We humans seem to move in that direction. And thank you for adding your thoughts.

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  9. shrewd politicians erect walls to gain and we select them to rule over us…complex like a maze…

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  10. I like your quote. You wrote nicely with it as a theme prompt. 🙂
    This is why I liked the E.U. so much. No border hassles between those countries.
    No walls, gates, or checkpoints. Just go, like between the states in the U.S.

    Thank you for peeking in on me and for your nice comment. Actually, when
    I used to eat melons in the patch I didn’t use salt either. But I do at the table.
    ..

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    • Thanks so much, Jim…I appreciate your comment and compliment. And I really like how the E.U. has set up their countries for ease of coming and going…and to manage other issues I’m sure.

      No, you probably wouldn’t be carrying around a salt shaker when visiting the melon patch. And how nice that you had a melon patch… :~)

      Gayle ~

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  11. Oh this is something so close to my heart Gayle and I think I probably speak for many. You have expressed your point beautifully. I started writing a poem on these lines not long ago when I was in pensive mood looking out of the window at the house opposite. We have been here years and slowly but surely new occupants have rendered the option to chat over the fence impossible. Vague low fences became rigid and tall and then to make sure of total privacy huge conifers have been planted alongside said fences. We are creating our own prisons. Nobody wants to live in each others pockets but it was so much nicer here when it seemed like more of a community. And this is only in our small area! The poem still is t complete! Maybe it will be one day, I couldn’t get it to come together. Xx

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    • I too see the change in neighborhoods of people just not wanting to connect with one another like when I was growing up. We knew all our neighbors and had a tight community. And it’s funny that we seem to be communicating more with each other via texting, talking on phone but not so much in real life. It’s interesting how things are evolving. Thanks, Christine…always enjoy our visits! xo

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  12. Kerry O'Connor

     /  August 25, 2014

    These are questions I have often asked myself. That we always view other members of our species with suspicion, says very little for our evolution and civilization.

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    • It’s so true, Kerry, but really all people everywhere pretty much want the same things out of life. We have much in common. Thanks for adding your thoughts here.

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  13. Powerful. I agree with this when it comes to our day to day interactions… but on a whole other level – there are those who harm and are driven by evil. How do we protect ourselves without certain precautions? Nicely penned.

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    • Yes, it brings up many questions…just how are we to remain open to some while protecting ourselves from others. Not as easy as we would like. Thanks, Margaret.

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  14. This is so insightful, Gayle. The moment we erect real or contrived boundaries, we set up the potential for an “us” against “them” mentality–which is the end of unity.

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  15. I love the building up that you present in the beginning of this…it’s very visual. Great write!

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  16. Humankind’s unending obsession with boundaries … all things divisive. This is such excellent verse … both the writing and its ‘message’. Blessings. XO

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