ONE BIG LIE? GLOBALIZATION! From Feelings, Body Snatchers and Division Lines to a Better Self.

If Globalization is a lie, I have to give you the truth. The second truth is that I have no solutions for improving the world. I just have one for improving yourself! 😉

[Tweet “First, before thinking Global, we must be sure that we have no fear of the wider world.”]

Fears limit our horizon, and this is known by babies and chickens too. But fears are also there to protect us; nature provided us all with fears, as a survival instinct. I have a couple of very strong fears myself! Sometimes fears play an important role in our growth, since they push us into action. But the first aspect, Fear = Protection, is more subtle; it triggers defense mechanisms which sometimes are life-saving, other times alienate us from life. The fear of being refused for example, can trigger emotional insensibility; people alienate their (human) Self, i.e. they alienate good feelings.

[Tweet “Feeling means being exposed to heart & soul predators, to the harm the others can do to us.”]

Fear ⇒ Insensibility is the reason why we design invisible border lines dividing us from the rest of the world. And the world from us, from our inner Self. Losing the ability (more or less permanently) to feel and be empathetic (which is the quality of understanding other people’s feelings) has nothing to do with staying alone, at least not always. Mobbing, for example, is a strong negative effect of social aggregation: people gather together against someone else, the loser, and get a sense of belonging from being part of the group of the winners. Hooligans are an aggregate of people sharing the same love for a team, and not much love for the rest of the sports community. The same can be seen in fanatical religious groups/sects. It seems that a strong feeling of belonging paradoxically doesn’t favour expansion of the self towards things, concepts and people placed beyond their own interest area. Fears bring people to physical or psychological isolation. Looking for support and acknowledgement in a group does not solve the second problem, i.e. psychological isolation. But that is not perceived as such, and people are happy to say “I belong to this group”. The more time you spend inside that group, the less time you have to expand yourself in other directions. The exchange is good, you feel supported by people who are on the same wavelength, but no steps forward are usually done towards the global community, its differences and multiplicity.

I am really worried, since…

Many people who are able to feel, truly love and give, are often down looking for advice and help because they sense that they are different. They do not fit into the others’ normal emotional alienation.

Has it always been like this? Or is it a result of modern times, of growing expectations and the relevant response to the fear of inadequacy? For example, we have to be unpregnant / fit / slim / fast / competent / young / 24h/day available / mother-tongue in the country we work / good-looking / straight / healthy / internet proficient / multi-lingual / etc. to get a job.

Should we let the alien in us entirely snatch empathy, emotional response, and genuine interest for people outside our personal territory? Science fiction screenwriters and book authors are forward thinkers and some good ones predicted and created, many decades before engineers did, machines and devices we now use daily. alienation-globalization-self rossana condoleoThink of “Star Trek” and “Space 1999” for example, and internet, mobile phones, tablets, voice controlled devices…  (I can’t wait for Teleporting to become available too! ;-). Is this just a technology-related phenomenon, or was/is science fiction also describing the present state of Society and People?

[Tweet “In my opinion there are too many aliens among us!”]

The Internet made it possible for us all to talk about globalization and feel globalized. But…

What is this thing we call globalization if not a technology-enhanced possibility to communicate and exchange information, goods and services?

Is Globalization the 5-hour flight linking London to New York, or is it just a faster way to move from A to B? In reality, our globe is fragmented by a large, excessive, incredible, unsustainable amount of physical and conceptual divisions:

World ⇒ Continents ⇒ federations of countries ⇒ countries ⇒ states/regions ⇒ counties/districts ⇒ towns/villages ⇒ blocks ⇒ buildings ⇒ floors ⇒ home ⇒ people ⇒ Self

People divide themselves by way of further unsustainable, inconceivable criteria like:

race ⇔ religion ⇔ gender ⇔ age ⇔ civil status ⇔ culture ⇔ political preferences ⇔ appearance ⇔ health ⇔ wealth ⇔ language ⇔ sexual preferences ⇔ education ⇔ sports preferences ⇔ number of likes/day, and so on and so forth.

Whether you are a cause, a result of or a victim of such divisions, it doesn’t matter. Apparently, we are all different, and the difference is, like we have seen, not only intercultural… It is interpersonal. A further division line is to be found inside us, i.e.  between a person and her/his own Self.

[Tweet “Cars are globalized, clothes are globalized, food is globalized, not people.”]

People can freely travel and enjoy travelling. They can buy and take home beautiful souvenirs and memories, tasting new food delicacies. But any attempt to permanently move a person from one country to another will turn into a life-long adventure. Integration is still an issue, at every level.

As long as division lines or prejudices cut people into this and that, the word integration will remain a lie, like globalization. Bigger and smaller demographics should be able to preserve and be proud of their differences and Globalization should be no synonym for flatten or homogenous.

The cultural motives are important enough to have the word globalization erased from all dictionaries, as we intend it now (think of the old Hong Kong City totally disappearing under its skyscrapers). It is indeed good to maintain and appreciate differences, and we can still feel that we are all brothers and sisters, since all brothers and sisters are different, even twins.

The point is that fears and division lines exist. Look at the pool of a holiday Hotel. You will still find the British zone, the German zone, the Latinos zone. We all dance together and share the table, but when it goes to be serious and engaged, often the best intentions fall apart as well as any trust and open-mindedness. We have to thank the thousands of International Associations which work worldwide to dismantle division lines, and promote cooperation, communication, development and the solution of worldwide problems. Back to us…

[Tweet “Let’s be honest… Globalization is really not a new concept in the way it is intended by the majority!”]

Social, business and economics expansion exists from the time Aborigines left Africa to land on the Australian shores — c.a. 55.000 years ago — or the Indios travelled their icy way from Asia to North America through the Bering Straits  — c.a. 40.000 years ago. Think of the trading abilities of the ancient Greeks, of the Romans or of the Vikings. Most battles and wars were triggered by commercial and financial interests, also those behind religious beliefs. They all established connections with people from other civilizations, more or less peacefully, intermingling blood and other peculiarities. Then…

Nothing has changed from those times, except the fact that to open a branch abroad you don’t have to kill their men and inseminate their women. If you are willing to set up your business in that country, you just need not to break their local laws and respect their cultural identity.

When a business is remodeled or agreed upon with local authorities the miracle of merging money and different cultures is called globalization. But again, it is a concept as old as man, only improved by faster means of transportation and communication until division lines exist.

Globalization, as a word encapsulating a concept, has failed to deliver substance. We still face constraints in our daily international exchanges, from Social Networks to the Meeting Rooms of big Multinationals. The form reigns.

There is no Internet or no superfast vehicle which will ever be a substitute for what we really need to become a Global Village: a pure open Self. 

The less division lines we create the freer and the richer we become, with a lot of Feeling and Empathy produced and spread around.

Finally, look it up and make the physical and conceptual division arrows bidirectional:

World ⇔ Continents ⇔ federations of countries ⇔ countries ⇔ states/regions ⇔ counties/districts ⇔ towns/villages ⇔ blocks ⇔ buildings ⇔ floors ⇔ home ⇔ people ⇔ Self

delete the arrows of unsustainable, inconceivable criteria, and look what happens.

World ⇔ {race  religion  gender  age  civil status  culture  political preferences appearance  health  wealth  language  sexual preferences  education online connectivity  sports preferences  number of likes/day and so on and so forth.} ⇔ Self

A Self⇔World able to host all the differences and the multiplicity. This is my idea of Globalization!