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“All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know from what you do.” – Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

"My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears. "
- Violet in Downton Abbey

"By perseverance the snail reached the ark. "
- Charles Spurgeon

"Not all those who wander are lost."
-Tolkien

26 maart 2012

The New Globalist Is Homesick


ACCORDING to a recent Gallup World Poll, 1.1 billion people, or one-quarter of the earth’s adults, want to move temporarily to another country in the hope of finding more profitable work. An additional 630 million people would like to move abroad permanently.
The global desire to leave home arises from poverty and necessity, but it also grows out of a conviction that such mobility is possible. People who embrace this cosmopolitan outlook assume that individuals can and should be at home anywhere in the world, that they need not be tied to any particular place. This outlook was once a strange and threatening product of the Enlightenment but is now accepted as central to a globalized economy.
It leads to opportunity and profits, but it also has high psychological costs. In nearly a decade’s research into the emotions and experiences of immigrants and migrants, I’ve discovered that many people who leave home in search of better prospects end up feeling displaced and depressed. Few speak openly of the substantial pain of leaving home.
This emotional style became common among mobile Americans in the 20th century, but represented a departure from the past. In the 19th century, Americans of all stripes — pioneers, prospectors, soldiers and the millions of immigrants who streamed into the nation — admitted that mobility was emotionally taxing. Medical journals explored the condition, often referring to it by its clinical name: nostalgia.
Stories of the devastating effects of homesickness were common. In 1887, an article in the Evening Bulletin of San Francisco had the headline, “Victim of Nostalgia: A Priest Dies Craving for a Sight of his Motherland” and reported that the Rev. J. M. McHale, a native of Ireland, had fallen ill with nostalgia after arriving in Brooklyn. Shortly before he died, he declared: “I am homesick. My dear country, I will never set a foot on your green shores again. Oh, my mother, how I long to see you.” 
Today, explicit discussions of homesickness are rare, for the emotion is typically regarded as an embarrassing impediment to individual progress and prosperity. This silence makes mobility appear deceptively easy.
Technology also seduces us into thinking that migration is painless. Ads from Skype suggest that “free video calling makes it easy to be together, even when you’re not.” The comforting illusion of connection offered by technology makes moving seem less consequential, since one is always just a mouse click or a phone call away.
If they could truly vanquish homesickness and make us citizens of the world, Skype, Facebook, cellphones and e-mail would have cured a pain that has been around since “The Odyssey.”
lees verder hier: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/opinion/many-still-live-with-homesickness.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1


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