Borders, Imaginary Boundaries


Borders are imaginary lines drawn on a map. Sometimes these borders are manifested as border control points where access from one side to the other is controlled. What is a border? Who decides where a border goes? Why do we need borders?


I was at a border point the other day and took this picture. Italy lies on the other side. Years ago people decided to create a border here where no border existed before. Most likely, at that time, there were families on either side of the newly created border who had relatives on the other side. In other places borders are the results of wars, or because two distinct people’s and languages exist as neighbours. However these borders create boundaries not only on maps or border towns.

Mental boundaries are what create the physical borders separating our planet from itself. We look across the border and we think and often feel that there live a inferior race. In the same breath we may state emphatically that we are not racist. What a paradox we live in.

Religious boundaries are the most cruel unjust borders which exists, and these are entirely man-made. I don’t care what your religion is, if I point out someone to you who is of a different belief you will tell me that that person is lost and needs the salvation offered ONLY by your religion. And if I point out you to that other person he or she will tell me the same about you. And yet the only difference between you both are your mental beliefs.

National boundaries are much the same. They separate people based on a line on a map, or a language or religion.

Social boundaries also exist. How many times have you looked down on someone of a “lower” social status as you? Like the man who asked me yesterday for a Franc at the train station? How often do you avoid people whom you deem undeserving of your presence? People’s behaviours also create mental boundaries. You find yourself not associating with people who act differently than you or you are embarrassed by them.

Then of course there are the Sexual boundaries, those imaginary limitations we hold in our minds which exclude others from jobs and positions simply because of their sex. Age boundaries exist too, just ask a fifty year old who is looking for work.

Yet all of these boundaries are imaginary. What would the world be like if we all woke up in the morning and we forgot all of our imaginary boundaries? Religious hatred would disappear, sexual discrimination would no longer be an issue, language differences would be a point of discovery and no more one of separation. Cross border threats would not exist and world peace would be the result. Remember, if you are now thinking this can never happen because of this or that, that the scenario just described is one where those boundaries are forgotten. The Jew forgets there’s a reason to hate the Palestinian, the American no longer remembers that Muslim’s are an enemy, North Korea loses interest in threatening the world and your neighbour no longer desires to cut down your tree. All animosity would no longer exist, simply because we have all forgotten why.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Peace!

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