Sometimes we consider something as a positive quality, whereby it has little to do with anything positive.
For example, many of us are quite sure that so-called “National Identity” is a positive thing. Most of us proudly announce their National Identity. I was doing it too.
My recent observation tells me a different story. “National Identity” in fact causes more problems than contributes to our evolution. It does not allow us to see the entire beauty of other cultures. In fact, it limits our ability to be open minded.
We tend to look at other cultures not from the viewpoint that they are different and this is what makes our world so colourful and interesting. We look at them from the angle which might make us think that “my culture is better and yours is not so much” – more or less. For some reason, we do not understand that to appreciate other cultures this angle is not appropriate whatsoever.
If we take a closer look at “National Identity”, we might be able to start getting a clue that it prohibits to identify ourselves with the entire human race. Instead, it segregates us on certain groups, whether it is nationality or race based.
Perhaps because of our failure to choose the right angle and long-standing traditions to be divided by camps, the “National Identity” creates a positive environment for all types of extremism. Since we believe that it is necessary to have “National Identity”, inevitably we begin to develop a sense of superiority. Coupled with our passion for competition, the “National Identity” drives us to a conclusion that “I/WE are the best”.
To substantiate this false belief, we search for evidence. And because we are obsessed with the idea of superior status, we accept immaterial elements as a major factor and undisputable evidence to confirm our sick imagination.
For illustration, I would like to use the following as an example: if I put a picture of someone from Namibia, or South Sudan next to my picture and ask what difference between these two people do you see? Many of us would give many reasons why these two individuals are different. The main one would be a colour of skin.
In my mind, there is no difference. Because we both have one head, two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth, one neck, two arms and two legs. As to the skin, the shade would be a bit different, but it would still have identical properties that would indicate that we both are humans. But under the skin we are the same too: both have red blood, the same number of organs, the same number of bones as well as bone structure, etc.
So, why are we paying attention to the different shade of the skin? Is it because it is the most visible? As compared to the significant number of similarities, the colour of skin is immaterial. Why people prefer not to acknowledge it? Maybe because they know that such acknowledgement will remove the illusion that they are the best.
However, when we use something immaterial as the main criteria that help to justify our difference, we lose focus. We also lose clarity and completely confuse priorities because we do not now anymore what is important and what is not.
Lack of understanding creates mental disability which helps to maintain fake status. Because it is very flattering to think that we are the best, people do not care if it is not true. It feels great.