Homes under threat

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IMG_7551In this day and age, home is more and more threatened by corporate groups and politics, by money and power.

So it can happen that your home gradually becomes threatened by environmental issues. If you live near the coast, it might soon get flooded by the sea. It might be threatened by earthquakes possibly triggered by fracking. The drinking water might be contaminated or the very air you breath. Not to mention all the homes threatened by war, by people who believe differently from you, by persecution because you belong to a different tribe…

There is no guarantee that the place you know as your home will always be there, and that you’ll be always welcome.

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Belonging

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Version 3Even if you have a home, it doesn’t mean that’s where you belong. It is not a guarantee for feeling welcome and accepted.

As a child I grew up in a small village by a big lake. I had friends in the neighborhood. I knew every corner and most people. Never did it occur to me that I didn’t belong there. It was my home, no question.

At the age of nine we moved to another part of the country. A bigger city, and from one day to the next I had lost all my friends, all knowledge of my surroundings. I still had my family of course, but my little world had disappeared. At my new school I did not feel welcome. I was the outsider. The alien. And think of it, I spoke the same language – just with a different accent – I didn’t look different, apart from my maybe a bit old fashioned outfits. I was a quiet child and didn’t interfere with anybody’s business. But I was bullied and made fun of.

Even worse for my brother. He was 3 years older than I and went to the same school. During the breaks he was on his own. No-one in is class welcomed him, befriended him. So it was up to me to spend time with him in the school yard. I wanted to protect him, but I couldn’t.

Thinking of refugees and immigrants, if you don’t feel welcome, or accepted, or appreciated, than life is pretty tough. Even more so when your looks or your language stand out. Than it’s not only your school mates or the neighbor’s kids, than almost anyone can point their finger at you, make fun of you, reject you and blame you for things, you have nothing to do with.

To be sure, I never really got it back, that being at home, that feeling of belonging, the way I experienced it as a small child. I’ve been wandering the world ever since.

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