Boundaries Redux

July 16, 2016

BW photograph of a room in a hotel being deconstructed as seen through a chain link fence.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is an addendum to the earlier post entitled “Boundaries”.

Xenophobia and the resultant stereotyping seems to be driving a great deal of current rhetoric and behaviour, which includes the creation of the various boundaries as discussed in that earlier post.  Next week is the Republican National Convention, and, given the statements made by the presumptive nominee, one could expect more of the same.  The August 2016 issue of Outside magazine contains a compelling article written by Mr. Jason Motlagh entitled “Skull on a Stake”, which documents a trip through the Darien Gap at the Colombia/Panama border.  The author traveled with a group of migrants/refugees as they attempt the journey to the U.S., and there are many arduous physical and psychological boundaries to be crossed along the way.  It is a recommended read.

I often think of fences from the perspective of being on the outside and looking in toward something desired-a dip in a swimming pool would seem to be an appropriate example given the heat and humidity of today.  Being outside and looking in is the point-of-view of those seeking refuge in the U.S. and other countries-they are moving toward what is seen as a better place.  It is worth considering what you would do under similar circumstances.  When on the inside and looking out, xenophobia would dictate seeing those as a threat.  The above photograph was included as a suggestion to reverse that perspective.  Imagine being on the inside of a fence, looking out, and being able to clearly see, smell, hear, and feel the chaos and destruction from which many are fleeing-life in Syria provides one, just one, of many current examples.  Yes, what would you do under similar circumstances?  Xenophobia is based on fear.  Empathy helps to bring about understanding and compassion.

Take care.





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