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Evelin Lindner: A Personal Path From Displacement to Global Citizenship

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Published on Oct 31, 2011

"A Personal Path From Humiliating Displacement to the Dignity of Global Citizenship" is a video clip that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the World Dignity University initiative.
Evelin Lindner's aim it to help increase awareness that we, as a human species, form one singe human family on a tiny home planet, whose stewardship is our shared responsibility. See her reflections on her website (www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin.php):
"It is important for me to make clear that my global life is not a homeless or restless life. I do not even use the term "travel," since I live in the global village and in a village one does not travel, one lives there, even if one moves around in it. When I look for cultural templates for my life, which treats our planet as one undivided locality, I can think of migrating animist hunter-gatherers, a way of life that defined being human prior to 10,000 years ago. I resonate with what indigenous native American leader Sitting Bull (1831-1890) said: "White men like to dig in the ground for their food. My people prefer to hunt the buffalo... White men like to stay in one place. My people want to move their tepees here and there to different hunting grounds. The life of white men is slavery. They are prisoners in their towns or farms. The life my people want is freedom." Clearly, I do not hunt buffalo, and I do not have a teepee. Yet, what I do is refraining from defining a small geographical locality as "my home." My home is the entire global village, or more precisely, the people I love in that village. I do not even see my life as nomadic, and, as mentioned above, I do not resonate with the notion of travel. To my view, I "stay in love," rather than "travel in circles in a caged rat race." In other words, I see myself being much more "still" and true to "my place," namely love, than those who sell out their soul for a rat race that is defined by large-scale societal frames that have increasingly become toxic during the past decades. I see many people travel extensively, yet, usually, they have a "caged rat race" frame within which they travel. I prefer to "stay still" in the realm of love. I am closer to a person who chooses to opt out of the rat race to live a simpler life nearer to nature, for example, than to a frequent business flyer who travels in circles in the isolated elite bubble of international hotels. I never search for a "place to stay." I move between different relational contexts of love and "a place to stay" is secondary to being embedded into relationships of mutual care."
Please see also "How Becoming a Global Citizen Can Have a Healing Effect," a paper presented at the 2006 ICU-COE Northeast Asian Dialogue: Sharing Narratives, Weaving/Mapping History, February 3-5, 2006, International Christian University (ICU), Tokyo, Japan.
• Introduction to the paper: "First versions of this paper were written for the 2006 ICU-COE Northeast Asian Boundary-spanning Dialogue Project (" Sharing Narratives, Weaving/Mapping History," February 3-5, 2006, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan). The participants were divided into four circles and encouraged to present their personal histories. A great sense of enthusiasm, almost exhilaration, permeated the Dialogue weekend. One of the most exiting aspects was that everybody had the permission to be a "human being" - as opposed to "a Chinese," or "a Korean," or "a Japanese." Usually, by stepping out of in-group definitions, one has to pay by sacrificing one's sense of belonging and mutual connection. During the Dialogue weekend, nobody was punished for failing to be adequately "loyal" to their in-group; nobody was ostracized for failing to be sufficiently "Japanese," or "Korean," or "Chinese." On the contrary, a new "in-group membership" was on offer - the membership in all humankind. No longer had the participants to carefully hide "unfitting" aspects of themselves; on the contrary, everybody was encouraged to just be "me" and would still be connected and loved. In the Dialogue weekend, everybody was allowed to break out of narrow in-group boundaries and forge a new in-group community, humankind.
In this paper I first outline how I initially felt a painful sense of not-belonging (I am born into a refugee family) and how I proceeded to building a deeply fulfilling and satisfying global identity. In the subsequent section I discuss what I gained with this approach. I conclude with advocating that we all need to cooperate in building an inclusive world for all."
See more on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php.

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