The English football team have made it through to the semi finals of the Euros. It is natural to feel pride in ones national football team and ones nation. However, it is important to remember that ones humanity precedes ones nationality.
Who am I and who are you? We might answer that question by stating our sex, where we live, how old we are, what we do for a living, our nationality etc. Before all these things the very first answer to the question of who I am could be (and maybe ought to be) human. Before everything else I am human, regardless of sex, nationality, likes and dislikes. It is this that connects me to all other humans, our shared humanity is a constant whereas race, sex or nationality is merely an instance.
When asking the question who am I, what we are really asking is who or what is human?
First and foremost I am human and share the same basic needs as all other humans. The need for food and water, clothing and shelter, companionship and love. It doesn’t matter what a persons skin colour is, or their nationality, or their sex, or their religion or race - we are the same. We all share the same original parents, we are all brothers and sisters. The human race is the human family, varied in colour, language and belief yet one. But if we identify ourselves only as far as nationality or skin colour then these things will create division within the family instead of connection, chaos instead of order.
I only see other men as black or brown when I think of myself as white.
Humanity overrides nationality, race, colour, sex, politics and religion. I am an Earthling born out of this world and born into it. I am human regardless from what region of the world I am born. I happen to be born in England and have therefore inherited it’s language, customs and beliefs, but all this is just baggage. If I was born in some other part of the world I would be the same as I am now but with different baggage. The question is can I be English or an Englishman and at the same time be a true Earthling (which is the greater truth)?
England, it’s history and it’s achievements offer much to be proud of and much to be ashamed of. It has played it’s part in world history mostly to help maintain division amongst the nations. This division of us and them is necessary in sporting competition such as the Euros but not so at the level of humanity. I shall be supporting England during the semi final of the Euros and wish them further success. But I know that the term English or Englishman is just a label and not a divine truth. So I can think of myself as an Englishman at the same time as being an Earthling but I don’t take my nationality too seriously for it doesn’t point to the deeper truth of who I am.
Being human is the principle, being English is an instance.