An interesting question. I always say ‘Dublin’ of course. I’ve lived here for over 20 years now, first visiting some 30+ years ago. I am immensely proud to say I am an Irish citizen and I come from Dublin. And yet, I am a London girl at heart. London is truly my city too as it is where I spent almost half of my life before settling in Ireland . But hold on, I was born in Wales – but left there when I was one… and I have strong family ties in New Zealand and have been lucky enough to travel extensively and have felt welcome and a strong feeling of belonging in the most unexpected places. So I ask the question again, where are you from? Do tell, I’d love to know….
I recently read on-line about a recent Citizenship ceromony in New Zealand, where 25 women from 21 different countires were awarded their citizenship by NZ Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae. [quote align=”left” color=”#999999″]Before today, New Zealand was your home, but now it is your country[/quote]
This had me thinking about the question of belonging. Where we are from, where we live and where we feel our loyalties lie. And if, should the need ever arise, what lengths would we go to defend our country. I am an Irish Citizen. Whenever I travel, I take great pride in talking of the country that has been my home for some 20 years now. There are many other facets that form part of my identity. The issue of belonging raises the real question of who I really am and how different we all are…
With family on the other side of the world, I often read their national newspapers on line just to see what’s going on. Quite often there are similarities in trends, research and events and it helps to get a different perspective on what are common human issues. Take for example, a recent survey carried out by Ernst & Young on Productivity in the Workplace. The New Zealand Herald reports (June 10th) that being treated badly in the workplace and poor communication were the biggest obstacles to increasing output. Whilst some time was spent on social media during work hours, waiting on other people and time spent on unecessary emailing accounted for an average of one hour and nine minutes time being wasted daily. What workers want it appears to be universal. Workers want more effective management, more motivation and more recognition. The question is if what workers want is seemingly so simple, why is it so difficult to get it right?
I’ve been thinking about this alot in recent years as my own circumstances have been changing. Is home where you’re from, where you’re living, where you have family, where you have friends. Perhaps the question is really what represents home to you? For me, it’s a feeling of belonging, where my friends are, somewhere when I wake up in the morning I instinctively feel I am happy and know that I don’t live any place else. Home though, is where I need to have a base. Somewhere I can always return to. A place where everything is familiar, in its place. Where I have a few things around me that remind me of my journey through life. Of the people who have been part that journey, people who have made a difference to my life and who matter. People who matter still, even if they are no longer around me. It’s not about things, status, being seen in certain places. It is that sense of place. Of community. A sense of belonging. Of peace. Home is where I am happy to be and where people who spend time with me, are happy to be there too.