Let’s Talk About Borders

typography white door fence
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“Borders are scratched across the hearts of men, by strangers with a calm, judicial pen, and when the borders bleed we watch with dread the lines of ink along the map turn red.”

Marya Mannes

” Just going to the store, won’t be long, ” I shouted to my wife, as I exited the front door on my way to the car. I returned ten minutes later to discover a man sitting in the living room conversing with my wife.

” This is Piers, ” exclaimed my wife, as she introduced the stranger to me, ” He walked in the door and said he wants to live here”.

My thoughts were confused as I faced Piers, ” But you just can’t walk into my house, uninvited, and expect to live here. Especially when you’re a complete stranger”.

Piers replied. ” I have spent my whole life living in an undesirable neighbourhood, and I find your neighbourhood so much nicer, and you have such a beautiful house. I want to live here”.

My wife pleaded on Piers behalf and despite my better judgement, I allowed him to stay with us. My wife and I lived in a three bed room home and there were just the two of us, so there was plenty of space.

One week later returning from work I encountered six people spread around the living room. My wife noticing my quizical look explained, ” This is Piers family. He feels it’s only right that they join him in sharing the house with us”.

” Piers never mentioned his family,” I said, ” Is he willing to contribute towards the cost of food and energy”.

My wife, being a caring person chided, ” At the moment he’s just getting government assistance, but I’m sure we can help financially “.

Two weeks later, again returning from work,  I encountered twelve people milling around the house. I had difficulty locating my wife, but eventually found her in the kitchen. ” Who are all these people I asked “.

” Piers friends, ” she said, “He invited them to stay with us “.

” But it’s our house, ” I replied angrily, ” He can’t just invite everyone to live here.”

‘ It is getting a little overcrowded and expensive, ” she said, ” I had trouble finding a place to sit, and the food and energy bills are a lot higher. But Piers said he hopes to find a job soon”.

I stalked off in search of Piers.

” You’re all going to have to leave, ” I commanded Piers.

” What kind of uncaring people are you, that you want to send us back to our undesirable neighbourhood” cried Piers.

” Well Piers,” I replied ” I also have the right to protect the integrity of my home and my family’s well being. ”

This fictional story is to illustrate how I feel about borders and boundaries.

Granted,  borders are an arbitrary historical distribution of land mainly established by conquest. But over time people within these borders have established a culture, a system of values and a quality of life. We have passports, visas and customs control, to monitor the inflows of people and goods to protect the people living within defined borders.

We have to balance our compassion and empathy for people with the practical side of sustaining a country’s population. Planned immigration is good because it allows governments to manage the resources of the country. Illegal immigration puts a strain on the resources of the country and affects the quality of lives of the citizens of that country…….and western countries are trillions of dollars in debt.

There seems to be a growing voice in the world for open borders (but notice this only applies to western democratized countries). It seems very naive to think western countries can open it’s borders and not diminish its culture, values and quality of life. But perhaps this is what is needed. Maybe western civilization has entered a stage of entropy and needs to be revitalized. But what comes next? That’s the question. Do you have an answer?

8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Borders

  1. When we view a situation as ‘us’ and ‘them’ that’s where the difficulty begins. If America and England hadn’t accepted so many Irish as they fled the famine, world wars and poverty stricken Ireland in the forties and fifties, I doubt I’d be here engaging in this discussion with you right now Len. A community that values social equality backed up by ethical management of government finances is a step in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for replying Marie. I am an immigrant myself, from England to Canada. My daughter-in-law is also an immigrant from Gujarat, India to Canada. We both came to Canada through a legal process, following the rule of law of that country. My view point is that countries need to clamp down on illegal immigration.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true Chelsea. In Toronto the city council is always discussing more shelter for the homelesss. Now 40% of homeless shelters are being used to house illegal immigrants. This causes a huge financial burden and less resources going towards the homeless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Multiculturalism is working in Australia. Illegal immigrants is another matter. Personally I don’t agree with the stance of the Australian government where anyone who arrives illegally is placed in detention on offshore islands while they are processed – sometimes this takes years. Children in these places are self harming. Adults go on hunger strikes and have very deep psychological problems as a result of long term internment without hope of coming to Australia. People have always moved across the globe when they are unable to stay in their homes for many reasons. We have to face the reality that refugees are on the increase and have valid reasons for fleeing their homes. Open borders may not be the solution but putting refugees in detention camps isn’t working.

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