The Effects of Nationalism On Humanity

The Effects of Nationalism On Humanity

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In today’s world, the diversity and the separation of cultures is so intense, it is hard to believe that we all came from one place at one point in time. The idea of a cultural divide is something that humans have come up with themselves, and is ultimately causing many issues across the world. With this divide comes a strong sense of identity and pride for one’s country of inhabitance, but why? Although pride for one’s country can be good, many people have taken that to the extreme, and this tends to have a negative effect on the way we treat people from other nations. It seems that nationalism is growing in popularity nowadays, but it is crucial that the consequences of this mindset are made known in order to prevent extremists from hurting the relationships between the human race more so than they are now.

Nationalism is defined as a, “feeling that people have of being proud of their country and is often accompanied by the belief that it is better or more important than other countries.” The belief that one country is better than another is affecting many aspects of the quality of life for everyone. If everyone is supposed to have been created equal, it seems strange that people from one country might believe they are far better than someone from a different country.

Unfortunately, nationalism has the power to create competition between different nations, which can easily lead to war. Nationalism is known to be a significant cause of World War I. Prior to the beginning of World War I, Europeans had a lot of pride in their nation, and honestly believed they were the best. This thought process also lead to the belief that other nations were threatened by them, and were plotting their demise. World War I began due to the arguments of countries that were trying to take Bosnia and Herzegovina as their own. The war involved many allied nations, and affected a significantly larger amount of people, rather than just those from Austria-Hungary and Serbia. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a report on effects of World War I, and as a result, over eight million people were killed, and there were approximately 37 million casualties (PBS). This war is a prime example of how nationalism can cause nations to be power hungry, and it shows the extent that people will go to just to have control over other nations.

Another consequence of nationalism is that it can easily lead to extreme movements. The most well known example of how nationalism can lead people to do extreme things is the creation of Nazism. Hitler’s love and pride for Germany sparked feelings in people that made them identify themselves completely with Germany, rather than as individuals. In an effort to convince citizens of conforming to his strong beliefs, Hitler proclaimed:

Our future is Germany. Our today is Germany. And our past is Germany. Let us take a vow this evening, at every hour, in each day, to think of Germany, of the nation, of our German people. You cannot be unfaithful to something that has given sense and meaning to your whole existence. 

The belief that a nation is what gives meaning to someone’s existence is absurd. The emphasis on the important role of Germany to the people caused the Nazis to go to extreme measures, and lead to the death of millions of people.

The most commonly seen effect that nationalism has is the discrimination to members of other nations. Nationalism often causes nations to believe they are better than the nations that surround them. In the United States, there have been continuous issues regarding the Mexican border, and the arrival of “illegal immigrants” into the country. Prior to the actual border being built, the borders were just imagined. Carlton Hayes, an educator, claims that nationalism is simply a state of mind. He believes it is a “modern emotional fusion of two very old phenomena; nationality and patriotism.” When people come to other countries, the inhabitants there too often hostile and discriminatory to the visitors, which says something about how humanity is progressing.

The growing amount of nationalism in today’s world may end up having a damaging effect on humanity. The pride that people have for their nation can be positive, but it is often taken to the extreme, which has caused many issues throughout history. The idea that people are created equal has significantly dissipated, and if extreme nationalism continues, the future of humanity is in danger.

Cover Image Credit: http://eacpe.org/content/uploads/2014/01/nationalism1.jpg

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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