I recently came across this quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
I do not want my home to be walled in on all sides and its windows blocked. I want cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.
A nice, succinct comment on cultures and countries, I thought: how we need a balance between self-determination and equable cooperation, how we should be rightly positive about our own culture but also welcome and celebrate others — all to our mutual benefit. Any lessons here for the EU debate, I wonder?
I also recalled this poem by Rumi:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival,
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
RUMI (Translated by COLEMAN BARKS)