A little over a week ago I posted a rant about the current level of hate, anger and fear in modern politics and especially in relation to the many refugees now looking for shelter in safer countries. A few people (or just one with the desire to post lots of messages) decided to crawl into anonymous mode on Tumblr and send me messages about how 'these people should stay home and deal with their shit' and how 'Greece does not need more people looting [their] economy'. Well, anonymous person(s), I am not gracing you with a reply on my Tumblr blog, but I assume you read my regular blog as well so I am going to give you some ancient words of wisdom. Also: keep your hate to yourself and check your privilage. No one has time for your percieved issues. Once your house has been bombed, you have crossed a sea in a tiny diggy and almost drowned, then have waited months in an improvised camp with zero standard of living and have lost a few family members to war, illness and/or hunger, we'll talk again.

"This is the character of your current exile from your customary country. For we have no country by nature, just as we have neither home, nor field, nor blacksmith’s, nor doctor’s office, as Aristôn said. But each of these things develops or, rather, is named and called so by the man inhabiting or using it. For a human being, as Plato says, “is not earthly born and immovable but comes from heaven” just as if the head raises the body up straight from its root stretching towards the sky. So Herakles said well “Am I Argive or Theban? I do not claim / one—every citadel in Greece is my homeland”. But Socrates put it better saying “I am neither Athenian nor Greek, but a citizen of the world,” as someone might claim to be Rhodian or Korinthian, because he did not lock himself within Sounion, Tainaros, or the Keraunian mountains.

As [Euripides] puts it: “Do you see the boundless light above / and the earth opening below with damp embrace?” These are the boundaries of our countries and no man is an exile, foreigner or stranger where there is fire, water, air; where we find the same rulers, overseers, and presidents: the same sun, moon, and star at day’s break; where the same laws exist for all under one order and single government: the summer and winter solstices, the Pleiades and Arcturus, the seasons of planting and harvesting that rise and set for us all; and where there is one king and ruler, god, who knows the beginning, middle and end of everything; who travels through all, guiding it with a straight force. Justice is his attendant as an avenger for those who transgress divine law. We all by nature follow this law in treating all people as our fellow citizens."

"I know that my country is the world and that the gods are guardians, those judges of my deeds and words above and beyond me."
"We encounter two republics with our mind–one is great and truly public, by which gods and men are contained and in which we may not gaze upon this corner or that one, but we measure the boundaries of our state with the sun; the other we enter by the fact of being born. This will be the state of Athens or Carthage or of any other city at all. It does not extend to all people but to certain ones. Some people serve the good of both republics at the same time, the greater and the lesser, some serve only the lesser or only the greater."
"When asked where he was from, he said “I am a world-citizen."

[translations: Sententiae Antiquae]