23.10.17...MY COUNTRY 'TIS OF THEE I
“MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE”
“I LOVE MY COUNTRY”
How often have we heard this statement from a worldwide range of speakers- sounds good but what is meant by ‘country?’
Is it the whole or part of the physical environment and or their fellow inhabitants and their uniqueness that presumably begins and ends with its national borders?
In this respect I have always liked the old story of the man who got the job of painting the borderline between Poland and Russia. Starting out from the Baltic coastline and heading
due south, at first everything went well but then he came to a house that lay right across where the border should be.
This posed a problem…should it lay in Poland or should it lay in Russia? Unwilling to make up his mind, he decided to leave it up to the house-owner. So clutching his brush and paint pot he knocked on the front door and put it straight to the man who answered. Did he want to be in Poland or in Russia?
Without hesitation the man answered “Poland” and closed his door.
Having made the necessary adjustment, the painter continued on his way but all the time wondering why the man had chosen Poland rather than Russia. He had to know, so after five miles he turned back to ask.
The house owner again answered his insistent knocking, “Excuse me,” began the painter, “but I do need to know. Just why did you prefer your house to be in Poland rather than in Russia?”
“Simple” replied the man before closing the door, “I could not stand those Russian winters!”
(To be continued)