The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I run across some interesting commentary at The View From Outside My Tiny Window quite often. What is written there, in the main commentary or in the comments by readers, usually makes me think. And, often, that thinking induces me to consider events or experiences in my past. Sometimes, the thoughts are interesting, sometimes embarrassing.

A recent column concerned immigration but one of the Inspector General's comments triggered other thoughts; thoughts about why people emigrate and where they emigrate to.

In the heyday of the Roman Empire, Rome was The place to go. It was, of course, the center of the Empire and, arguably, the richest city of the Empire. There would be jobs and opportunity there that might not be found elsewhere in the world. The language would be familiar since Latin and Greek were common throughout the Empire and, therefore, not much of a barrier. And it was accessible. "All roads lead to Rome" was true both figuratively and, for all practical purposes, literally.

People emigrate constantly. I think human beings have retained that wanderlust as a part of our evolutionary traits. Possibly from our prehistoric hunter-gatherer stage. But we also developed a "stay-at-home" trait that allowed us to create cities and, later, states. We would become attached to a specific area. It would represent "Home". We might roam far and wide but we would be known by our place of origin and, probably, have a desire to return. The dream would be "return home rich and famous", I would guess. That is my way of saying that the emigration is seen as temporary. Seek one's fortune and then return home successful.

I have traveled a bit, the foreign travel being primarily paid for, and dictated by, the US Navy. I didn't choose where I went, I just went... or else. I found something beautiful and welcoming just about everywhere I visited. The weather, the scenery, and always the people. I could have happily stayed in most of the countries and places I found myself in. Only a few made me feel uneasy or wish to be elsewhere. Some of those places that made me uneasy were even in the US.

But I wondered then, and still today, why people will leave a land in which they grew up, where all (or most) of their family ties exist, to go to a place they had never seen outside of movies or TV; a place totally different from the world they have known all their lives. And not just to visit but to settle there, to become a permanent part of it, to find a new "home."

I know why, or think I do, I have moved around a bit in my life. I think it comes from being moved from my original "home" at a young age. Not young enough to have no memories of it but not old enough to have developed strong bonds to it. I have always seen myself as "rootless."

Where would you go? What country, what city, what region, could draw you to it?

1 comment:

Pearl said...

I was raised on the road, almost literally, and so while I did an awful lot of wandering as a young adult. Now, while I still love to travel, I very much like to stay home. I've been known to take vacation days just to at some "home" time to myself! :-)