Try something for me…
Hold out your arm in front of you until it is fully extended. Now, lift your thumb up until it is in front of your eyes. Got it? Believe it or not, that is the amount of information you directly perceive at any one time. That little thumb print of information is all your eyes directly connect with. The rest of the information you are taking in, right now, is all added in by your brain, which is used to ‘filling in the blanks’, so to speak.
Its hard to take on board, and the fact is you really don’t notice the ‘filled in’ information as being false or uncertain. Instead, you take for granted that your perceptions and understandings are based on rationality, that you are dealing with certainties. That’s why, for so many of us, the environment we find ourselves in becomes our world, without question. The opinions and beliefs you have are dependent on when you were born and the place you were born in.
Your local is your world
That is why the entirety of your understanding of the world, and how you interact with it, will be mostly decided by what part of the world you are born in. You will be a different person depending on where you call ‘local’; whether it is France, Peru, Ireland or Australia. Your battles and your beliefs will, in many respects, be dictated to you, whether you like it or not. And the local will be your world; it will be the area of most significance to you. You are bound to it, by a million ties you may never see.
Someone else said it first.
Someone else said it first, in the poem ‘Epic’ by Patrick Kavanagh:
I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man’s land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting “Damn your soul!”
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel –
“Here is the march along these iron stones.”
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer’s ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.