In the book Speaker for the Dead, there was an underdeveloped but smart alien species called Pequeninos, divided into tribes.

Each tribe had been fighting other tribes for as long as they remembered. They measured their success by comparing themselves to other tribes. Despite the fact that they invited a human into their tribe, they were reluctant to consider all other tribes’ as one as the human asked. The Pequeninos meaning had always been derived from their tribe’s size compared to others.

We humans face a similar situation. Many people identify themselves with a nation and worry about the well-being of the citizens of their nation.

I used to think that nationalism was wrong because it was the cause of war and other problems. However, now I believe that nationalism has been a hugely positive step. Nationalists care and pay taxes so other people they don’t know have a better life.

Of course, conflicts emerge when people only worry about their nation. Yet, we care more and more about every human on the planet and even animals’ well-being. I hope we all overcome the Pequeninos’ challenge soon.

Categories: Books, Inspiring ideas

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