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shit

Its a whole new world we live in today. As a citizen in the globalized 21st century, we have access to
everyday commodities that were not even conceived in the realm of possibilities a generation ago.
Smart phones, digital advancements in the communication and technology industries virtual realities
and self-driving cars and all the luxuries of the modernized age. Yet past all these innovations, beneath
the surface of human want and desire for easier lives, faster internet, and better service; remains the
fundamental needs that we as people have always strived to have since the beginning of structured
societies and civilizations.
Beyond the obvious, such as physiological needs such as food, shelter and rest there are the less
tangible necessities for a healthy life. The desire to be love and in turn be loved. The drive for purpose
for realization of ones self. Not least of all, and in my opinion the basis of all organized societies and
cultures: a sense of belonging. Community. A place to call home.
Despite the fact that I, as a privileged individual living in a first world country, have wanted for food and
drink and safety fewer times in my life then those less fortunate have in a week, I cannot devalue the
importance of the things that are present in the lives of most of the worlds population that I feel as
though I will never have.
Where is home to an individual who dreads the harmless question, Where are you from? because
after years they still arent sure how to answer it? What is community to the person that has never been
anything more than a visitor to any that he has been a part of? What does it mean to truly belong, to a
byproduct of a flattening world a person without a sense of culture, the ability to puff ones chest out
in pride and say definitively: These are my people. This is my nation.
Nationalism is foreign to me, as foreign to me as the culture that my parents and their parents and their
parents before them had been born into and grown up in. Born and raised away from the place that my
ancestors had called home for generations and ages as the idea of a cultural identity drifted away, like
whispers in the wind. I am Korean, and I was raised with Korean values and moral principles (or at least,
my parents tried to raise me that way) but in countries where such ideas had no place or foundation
upon the realities of society. They were outlandish to some, backwards to others and even I personally
could never understand why I always felt so different from the other kids in school. Well, its because I
was different. In every sense of the word. Around my ethnic peers, it was painfully obvious that I
understood little to nothing about what being a Korean truly meant, and around those who were raised
in the host country even more obviously so in terms of their culture. I belonged nowhere. I felt as if I
was no one. That my personal ideas and beliefs had no place anywhere. Visiting cousins and uncles I had
never met in South Korea, stumbling with my accent ridden Korean, having no idea of societal norms; I
reflect now years later knowing that there are fewer feelings more eerie and uncomfortable then the
sensation that you are a tourist in the country where you are meant to be from.
The questions I asked myself as a teenager regarding my future are not the ones you might typically
expect from an adolescent. Like others I wondered, who will I ask to the dance? What direction will I
take in pursuit of my goals? What are my goals? Queries such as these are common enough; Yet all too
often, in the dead of night, as the world slept around me; I laid awake and thought: Where can
someone like me build a family? Is there a place for people like me in the world? I cursed my
circumstances for years, but as I grow older I now realize that being a person of third culture or no
culture is a blessing in disguise. It has freed me of the obligations of society, the pressure to stay

where I am comfortable and with what I have known all my life. For that opportunity, I am forever
grateful.
Time passed, and the growing pains felt less like bruises on weak flesh and more like battle scars on
toughened callouses. Through the ridicule and the self-doubt, I built an idea of who I was which was
wholly and undeniable me filling that gap left by the conflicts of loyalty that so confused me as a child.
I was bound by no obligation to my creed or the beliefs of my people. In place of nationalistic fervor is
an idea of a global community driven not by the good of one countrys interests, but for the common
good of all societies of man. My experiences across the world in the presence of so many peoples of a
similarity vast number of different cultures have given me the capacity to create perspectives of how the
world is and ought to be without the biases that so many others have engrained in them from birth.
Given the financial capacity, I have no fear when venturing out to parts of the world unknown to me,
after all I hardly truly know anyplace at all.
I am a modern day nomad, an American citizen that does not believe in an American dream or its
current route towards global hegemony, a Korean citizen that rejects the misogynistic ideologies of
Asian society, I abhor the racial prejudices which plague my childhood home of Australia. I do not see a
future for Americans, Ghanaians, Russians or the Swiss. I see a future for human beings the realization
of a species wide bond that transcends all else the fight for life and liberty for all peoples, of all races. I
wholly believe this is the ultimate destiny for those that make up the lost generation all across the globe
or their children. Or their childrens children.
But then again, I am just a junior in college, still figuring out how live life as best I can. Still a fool for
young love and a sucker for trends. For now, Ill be thankful for the friendships that Ive made and the
places Ive seen, and leave the fate of mankind to distant years and generations yet to come.
Until then,
Jason