I was struck by this NY Times op-ed and its focus on a topic not usually reported on in mainstream media –the difficulty of adjusting to life in our globalized economic marketplace: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/opinion/many-still-live-with-homesickness.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
“ACCORDING to a recent Gallup World Poll, 1.1 billion people, or one-quarter of the earth’s adults, want to move temporarily to another country in the hope of finding more profitable work. An additional 630 million people would like to move abroad permanently.” This number might or might not include the 3.3 million students studying outside their home country. Those of us working on college campuses have direct contact with students, scholars and researchers from around the world – but no matter what purpose one has for leaving one’s home country, it is not an easy transition and often comes with a lot of deeply felt emotional baggage.
The world is flatter, but, this does exacerbate the impact of the transitions we make as we move around the planet. As the writer says, “Technology also seduces us into thinking that migration is painless.”
The article lays out some pretty common sense ideas. The frustrating thing is that “common sense” is so lacking in today’s society that we need reminders from reputable sources in order to validate what we should already know via common sense. This is frustrating, sad and indicates a lack of confidence in our own sense of knowing.
Of course homesickness is a problem. It was for immigrants of decades past (noted in the article) and is today bc despite or IN SPITE of being able to connect through technology, the human presence is more meaningful than any virtual contact. Ask any working mother who views her child on a daycare video camera how she feels when she sees the child’s first steps virtually; now ask a mom who is actually with her child at that moment.
I am glad you brought this up, shared the article. Maybe if we keep injecting common sense into the dialogue, common sense will become reflexive? Fingers crossed.