I have felt displaced many times in my life. As a matter of fact I think I have felt displaced most of my life. It could be because I’m a little weird but I like to blame it on my parents and all the moving around the world.
That’s what it’s like when you’re a ‘global’ child – you move here you move there, your mother’s from there, your father’s from here and the children are from over there. Then you find a husband who is from over there and you move from there to the other there and then over here. In the end you are so confused you can’t even remember how many over there’s or over here’s you have lived in. True story!
The good news is that one learns to live with it and fine tune it from very early on. If you are like me you move over here or there and you just get on with it.
It’s harder when you’re an adult and have to deal with displacement because adults are supposed to have it all together. That’s when displacement can take many different shapes -loneliness, resentment, anger, indifference or depression. I’ve known all of those emotions at some point in my life.
I also know lots of people who suffer from depression because they feel displaced here in Norway. Mostly foreigners but quite a few Norwegians themselves have to deal with depression because they feel lonely. Actually you will be amazed at how many people seemingly get on with their lives but are struggling with depression.
We were hit hard by it the year my husband got ill and couldn’t work but that’s another story.
We are not good at including new people into our lives. The world would be a much kinder place for everybody if we could be more inclusive. Sometimes I think that we should have a ‘invite a stranger home day’.
Of course inviting strangers home could be a tad risky but there are other ways of doing things – enter social nettworking and Facebook.
A couple of years ago I started a South African group for Women in Norway. The group has become much larger than I thought it would and the ladies have developed a much stronger bond than I ever thought they would. They do a good job of reaching out to oneanother on rainy days.
Facebook made this group possible. Of course there were groups and associations before Facebook but Facebook changed the dynamics and created social media in a way we had never known it.
Now we have ‘bring a stranger home day’ everyday.
But Facebook or no Facebook – remember to reach out. You can make a difference in somebody’s life!