Invitation and integration

What does integration mean? Integration is a kind of admittance. However, the term does not specify the quality of such admittance. In its polite form, integration develops from invitation, in its hostile form, integration is forced through deprivation, slavery, war, rape… In America, slaves were forced to work and were integrated in that way, worldwide, refugees from other countries are being integrated as a result of losing their livelihoods. Forced labourers were integrated, in prisons, prisoners are being integrated. Our body integrates germs, food, trace elements, toxins and pollutants. States and religions integrate citizens of other states and believers of different faiths. Integration requires previous exclusion. People have been drawing boundaries for thousands of years, but these boundaries are subject to change time and time again, both fixed borders and moral boundaries. What constitutes a natural boundary for one person is restriction of freedom for another. In this way, every day is a new integration, an integration into live, into a new day. We can see this integration as an invitation and gratefully rejoice that a new day has been given to us.  We can also see life as a restraint, I have to get up yet again, I really am so sick of everything,… Every new encounter with other people and experiences is a form of integration. And something very important becomes apparent here: integration goes both ways. I am integrating myself into a group and the experience of the group is being integrated into my perception. A person integrates themselves into life and life integrates itself into that person. Once we understand the reciprocity of the processes of integration, our boundaries are no longer fixed, but preliminary, division between people and division between man and nature are no longer an issue because we are all connected in some way. Maybe we can manage to invite each other to integrate in a friendly way and to slowly negotiatie boundaries and contracts in such a way that we feel mutually appreciated.

Have a nice week

Gertrud Müller