Some time ago, there was an advertisement for Tuscan wines. It was a drawing, the entire foreground of which was labeled Tuscany and showed an idealized Tuscan landscape. Fertile fields and vineyards, luscious grapes, a cheery sun and happy peasants. In the far distance was a narrow band labeled Italy and then another even narrower ribbon representing Europe. Beyond that , presumably, was the rest of the world though it had no place in the drawing. The sole purpose of the drawing, of course, was to promote Tuscan wines and showcase their pre-eminence in the world of wine but it struck me as a metaphor for the way we think about ourselves and the world.
For each of us, where we live is the center of the world. Then, in decreasing order of importance, is our neighborhood, our town, our state and our country. Further afield, and rarely thought of unless they impinge on our lives, are other countries , other continents. The further off things are the less their importance , the less they matter to us.
The same is true of us collectively. Our earth is a planet orbiting a small star in an insignificant galaxy on the fringes of he universe. And yet, even knowing what we do, we subconsciously act as if it is the center of the Universe. Even the Supreme Being is imagined as being in our image and speaking the language that we do and in His name some of us commit the most barbaric acts. What folly!