Pico Iyer’s TEDGlobal talk on the evolution of the meaning of home is a sonata to the idea of belonging and is particularly useful for those of us who are part of what he calls the ”great floating tribe,” or who don’t live in the country of our birth. Others who seek to understand changes in their lives and in the world will also find Iyer’s considered evaluation heartening. Iyer looks at the importance of knowing who we are, what is crucial to us and how we must find stillness and look inside to ground ourselves. Most importantly he gives power back to us, the individual.

”Home has really less to do with a piece of soil than…with a piece of soul. If somebody suddenly asks me where is your home I think about my sweetheart or my closest friends or songs that travel with me wherever I happen to be.”

”Nowadays at least some of us can choose our sense of home, create our sense of community, fashion our sense of self and in so doing maybe step a little beyond some of the black and white divisions of our grandparents’ age.”

”The number of people living in countries not their own now comes to 220 million and that’s an almost unimaginable number.” Another 64 million in the last 12 years have joined the number of those living outside their country of birth. He refers to us as this ”great floating tribe” adding that ”already we represent the fifth-largest nation on earth.”

He points out that there are unprecedented blends of cultures in this ”great floating tribe”:
”Where you come from now is much less important than where you’re going. More and more of us are rooted in the future or present tense as much as in the past and home now is not just the place where you’re born it’s the place where you become yourself.”

He talks about the important of stillness in this world of constant movement:
”It’s only by stopping movement that you can see where to go and it’s only by stepping outside of your life and your world that you can see what you most deeply care about and find a home.’’

”Movement is a fantastic privildge and it allows us to do so much that our grandparents never dreamed of doing but movement only has a meaning if you have a home to go back to and home in the end is not only the place where you sleep, it’s the place where you stand.”

From Pico Iyer, global author (England, US,  Japan, India) TEDGlobal 2013. Thank you to Isabel Huggan author of Belonging:  for suggesting this talk. Have you come across anything interesting on belonging? Please contact me. Thank you!