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Thoughts on multiple citizenship

I’m sure you’ve all read the Christmas cracker joke about giraffes and their long necks:

Q: why do giraffes have long necks?

A: because their feet smell

I’m reminded of this today as I watch discussions unfold about Cloud computing and all the benefits it offers us. Didn’t any of you ever get told off as children for having your head in the clouds, though?

I am a citizen of many countries. My passport tells a different story, but nonetheless it is true. I am a citizen of the United Kingdom, which has territorial and temporal limits. I am a citizen of God’s eternal kingdom – which has neither. I am a citizen of digital space, which has neither temporal nor territorial limits, and where the rules are being made up as we go along.

The thing is, that digital space is often so much neater than its terrestrial alternative. I can choose those with whom I associate, I can drop out of conversations when they bore me or irritate me and I can choose my degree of involvement at any time. Conversely, as a pastor – it falls to me to involve myself with the harsh realities of non-digital life where opinions clash, personalities collide, bodies age and birth and death sit cheek by jowl.

I must resist the temptation to turn into a digital giraffe – where my neck extends further and further into the cloud(s) in order to escape the smell of real life emanating from around my feet.

Richard Littledale

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