And yes, it is partly because we have egos that identify with places, concepts and people that we have emotionally invested in so deeply. But there's also something else...
What we often fail in doing, often jumping into conclusions and comparisons is that we don't take the time to fall in love. I believe that if you approached any country, religion or person with an open heart for long enough then you are sure to see the beauty, build a tolerance and fall in love.
But we are both, to an extent, emotionally closed down and hasty. We don't allow concepts in whenever we feel they will threaten our own. We don't let people in when we feel they will reform our ideas of what is acceptable and what isn't.
And so we walk through this life clinging to what we know. Sacrificing the magical for the familiar. May the new year bring you fresh perspective, a willingness to love and the strength to shed your burdens.