Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 8:39 

i’m bedridden today and using this rare pocket of time with my thoughts to reflect on current affairs, especially the ones in the news: about racism, the gender pay gap and sexual misconduct/assault cases in hollywood, because — as some friends know, i’ve concerned myself with these issues based on personal experiences. but i have learned to grow with these. to live and let go, instead of letting it break and reduce me to something small. i was very lucky to be mentored and guided by someone who was so open and loving to people that she led a kind and compassionate example to my then budding feminist/human rights activist-undergraduate-being. she asked my male classmates questions, without condemning them or judging them for their thoughts and opinions. she listened, paid attention and gave them space.

so that openness has always been where i come from in these matters. it’s not like i have never been triggered or hurt by some of these conversations —friends have used my passion to push my buttons when we play table top games—and i still get riled up in some situations. but i have been very lucky that these same friends and many friends both old and new, of all genders, are willing to have compassionate conversations about these issues.

i’m of the camp that feels that, it’s all semantics. i can label myself (one of the ‘ists’) to give you an idea of who i am, but this is reductive and easy to get attached to. these labels, are very small things which we tend to use as a crutch. because life is scary. the universe is so vast (and most of it remains unknown). but so am i and so are you. we can conquer our fears by taking baby steps in the vastness. one of my fears was being part of this conversation so publicly. i conquer this fear by finding my voice and saying: i am1. and that i love and i care. i care about humanity. i’m not ashamed to say that.

in this big space, we must continue to show compassion to every side of any given situation. it’s so easy to point fingers and go OMG he’s bad / she’s bad because of x and therefore we should y, when it’s this very behaviour and oversimplification of issues — how we reduce them to matters of the mind, instead of addressing them as matters of the heart too— is part of the reason why humanity continues to be in this mess. we’re not listening. we’re not reaching out to people. we ruthlessly tear things apart and take situations and words out of context. we go in for the kill2 without asking ourselves, do i need to kill? must i? what does this particular situation require of me or us, morally? all reactions are appropriate, but what is the most appropriate action?

i’ve mentioned semantics so words are words, but history and knowledge play an important part in all this. we cannot deny that things happened. sometime along the road of humanity’s story, there were groups of people who thought they could wield power and privilege and keep it all amongst themselves forever, when each and every one of us living should be and could’ve been sharing it all this time3. before we started to hurt each other, we were surviving together. that’s what we used to do — in small pockets, in little groups, in tiny tribes. then tribes melded and grew, mindsets changed, communities became unmanageable, while quietly, our individual egos grew. selfishness ate into our greater consciousness and conscientiousness. our mirror neurons4 grew rusty. groups of people were oppressed by other groups of people and here we are in 2018: angry and in varying degrees of “woke-ness”, on the internet, where we are further dehumanised.

these aforementioned people in history— those who changed things for humanity—are to be remembered. everyone and everything, from the oppressors to the oppressed. we must acknowledge they existed. that they, all, each and every one, felt pain. but whether the current issues are related to nationality, race, religion or gender—we should be learning and growing, in our hearts as well as our minds — just as we have been. we must forget our selfishness. we must abandon hatred and bigotry (funny that that word contains “big”, but connotes and denotes smallness). we must leave behind this smallness, and move forward with the mindset of surviving together once more. let’s think and feel outwardly. we must think and feel big. we must choose to. there is more than enough space.

now that we are having these conversations about institutionalised ills and evils, now that #timesup — we must not forget compassion. i understand the feeling of just having woken up to these realities and it’s like a flood. a tsunami. it’s easy to drown in all of it instead of trying to swim, to stay afloat, to build and then sail the boat (wow i rhymed!). we’re all allowed to feel whatever it is we feel, to be overwhelmed and to be angry, but to wallow in these feelings, to be divided even more than we are, filled with hatred and anger in our hearts… that, is unsustainable. thinking small will kill us all.

(i guess i love my rhymes— like i love my humans— in the billions and diverse af. ok ok, enough.)

  1. check out tom shadyac’s documentary of the same title 

  2. an idiom 

  3. i didn’t want to get into the specifics, you get the idea. 


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