Photo credit: Patrick Fore
Governments wait to see stark crime and inequalities, before they take action on issues that were voiced, earlier on. White people want non-White people to first inspire them on anti-oppression. People in Management, stay silent about issues of sexual violence in their workplace, thus, forcing victims to push courage through their trauma and spearhead the search for justice on their own.
This is the world as we know it. This is human nature as we live in and partake in it. As we live in and partake in human nature however, we see that it is not static. Human nature means different norms for different societies and peoples. What is in my acquired or self-constructed nature, may be opposite to yours and vice versa.
So, let me make a case here, for something that I will call – self-governance. This is not in the sense of politics. Self-governance as, seeing our individual self as something that can and should be refined by intentional effort. A view that privilege – whether it is by race, gender, sexuality, country of origin, social status, education – should not limit one from seeing clearly, the realities of someone opposite to you.
Certainly, if you are not in a particular situation, you cannot be an expert on what is it like to be in that situation. Perfection is not the goal.
Privilege is centrally tied to the few issues which the first paragraph of this post started with. Between love and privilege (two great things), I wonder which blinds the more. Perhaps, they are on a par? Privilege tends to make people, governments, organizations – to ignore. Privilege allows systems and people, to take advantage of the non-privileged.
If we all take an inward look at our own life and challenge ourselves to be open to redefinition – to deliberately read more, to deliberately have humble (not scientific, inquiry-like) and meaningful conversations with our seemingly-‘opposites’, to live with an open mind whose biases and prejudices can be changed – this world will be a much much better place.
Human nature is not static. Live aware. Make effort. Live open-minded. These are things that I am personally, constantly trying to improve on. In a world so beautiful, yet marked with so much unnecessary troubles, a sense of self-governance beyond the political meaning can always come in handy.
Love & peace,
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