Making a case for self-governance


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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Priorities and the human purpose

The human experience is something that is in some aspects, different for everyone and this experience is fundamental in shaping the kinds of people that we are (personality-wise, in terms of attitude, ideas, beliefs, socio-economic status etc). So, to understand the unique human experience of each person, communication is needed. It is better to ask questions and learn than rush to pass judgement.

I believe that trying to tap into the human experience of individual persons is something that is very important in dealing with issues of social injustice. In many cases, social justice issues are left unattended to because those who have the power (the elite, politicians etc) to address the issues are making judgements from a ‘throne’ that seemingly blinds their judgement. Privilege of any kind can blind one’s judgement.

For example, there are people who believe that poverty is a choice and so, for someone to be poor, he or she is just lazy. This kind of idea is problematic because it is sometimes woven from the position of privilege and one is blinded to the fact that people fall on bad times and in some cases, there could be systemic barriers to someone’s ability to succeed in a society. Or when people write – “Black Lives Matter” to show their solidarity with African Americans against the constant unjustified killing of Blacks, there are others who surface and say: well, “All Lives Matter”. The latter are totally straying away from the point. It is disrespectful. People do this from a point of privilege, probably never having faced the challenges of being a Black person in America and the fact that you can easily be killed by those who are supposed to protect you, because of the colour of your skin.

These are just a few examples of how a lack of willingness to communicate and understand the other person’s perspective, affects the way people see social justice issues. It is important that when you see people struggling or suffering in your society, you try to learn about their circumstance and perhaps in that way, you may derive a solution. The truth is that no one problem is limited to one person or one society. In trying to solve a problem that you saw in one household, you are probably setting the pace for that problem to be solved in many households in that society.

Communication is key.

Peace & Love,


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