Thursday, April 19, 2012

And so it goes...

By Ruvimbo Gwatirisa
Finding your voice

And so it goes…that I was conflicted to put pen to paper, or thought to keypad concerning issues of society, the varied conceptions and misconceptions we have about each other’s realities. It’s always a struggle when one writes about phenomenon, current, past or as perceived future because we always are in danger of othering, essentialising or put simply – putting people in a box! So I had to question what worth there was in being a commentator/writer on society’s issues and whether it would be of any value to read a young individual’s thoughts, better yet, this individual’s young thoughts. My struggle remains engraved in the big question “who am I to be making a commentary on...anything at all?”, “Of what relevance is my input?”
I constantly think – I don’t want to stifle someone’s reality based on my own tethered understanding, probably biased by other’s views, inputs, and thoughts anyway. But then again, I am a thinking being, and though my views may be tainted by opinions formed through upbringing, experience…others…what harm is there in exercising my reflexivity through hammering out current issues and sharing with others who can build on, critique, maybe agree – all in the hope of finding our voice in this juxtaposed world.

And so it goes that I decided to write anyway – because everyone has a voice, and no matter how many opinions are formed for and against that voice, it sure helps to be a person who uses their own experience as a means to share with the world perceptions of the happenings of our socio-political economic existence. It is, for me, the perfect syncing of my thoughts on virtual reality, versus what happens every day around me. Reflexivity is easily lacking in our daily lives, where the fast pace of the world takes over, and there is no time to really think about the decisions made for us daily, or the lack of choices we have due to those who have more privilege in the society today. No, it’s not about becoming more famous or getting pleasure out of the number of hits I may get on my piece (please, mind out the gutter!), but more about giving myself that space to think beyond the images that I see on the different technological screens that I have access to on a daily basis. That’s what these few words are about – the need to think, ponder, reflect and hopefully be pushed to act and not just re-act to that which we hear.

And so it goes that we push towards becoming a generation that encourages the formation of opinions and actively seeks to think more about that which happens, not just what the media and social groups perpetuate via our social networks; to also start noticing more the dirt on our pavements and think beyond it being dirt, but more a reflection of the social, political, economic systems that are broken, not working properly or are benefiting only a certain group in society. Our eyes are constantly being adjusted to the flickers on the screen and not enough on the thoughts that ought to be running in our minds, developing themselves as solutions to the inequities around us. There is a binary in how are constantly coming to terms with our reality – we can read about it, or watch it on a screen somewhere, or observe it on a daily basis is we go about our ordinary lives and convince ourselves that we have indeed acted enough. I am of the mind that we need to come to a place where we think AND do, rather than becoming passive activists through our reading. Let’s face it; it is definitely so much easier to feel like we’ve done our part in society when we increase our awareness in the number of sites we visit concerning certain issues. I know for certain that talking about Kony2012 or Trayvon Martin for twenty minutes, by far beats reaching into my purse to offer an income to the blind beggars who sing on my train rides to work. I know I find it much easier to read about Libya, and watch youtube clips about the celebrities that are bringing fame to the poverty stricken regions of the world than signing up to volunteer for the various charities seeking volunteers all around me. It’s just much easier to be a social ills voyeur and critic than it is for me to actively do something about the misfortunes witnessed daily.

And so it goes…we need to be more active about recycling our minds, think more, to hopefully act more so as to become activists of our lived reality in comparison to our virtual ones. And an action that took me a while to come to terms with is one that involves active observation, developing an opinion, and sharing it with whoever will read it. Finding my voice is my philanthropic act – my action based on the information on world issues I allow myself to be flooded with…a unique tool I can use with others like myself who wish to raise awareness on world issues, and hopefully inspire others to act, or react to the virtual as well as real world around us.

Thanks to the Rogue Scholar for this opportunity of expression – I look forward to finding my voice as my special type of philanthropy and to challenging our society on matters that actually…matter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wisely spoken! It is high time we as a society take some time to evaluate the areas in which we are wanting and become active in being the solution, not just the peanut gallery.