It’s been a while since I wrote something here. In this time, I can say a lot of things have changed. Firstly I’m older and wiser, at least in the ways that I think matter. I can’t help but think about why I started this blog in the first place. I was going to tell the stories of the world. I was going to be the voices of the people that didn’t have one. I was going to change the world, one blog post at a time.
One year later, and that’s not what has happened. Stories have not been told and the world has not been changed yet. This, of course is a failure in my part, and in the world as well. A lot has happened over 2016 – the year that some privileged millennials will call the worst year in the history of mankind, completely ignoring 1914-1918, 1939-1946, the four-hundred years of slavery, the years following the conquest in Africa that saw the death of millions of Africans, and every year preceding the development of modern day medicine, but what the heck, who cares about that. Well, 2016 was not a glorious year in any interpretation of the word. We have seen wars in Aleppo and South Sudan and the continuous displacement and exploitation of humanity in Congo and Cameroon.
In retrospect, there’s not that much that my humble blog here could have done. Perhaps taking on the atrocities of the world was biting off much more than I could chew. It only took a casual conversation with my friends in IR to know that my self proclaimed voice of reason, was ignorant in the worst of ways. I dreamed of changing a world that I did not understand. I hoped to have the world listen to the stories that I told here. However now that I think of it, perhaps the only reason I wrote anything here was to put down what I was thinking and somehow hope that the random words I put together made sense to anyone else that wasn’t me. Perhaps I only wanted the world to listen to me criticize it. But for how long has the world been criticized. How many times have expert writers taken to the pen to tell cautionary tales and speak truths that the rest of the world would blind itself to. Your Harper Lee and George Orwell twitch in their graves as governments exploit their people and sects and cults bundle up and vocalize their disdain for others. We’ve been here before and the only explanation for the recurring atrocities is the inexorability of human nature. People are dying because human nature demands that war prevail over all other things. There is no hope. Hope is for the dogs, or as those whom I’ve constantly used this phrase on would sing along, hope is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
What then? I ask. What must we do? If all hope is lost, then what does this say about our children and our children’s children. Do we just throw the world away? No we do not. Not this easily. The kind of hope that we must lose is the hope that the world will change by means of words and poems. Literature is a pleasure that only the rich can afford. I believe I speak for my dear compatriots when I say that no number of patriotic poems and/or songs will stop the corrupt from robbing us of our dues. No lyrical ingenuity will stop the massacre of elephants in our parks. We are past raising awareness for causes long fought for. I say to act on the world in ways that involve more than just dissatisfied outcries on Facebook or Twitter. If we see injustice in the streets, then it is the streets that we must make right. When our anger is stirred by the inexplicable disappearance of public funds, then we must set our able sight on the seats that have been so unjustly abused and make right the wrongs that have been done. We are a people set on a pedestal unlike any other in history. It is this very pedestal, of education, social awareness and equality that our forefathers died to give to us. We are a generation brought from darkness. We are a generation without shortage of teachers, volunteers and medical enthusiasts. So fill not your newsfeeds and blogs with cries for the atrocities in the world. Do not change your profile picture in support of the Paris shootings. Do not share that picture to prove your moral standing or capacity for compassion. Go out there! Make a change!
And I too must stop using this space in the ways that I criticize. It won’t work. I must look up to better ways to change this world, instead of writing and hoping that you will listen.
This kind of mindless hope is dead, I will leave it to the dogs.