I remember the days when I used to navigate on internet just to read funny stuff and look for memes, or images. Nowadays, those days seem like a blurred memory at the back of my mind.
Every day for the last two years, I have been dedicating time to read. But not books full of magic, or philosophy or drama, not anymore. I have been reading news articles, statistics, figures, data, researches. I am aware that what I am about to write is not politically correct but, oh dear, ignorance is bliss.
Realising that there is a lot more beyond my little hometown. Realising that every action, every brand we consume, every food bite we take, the party we vote for, the car we bought, the media we choose to watch. Everything has a consequence. Suddenly there is TOO MUCH responsibility over our shoulders. Why do I care? Why do I bother? It is not like a single person’s action would change anything, anyways. But there is always that little voice. The voice which whispers every night: ‘you should not be doing that’, ‘you should not be buying that’, ‘are you aware of how many people have been exploited to make that little expensive phone you use?’. Are you able to sleep? Sometimes I am not. That is why I am trying to change all these little aspects of my life that could, somehow, change the future. Even if I just save one animal’s life, one abused child, just one fish in the ocean. It feels good, more than that, it feels liberating.
That’s it. I feel free, I feel like a decent human being. Like I am doing the least I can to change the path towards extinction and suffering what humanity is rushing to. But then, there is… the reality.
Every morning I start my day reading the BBC, right before getting out of bed. Then I go to the gym, I try to not think about what I just read. Then back at home, breakfast, and just before starting work on my writing, I spend two hours, sometimes longer, reading: the economist, the independent, the guardian, WEforum, the wall street journal, the New York times, the Financial Times. I must be honest, some days I feel like I don’t want to keep going.
Like a slap on my face, suddenly the reality is, at least for me, too much to bear. All the suffering, all the fear, the islamophobia, the homophobia, the intolerance, the hate, the bombs, the racism, the evil, the selfishness, the violence, the hundreds of thousand deaths, the indifference, the ignorance, the uncertainty. The feeling of the little things that we have been implementing into our lives is not enough, that whatever I do or I could do will never be enough.
And then, another punch of reality which is the indifference of people. I have noticed that if someone shares the horrific news of what is happening in OUR world, nobody will give a damn, like saying: ‘I do not want to know, I am happy as I am, do not need to change, do not want to change, fuck it’. But if someone shares unrealistic photos of some famous person travelling, buying expensive clothes, everybody will lose their minds. Am I being so negative? Should I just focus on the good things instead of the dreadful things? Maybe, and maybe that’s the reason why I am so bitter. But inside my head, I keep this thought: ‘How are we going to change the bad if we, fully aware of what’s happening, decide to just ignore it?’. Then I stay quiet.
Quiet simply because I got tired of trying to explain that, even though I won’t be easy, if we start to change our ways or living, we stop the prejudice, the stereotypes, the hate, the unfounded phobias. We will build a better world, not just for us, but for our families and friends. But it is tiring. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time, of energy, of sanity. But somehow, I can’t stop caring.
Sometimes when reading the news, the facts, the data, the statistics, I feel this sensation of emptiness. The anxiety levels rise to the sky. And I just sit there thinking: ‘Is it worth it?’. I wonder ‘Nobody cares, why should I care? What difference would it make?’ whilst crying in silence, because no matter how many have died that day, it still hurts.
There are days when I wish I have never started to care. I wish I could be that girl who will spend her time watching silly programs, reading bullshit magazines, who will enjoy bitching and gossiping, who would still have this narrow-minded view of how the world should be. Sometimes I wish I could have that old peace of mind, even if that means bringing back the disgusting stereotypes, the ignorance, the hate, the phobias, the intolerance and the racism.
However, I try to not let those feelings win. I am aware now, I must keep fighting, even if that makes my own people hate me. Because I am different now, because I am too negative now. If that is the price, then bring it on. There are voices that need to be listened and I want to speak for them when they can’t reach certain groups. I want to be a better human being, a decent human being.
I might just be just too naïve, too negative and too pessimistic. But if it saves one single animal life, it is that makes a minority group feel they are not alone. If that saves one child from being abused, if that makes ONE person change their view of the world, I will be happy. The times when people will care just about their own arses must end. It is time to realise we are here to make our neighbours’ lives easier. It is time to realise we are here to create a sustainable and ethical way of life. The thing is, a lot of people need to be aware of the consequences.
And while it might not happen during the time I will be living in this world, I keep the hope that maybe, in a hundred of years, changes will be visible, hate will evaporate. As humans, hopefully, we will understand that different is good. Even more important, we will realise that we can fill the emptiness with empathy and tolerance, instead of goods and shallowness.
Sadly, as much as I want to believe it and I want to keep fighting for it, today is one of these days when I just want to be ignorant about the world and have peace of mind.
*This was written after a horrible period of March and beginning of April 2017: A mass grave with more than 250 skulls found in Mexico. The London’s attack, various attacks to indigenous communities in Mexico, a hate attack to an asylum seeker in London, the Syria chemical attack and the terrorist attack in Sweden. I could not bear it anymore, I felt the necessity of writing how I was feeling. Although, I was not convinced of posting it online, as it will stay recorded forever, but after the Egypt attack, I decided I wanted to shout out my thoughts.