I wrote this quite a while ago, but then second guessed myself and shoved it in a file… I found it today, and now I do want to share it – because what I wrote is true. It may not be true for everyone, but it’s true for me.
I am selfish and I am a coward…
People don’t usually admit that sort of thing, and I don’t think I usually would either, but recent world events, large and small have gotten me thinking and I have come to the very sad conclusion that there are things in this world that terrify me and I have had to sheepishly admit that no, I will never be one of the heroes.
Why? Because I am selfish: afraid of consequences and repercussions that I couldn’t handle in my own personal little bubble. And because I am a coward: terrified of the larger things in this world, that could, if I were ever on their radar, snatch away the things I love.
Having lived in several different countries in my life already, I am only too very aware of the bureaucratic red tape that immigrants have to deal with, to live in any country but their own and this is one of my biggest boundaries.
Since I can remember, I have had a very strong sense of justice, I knew what I considered right and what I considered wrong, and I was raised never to believe the first story I heard or read, but to research, question and think critically. This has left me in a very frightful position. Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention recently, knows that we all live in a very volatile world. Questions pile upon questions, with political and natural disasters, wars, acts of terrorism, gang crimes and much much more. I have opinions and feelings on a lot of these things – many of them affect me so deeply that I sometimes just sob uncontrollably or sit in stunned silence, because I feel like there is absolutely nothing I can do. Nothing, to help the innocent people in this world. Nothing to stand up to the overgrown bullies, gangsters and evil doers. Knowing that I will never be a hero.
Then, for just a moment, I feel as though I have discovered my superpower after all: I own a computer, have a stable internet connection and a passion for sharing ideas! This way I can at least share my views with other people, and maybe convince those who weren’t doing so before, to start thinking critically as well.
But then, just as I have finished writing my self righteous and long winded Facebook post, or blog entry, with nothing standing between me saving even just my little bubble of the world but the ominous ENTER key – I remember.
I remember that I am terrified.
Stone cold terrified of publicly expressing a political opinion that might land me on someone’s “list” just because I shared an opinion in the heat of the moment. My husband and I don’t know yet, where we want to live. We might choose to go back to Canada one day; I have a dream of working in a little Café in Paris (how cliché, I know) and he wants to be a part of a video game company; we might try teaching English in Japan for a while or adventure in Australia. But these things could be so easily taken away from us, just because I’ve written something that someone out there, one of the faces you never see but decide your very future, didn’t like.
Everyone knows that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs and the like all get shared with the relevant agencies if they bring up enough “red flags” and anyone who believes otherwise is very naive… and I am terrified that by trying to express a thought, and emotion – or even worse – rally a group of people to sign a petition, take up paper signs in protest or to boycott something for one reason or another, I could be labelled an “enemy”.
Some people would wear that badge with pride. Saying that they will happily sacrifice their freedom to travel and move, proudly live with a limit on where they may work or go into retirement, for “the greater good”.
But I am selfish. I am very young, and if I am one of lucky ones, I hope to live for a very long time yet – hopefully together with my husband and my parents and my siblings for as long as we are all here. I am a coward too, because I know that someone somewhere might see what I have written and throw a road block in my way… and I don’t even dare to imagine what would happen if I insulted the wrong groups. We know now, that people can and have died for something as “simple” as a comic.
I am not willing to be on anyones radar. I am terrified of having my life or my life’s choices taken from me, in any capacity due to something I have said, and so, I will satisfy myself with being an “armchair activist”. Debating only about relatively safe topics and sharing recipes and travel reviews. Knowing full well, that I will most likely never make a difference, even if I could.
I want to be strong, I want to be brave, I want to make a difference – I feel so ashamed of myself for not being able to have the backbone to fight for change, stand up to the systems. And the only thing I can say is that I am so so sorry… but in the end, I can’t help that I am selfish and that I am scared.
Chances are I won’t even publish this, because I don’t know who might read it… besides, what difference would it make?
As always, thanks for reading, and take care. xoxo