On The Universe of Us, or We’re All Here

(Sparky — Jenny Offill)

We’ve been dealing with times more and more influenced by the characteristic of polarization, even those who prefer not to have to choose either side are harassed by extremists. They’ve been telling us that indecision — or rather the choice to don’t decide — is inherent in cowards, cynics who prefer not to have their hands get dirty by either pole, because both, after all, have their impurities. How do you blame a person who prefers not to be harmed by dangerous passions? What we are doing is assaulting people who opt for peace and rationality rather than ideological wars that plunge us deeper into new conflicts than solve those we already have. I am, in particular, a pro-middle-person, pro-center, in favor of coexistence with differences rather than overlapping one side with another. It doesn’t mean that I dont have my inclinations, but rather that I am prepared (or, I must say, I try to prepare myself) to accept the inclinations of others, and perhaps this is what makes all the difference when I seek to rationalize contemporary ideas and thoughts.

In fact, I believe in social and personal changes that border the radical, but I believe even more in a joint work between us and society, and us with our own selves in what concerns the existence of a human panorama in which men are intra and interdependent. The problem is not really between blues and reds, greens and ashes — it is in the non-recognition of the mutual respect that we humans deserve and must apply in our relationships. I have already written on this subject, both in little essays and in scientific articles in the social sciences, and the more I write, read, or simply think about it, the more I am convinced: there is no true respect between us, and mutual respect seems to be mere utopia. To what extent, then, should we let our dreamy-utopian souls speak louder in our discourses of conciliation with our communities?

As long as we defend the collective good above anything else, we will be defending and believing in a just order, no matter which side we are on. It seems cliché and old-fashioned to speak as simply on an issue as complex as modern ideological manichaeism, but the answer should be simple, instead we prefer to complicate everything by imposing our views and conceptions of personal lives to whom thinks, feels and lives differently. Being human should not be a matter of legalizing the human condition, but we cannot deny that law, as a mechanism of social cohesion, should be as comprehensive as possible. Being human should not be a matter of being within the most “acceptable” heterogeneous conformities, so there is no denying the need for dialogue among diversities. Being human should not be something of a discussion about “how to be human”, we should discuss more about who we really are, because that way we would discover more real answers to the problems of the cold and cruel character that takes over our spirits today. The condition of being human should not be denied to anyone, and our quarrels should start from this obvious assumption — they’d probably be over within a minute.

I try to live outside my bubble that is composed of chemical reagents of poetry, love, anger and sadness — at first glance, it seems that I’m in a harmonious state within so many socio-emotional factors, but deep down I am appeasing my revolutionary tendencies while I work for them to be useful outside my bubble. Basically: to believe in change without working for them is to live eternally within deceptively safe domes. We all live within our cocoons, and we all have opinions about everything in this world. But how many of us contribute to the safety of war-ruined homes? Just by being here writing and accusing ourselves of being cowards as I, simultaneously, criticize whoever does the same thing, I am already in a situation of pure privilege — perhaps, by recognizing it, I’m also taking a step towards the goals in which I believe . And as much as you see a healing power in words, these are not enough; words don’t end hunger directly, unfortunately. Maybe they are the door by which truth and hope will come out, we just need something more than just saying stuff, we need to do stuff.

From the moment we make the world an unsafe place for us to declare our ideologies and religions, thoughts and love freely, we are drawing limiting expressions of threat in what we know as democracy, citizenship and freedom in the simplest sense of the word. It strikes me that we cannot assimilate the idea that freedom of expression doesn’t mean freedom of aggression, and here we can find reasons for countless of our modern fights that have been dragging through an entire History that denounces our mistakes, and we pretend not to listen to it. More than fearing the cowardice of silence, we have to fear and fight against those who want to win followers on the basis of violence. It’s preferable one who is silent and does his part, than one who talks too much and only contributes with the wood to the wildfire that ignites our worst feelings within our personal and social wars.

I speak when I want to, I stay silent when I want to, but I don’t stop acting, because our actions speak for ourselves too. So don’t be afraid to position yourself, or don’t position yourself at all if you feel like it. No one’s better than your own self to know what is ideal for you, in all areas of your life.

I think everyone wants to transform the world in some way. Let us do our parts, because really, it hasn’t been easy, for any of us.