Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Protest, Progress, and Publicity: A Love Story

In the final days of the first month of this new year & decade, I find myself reflecting on 2009/2010. I have traveled half of the world, lived in a different language, and met so many different people and done so much. Which leads me into a discussion I had with my friend from Turkey:

She believes that America puts too much emphasis on "changing the world" & "doing" something at all times. In her country, it is more centered around self-reflection as opposed to this ideology of being selfless that she believes we subscribe to. I have to agree with her perception of America because we shun people not just if they don't vote but if they haven't said "YES WE CAN" whenever appropriate or joined 1,000,000 Strong for Obama on Facebook as well. There's idea that if you believe in something you have to PROVE it through ACTION. Personally, I agree with this mindset but to a certain extent, for example I am pro LGBTQ rights yet I don't have a rainbow stickers everywhere nor do my LGBTQ friends. Is this absurd? Maybe for some. If you didn't spot me in Grant Park or D.C. among the multitudes in support of the last presidential election am I an undeserving and ungrateful American. An even better question, if you were there does the indefinitely classify you as an upstanding citizen and a role model of all American ideals? If you answer yes, I beg to differ. Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson were all over the screens in tears and all; do I look to them on how to be a black American? Absolutely not.

I think that more so than face time and overt exhibition of what you do for the world is genuine and consistent contributions to first yourself and your family, your local community, and then the world at large. Don't break your back to prove you're contributing to progress in the world and lose sight of your ten mile radius. Get out and live your life in (insert adjective) whether it be in COLOR, CHAOS, or CANTIDAD...live it in all angles, distances, and as many lengths as possible and always with purpose. Also, don't forget to step back and reflect on that purpose because life is dynamic, forever changing so it calls for us to remind ourselves of what we're doing things for. Take your time.