Present Directions

 Some years ago, I thought that being in the position of an activist was a good one. I thought only of finding ways to deliver assistance, to change the lives of others in direct, tangible ways. Over the years, I've shifted my positions. Given the chance, I would really love to dedicate my time to doing something small, personal, and direct to someone else in need. I would savour the chance to do the acts that we have come to honour and respect: helping the poor, the sick, the elderly.

I also had this debate about whether to help those who were suffering in the far reaches of the world or to help those most closest to us, in our neighbourhood. That debate still stays with me.

Many years now, I'm now at a different position from that 18-yr old gin-nah who was finding out the fastest way to Africa. Now I'm older, and hopefully, wiser, and having a better sense of what the world is, how it works, how to live in it, and about the options to pursue if the goal remains the same: to find ways to contribute something to the world, to alleviate/eradicate injustice, to help others live lives in dignity.

For now, academia is an obvious choice, a place where one could obtain the respect and recognition from others, a place from where people in power sometimes turn to, for advice. And given my inclinations, academia is a nice place. The desire for action remains, but I now learn that action can take many forms, and the world needs all of these forms; some will be on the ground, helping out; some will be planning; others fundraising; still others finding ways to make help more effective. With that perspective, the world becomes wide open again, full of possibilities, full of the thrill of exploration, of finding one's own place in the world once again.

But I will not stay in one position, I will likely move to another place, do something else, keep pushing myself, finding new ways and means to contribute. To continue on this journey.

So help me God.


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