Wide awake

I honestly have no idea what people mean when they say, “We should reject wokeism”. Indeed, I have no idea what they mean by “wokeism” at all, though it reminds me a lot of “political correctness gone mad” — which is to say, we oppose disenfranchised people standing up for their rights. Personally, I refuse to use these terms, loaded with an ill-defined derogatory sentiment. It just seems to be media-speak designed to dispossess people of their natural inclination to pursue equality, fairness and justice. If being alert to injustice is woke, then count me in.

Forgotten

By now we are forgotten. Most we once knew have forgotten us, and we have forgotten them. Amidst 7.7 billion bodies, we are strangers, unknown. Amidst our 68 million countrymen, we are nobodies, known only to a few. We barely know our neighbours; only a few faces on our street.

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Divergence

A chance encounter with one I once knew years ago. How incredible how far our paths have diverged. A choice here, took my life off in one direction; another choice, another direction altogether, on and on, multiplied through the years. A choice there, took their life in a completely different direction too. Now we reside in completely different worlds, so unalike, walking completely different paths. How utterly extraordinary.

Plans

So convinced were they that God was on their side, that they voted for an executive presidency. But God does not play human politics. If the government should be brought down by anger at the sliding economy, what does that mean for the faithful now? Imagine an executive presidency staffed by a rabid secularist, with the power to rule by decree, turning back the clock on two decades of reforms to enable religious freedom. Of course, the masses are angry today, calling for early elections. The bold vision of the powerful might be about to come crashing down. Alas, the short-sighted plans of the faithful might mean dark days lie ahead. An executive presidency may sound fine when it’s your man in power, but should your fortunes change? Yes, perhaps trampling on the rights of others was not such a great plan after all.

Whistleblower

It’s inevitable. If you call out the rich and powerful, you must expect the rich and powerful to call you out. If you dish dirt on others, expect others to dish the dirt on you. You may be allowed to savour your day of glory, but behind the scenes your opponents will already have started digging for dirt to discredit you. So beware of skeletons in the closet. Beware of your own biases and behaviour. Society will have us believe that only the righteous saint may call out wicked conduct; the sinner must rightfully be ignored. Soon enough, the whistleblower will be discredited absolutely.

I am who I am

Gradually, we come to terms with reality, that we are what we are; I am who I am. My soul was inserted into this skin and this form, with this gender, to live in this land under that sky. I was raised in that family, with those privileges and that ease, but was nevertheless built shy and slow by the One who created all things. I am the sum of many parts. I am who I am. I cannot be other than as I am. If I am unread, I am unread. If I am uncool, then uncool. My reality, in every facet, is the decree of the One. And so I wander on, embracing my medium of expression. This is me.

Ungrateful nation

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my ungrateful nation. I’m sorry that you came to these shores to staff our hospitals, to make up for labour shortfalls and fill skills shortages, and were then treated like dirt by the very people that should have welcomed you. I am sorry that you built the institutions which the nation claims to hold dear, but received no gratitude at all. I am sorry for our boastful arrogance while we trample the rights of those to whom we should be eternally grateful. I’m sorry that we could not just say thank you. I pray that the One compensates in full all who have been wronged by this ungrateful nation.

Racism

Naively, I thought we were becoming a post-racist society. I thought we had made great strides forward towards treating each other with respect. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to find that this isn’t the case. Now I have Dory from Finding Nemo ringing in my head: “Just keep swimming…” So much work still to do.

A pile of problems

We think that good intentions can transform even the most foolish or most impractical acts into the most amazing and good. Well, yes, of course we say: may they be rewarded for their good intentions.

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Stop

I have no idea why you were unjustly stopped and questioned, but I am sure it has absolutely nothing to do with that press conference you called for the international media, in which you described the alleged lead-executioner of the latest bogeymen of the West as (formerly) a really lovely chap.

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Grains of sand

Daft as it may seem, it has taken me four decades to realise that there are over seven billion people on earth, and most people we come into contact with in our lives we will never encounter ever again. If you’re lucky enough to live in a little village, then you may be surrounded by friends for life. But for the rest of us? There is our family and the smattering of others we occasionally entertain. In some ways, the Internet has made our world smaller; some have that reach to be known to all. But the rest of us: we’re just grains of sand, blown by the wind.

Contentment

Don’t be blind to what is obvious: to what is right in front of you. There you will find your blessings. Not out there, amongst the unknown and hidden. Your sustenance has been decreed for you. Your true companions too. All others are just passersby, soon to be forgotten. Do not seek to be known. Be content with those that know you. Your world is standing right before you, waiting for you to take notice. Be content and grateful for what you have.

Between us

It’s funny. I didn’t feel so all alone until I walked out amongst the people.

Until then, when I was truly alone, I was doing fine.

But now these heavy blues. I wish I had been content with my solitude.

Just me and my Lord.

Forgotten

I have spent so much of my life stuck in particular “rooms” of time, always wishing I could freeze-frame them and remain in that moment. However, I always arrive late, after everyone else has vacated them, finding myself alone inside. I don’t know how this happens. Always left behind, as the moment moves on for everyone else. Forever forgotten, left behind.

Levelling up

Who ever would have known that decades of xenophobic and racist stories in national newspapers targeting ‘foreign’ workers, followed by an actual political movement to physically close the doors on said ‘foreigners’ would result in a recruitment crisis of epic proportions, right across health, social care, social services, logistics and agriculture?

We only have ourselves to blame. We reap what we sow. Or in this case, we don’t reap what we sow… we just leave it to rot in the fields, because there’s no one left willing to do that hard graft to harvest our crops.

Religious bullies

Deal with the religious bullies that deploy ancient texts to browbeat the young and vulnerable into actions they would shun if they were older or more mature.

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