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Visions and Histories: “Isn’t the whole point to have a voice?” (Marnia Lazreg)

My vision is a world in which communities are collectively maintained. In my vision, the most passionate debates are what to paint on the walls to make them more beautiful, it is a place where we have lost knowledge and understanding of words like genocide and rape, because they have become extinct. Is it too much of a dream? How do we work towards this vision? We must work to eradicate the violence among and between ourselves to heal our families, and thus our communities and nations. I believe this can be done through knowledge and education, slowly, but surely. We must communicate and teach across barriers from young to old.

My own journey, like all others, begins with the stories of my parents. They met at an Ashram, outside the town of Ooty in the hills of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, India. From there, they moved to the United States and I grew up in HUD (government subsidized housing) in Palo Alto, California, a wealthy community in the United States. From Kindergarten to Eighth grade, I was taught to be curious and creative at an alternative school with room to run and no grades. From there, I went to public high school, where I abided by the standard and finally to Pitzer College where I learned to put words to ideas and I was given gifts of great teachers.

After living in Botswana, England, Germany and India (as well as various places within the US) I have committed myself to social justice through work and my way of life. As Lila Watson said, “if you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together,” I go and come with the understanding that my own liberation is bound to strangers, and only when we work together, will we be successful and able to realize the visions we imagine.

After sharing some of my work, poetry and articles with smaller groups of friends and family, I have been inspired by positive feedback and the hope that my words might have power.

I wonder if my own background has been too privileged? Having health and family, do I deserve to be among women who have fought their way through more than I can even imagine?

My own awareness and understanding of the struggles women face on a daily basis, from water and food to confidence and a sense of self, have left me with a fierce desire to be the change I wish to see in the world, and doing so using this bridge called my back (to reference Gloria Anzaldua) in order to bridge the gaps I face in my own head and heart of being Indian, and American as well as both and neither.

Comments

Adepeju's picture

"I go and come with the

"I go and come with the understanding that my own liberation is bound to strangers, and only when we work together, will we be successful and able to realize the visions we imagine." True words. That's why we all are joining hands together on WorldPulse to work for the world. I look forward to working with you.

Stella Paul's picture

And thats how it works

Dear Friend

You aren't too privileged, not as long as you still can be judged for being a woman of color and that's just one fact. Change isn't always about the have nots coming together,but of everyone joining in to make a collective effort, to right the wrong.

So happy to see you here!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Greengirl's picture

Hello Lakitalki

I appreciate your view of being the change you want to see in the world. As individuals and collectively, we women must become the change we want to see in the world.
Women have what it takes to change the world for good!

Warmly,

Olanike

Greengirl's picture

Hello Lakitalki

I appreciate your view of being the change you want to see in the world. As individuals and collectively, we women must become the change we want to see in the world.
Women have what it takes to change the world for good!

Warmly,

Olanike

Maggs's picture

We are different and yet we

We are different and yet we are the same and holding hands across borders and working together we can achieve more.

maggs

gittlemana's picture

thank you

I appreciate your post. I think questions of privilege are so common among women, but I think you rightly point out that heightened self-awareness, no matter what brings that about, can be used to forge stronger connections and build a stronger community of women.

SallyB's picture

Beautiful vision

While your voice is strong throughout the piece, I particularly enjoyed the first paragraph. What a beautiful vision for our future!

Ruth Beedle's picture

If you are a woman then you

If you are a woman then you deserve to ask for what is best and right for women in this world, regardless of social background. From the richest to the poorest, the most privileged to the most underserved, we all have a voice and a heart and a passion that should be heard.

Even the richest girls have wounds.

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