The Power of Unremarkable
I don’t think there is anything very amazing about me. I’ve done nothing but write and act - in small ways and small places - about matters I think are important. And when I get the chance, I speak - extensively, passionately - about the issues I care most deeply about. That’s all. Otherwise, most days, I think I’m pretty unremarkable.
But I believe I used to be worse. I used to be passively unremarkable. I used to be pitifully passively unremarkable, and for too long, I was ignorant of the fact that that was what I was, or that there was anything wrong with it.
Information does a funny thing to you: It opens your mind to new horizons. Knowledge really is power, because the more you learn about the many atrocities befalling the people and world around you, the less time you find to be offended by the silly little misfortunes that have found their way to your door.
I was born in a small, rural town in Jamaica. At the time, we were the poorest parish in the island (we have moved one place up to second poorest, *whoop-di-doo*). I grew up having barely to just enough. For a long time, I felt like I was in the unfortunate minority in my country: among the ranks of the disempowered youth, the underrepresented women, a daughter of the impoverished, rural, farming town completely devoid of technological advancement ... I felt like I lived in darkness.
Since then, and especially after going through university, I’ve learnt that there are greater evils in the world than anything I have ever experienced or can even begin to imagine. There are women and girls being sold as chattels in a heartless trade that has been perpetuated for too long; there are people who have never heard of a computer, and to whom electricity is not even so much as an abstract concept … While I was sitting down bemoaning the darkness I thought I lived in, there were people on this planet who had nothing to eat, no place to live, no hope for their collective futures.
It’s a timeless truth: The world does not, has not, and will never revolve around me. For every hardship I face, there are millions more who constantly face worse, and who somehow find the courage to be remarkably strong in the midst of that turbulence. There are people who literally walk in hellish darkness everyday. And here's the sting: even in my unremarkableness, I could help! I can help!
Hence my participation in so many courses and movements. Hence my insatiable thirst for knowledge. Hence my decision to feminist, blog, volunteer with different organisations, participate in youth forums on and offline … hence the desire to be a journalist, advocate, activist, and to at least become actively unremarkable.
I will not curse the darkness ... I will light a candle. Whenever, wherever, however I can ...