• Olivia Earth

A humble attempt at being a better human

Being mindful and cognizant of our actions (and inaction) is a characteristically human trait. It is something I  have attempted to embody as I find my niche in the world. I often wonder if perhaps my greatest contribution lies in conscious kindness rather than to become someone decorated in their superficial power and accolades. As we grow older, we are more and more bothered by the idea of a legacy, “what is it that I want to leave behind when I die?” For most however, the ideas of grandeur will not prevent a sense of regret. This statement is not meant to discourage ambition – as ambition lights a fire in our souls – but, it is instead meant to bring peace to those who choose to walk a different path. And so, for those who prioritise their essence over their ego, read on.

Photo @ Kiara Toich

Despite my position of privilege as a white, educated, cis-gender, English speaking, able-bodied person I recognise that I can be a diverse voice in the struggle for equality and kindness. I can offer a constructive perspective of the liberation of groups and individuals who experience prejudice on the basis of powerful and deeply entrenched structures of oppression that continue to dominate society and are perpetuated by the law.

The process of understanding the dominating structures that over-arch our communities is painful and difficult but, it is a conversation I believe we must engage in. It takes courage to be an advocate for that which you do not perceive to directly affect you. It is in this light that I make the statement that if you believe that politics should be left to the politicians then you are, in fact, in a position of privilege.

Additionally, the two homes that humans have – their bodies and the environment – need to be nurtured and protected. If the law is not neutral and impartial and we do not respect human lives as equal, then the protection of our homes is a futile process.

The incredible thing about kindness and empathy is that they are some of the only things that can be distributed without the person losing any resources of their own. Thus we are not playing a zero sum game. Similarly, extending rights to those people who suffer under exclusionary structures of oppression. The extension of rights to others does not take away from one’s own rights. If you feel threatened by this statement then you may very well be benefiting from others’ suffering. There is some comfort in remembering that rights come with responsibilities in that if one has a right to quiet, then they have an obligation to be quiet.

We are all fearful of the unknown, of what we don’t understand, such as children who are afraid of the dark. If we challenge ourselves to be passionately curious then we can make strides in eliminating fear from our lives. For example, this fear may manifest in things such as the seemingly inextricable link between gender and sex, fear of veganism and being shamed, fear of movements such as ‘black lives matter’, and fear of our own inadequacy.

Making the mental change to be curious, passionately curious, involves a global human consciousness shift. Be a part of the movement. It doesn’t require money, talent or resources, such as education, it simply asks you to practice empathy. It is never too late to challenge your own identity and conceptions of others. Chances are, you’ll enjoy the process.

  1. A humble attempt at being a better human

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