Personal · Philippines

Out of comfort zones and privileges

ron
Photo and analysis credited to the rightful owner. Used only for some reflection.

A little surge of rambling after seeing this analysis (see photo; credit to the rightful owner)

I never noticed this before, but realized this as well as I am currently re-reading Goblet of Fire the last few days. I sometimes find myself agreeing with Ron every time he tells Hermione off about the house elves. It’s probably because, like him, I find that they are creatures who love what they’re doing, and as long as they are contented, then there’s nothing wrong with that. With everything that is happening now in the country, and with the world, I realized that maybe most of us, too, are like these house elves. Most have become content with the fact that this has been the condition we’ve always had and we are happy to be in it. We have become comfortable with oppression disguised as good will. Then there are some who understands that this is their current condition, and yet fail to recognize that it must not stop with a mere acknowledgment but an action to do something about it.

Then, there are some of us who, like Ron, refuses to go against the current system–of the way things are–because we turn a blind eye or fail to recognize that it is doing them harm. We let people be. And that’s the problem. We let traditions dictate our choices. We let /what is/ to be simply /what is/. When we choose not to fight pressing issues like historical revisionism, racism, elitism, anti-feminism, gender inequality, homophobia, and a lot more, then it’s almost like we are affirming them too because we are letting them continue their existence when our first move must have been to act against them. And worse are the people who, like Malfoy, continue to trample on humanity and triumph in their purist and absolutist position (still baffles me why so many girls are in love with that jerk, by the way).

I don’t have a comfortable life, and my parents do as much as they can to provide me with clothes to wear, food to eat, and a house to live in. But I can’t deny the fact that I am privileged–to have a good (and free) education, to be able to walk the streets with a whole lot of knowledge which I have come to consider a valuable commodity. I have always been told that activism doesn’t do anything, and for a while, I believed that too. I used to wonder what the hell it will do anyone anyway–holding up a placard, yelling on the streets, and whatnot. With recent events, I guess I just came to a point where I got tired of being comfortable, of enjoying my privileges when left and right, my country is suffering. I used to think that simply finishing my college degree will already compensate for when I can serve the people when I graduate. But that’s still years away… should I just let things be? Be dormant and pretend this too shall pass? I don’t want that. With these voices spreading all the wrong things, trumping justice and morality with their high and mighty talk of legality, I couldn’t just stay on the sidelines. I couldn’t be simply comfortable when everything’s hurting a lot of people.

We should not be simply comfortable with the way things are by saying that “it doesn’t affect me anyway so why bother” because that was precisely what these supporters of the likes of dictator Marcos, misogynist Duterte, or racist Trump, and some more humanity’s evildoers, are saying. Perhaps the reason why they still think that way is because they share the same views as the people they idolize and support. Perhaps it has always been what they see of the world and they are okay with that.

I am not. I don’t want to be a Ron who was unconsciously racist (or a historical revisionist, homophobic, etc.). And if characters in fiction can grow and flourish, then maybe we can, too. I know everyone’s pretty much just done with the current events of the world, but just like some of us and our elders who continue to fight against decades-long issues, we shouldn’t stop, too. We shouldn’t get tired. We continue to fight.

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