Friday, January 13, 2012

Solidarity Stance Comfort Zone

Solidarity Stance Comfort Zone 

Jummana Al-Kahlout

A dilemma is a problem, one that leaves you analyzing two possibilities, most of the time, neither of which are practical or acceptable. A situation we all despise being in for the simple fact that most people prefer clearly defined solutions. Question is, what if you are stuck in what seems like a tunnel of dilemmas all linked to one another and essentially boiling down to one major problematic topic?...How to stand in solidarity with the people of the world, suffering either politically, economically or socially but still lead a normal life in your peaceful country of residence. Where do we draw the line?

I have been perplexed for a while with the “correct” answer to this question. The year 2011 ended and all new year resolutions, talk shows, papers and major characters spoke of the “Year of change”, the “Year of revolutions”, the “Year of disasters”, etc. What if you were only a “witness” to the events of this year via communication tools and the media world? Are you entitled to speak about the “success and losses” of this year even when you truly have not physically participated in the “change-making” process?

I care about the world. I am easily affected by the suffering of those people hundreds and thousands of kilometers away from me merely by keeping up with world news and Internet-based relationships. Nevertheless, when it comes to reality, I am a resident of a country shielded with a ‘bubble’ of illusion from the rest of the ‘real’ world. I sit at my computer, I read, I chat, I interact and then I form ‘strong’ political and economical opinions as I sit in the comfort of my bed and type away at my 17 inch laptop screen. Am I really feeling for them?

As my mood quickly changes following the news hour, this question begins to get louder in my subconscious mind...How am I standing in solidarity with these people? And suddenly every opportunity to go out, to attend an event, a party, a gathering irritates me because as I said, people do not enjoy ‘grey areas’ we like clearly defined answers to everything and mentioning topics that ‘threaten’ the security’ of our perfectly black and white world simply agitates us. These outings clearly cross the barriers of my solidarity stance ‘comfort zone’.

If I go out and attend luxurious parties, it almost feels like I am ‘betraying’ my vow to stand with the people of the world. So this begs the question, where do we draw the line? How do we define “solidarity” when we are leading regular lives in a peaceful country and consequently participate in social gatherings that celebrate happiness and content with life? Is the solution to limit the outings? To selectively choose the places to go and events to attend over a period of time that leaves blank intervals between occasions hoping that these will serve as a reminder of the misfortunes hailing upon the rest of the world?

When I look back at 2011, I think of a year when a majority of the world felt they lived dual lives. One was fully immersed in the unfolding events of the drastically changing world and another completely taken by the ‘norms’ of life from work to school to friends, family and outings...I have not really found the perfect balance yet between continuing in the path of my regular life and showing solidarity with the people all over the world, who are giving their lives and watching their loved ones disappear to bring about those peace resolutions we are all after.

Overall, I can conclude that living away from all the ‘action’ does not mean we are at peace of mind, nor does it mean that we do not feel for the people of the world, we do. Our dilemma becomes not that of surviving another day without food, or sending our children to school safely, but instead, it is that of a person that sees their neighbors’ house collapsing but has no tools to prevent it, so they provide a good meal for their neighbors in hope to reduce their pain even if only briefly.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Joe,
    To be quite honest i was surprised at how improved your writing skills have become, you intrigued me into reading more, so that i may struggle with your struggle and contemplate about my own dilemma and compare it to yours. The thoughts you are portraying provide us, as readers, with a clear understanding of an issue that is a part of us and we a part of it. Excellent writing, and i will sure be back to discuss your thoughts at a deeper level. Stay the way you are and do not change. Have faith in what you believe in, because someday, your faith will lead you to the path of success.