The world is full of optimism and hope for the future. When Housing.com asked bloggers to share a story on this topic, I was naturally delighted to write something on this. After all, what can go wrong with this world? We’re filled with optimistic stories hitting us every other day. The current government in India fills me with so much hope.
Let’s start with varied aspects of our life and see how just and optimistic being a human is. Let’s look up a bit.
Almost everything about you is decided before you even understand a single word. You don’t have a choice here.
Your race? Depends on that of your parents. If you’re born into a privileged race, have fun! If not, well, you’re in for a struggle. Skin color plays an important role in how you’re treated in India.
Your citizenship? Depends on which side of the border you’re born. I’m thankful I was born in India and not Pakistan, or Afghanistan.
Your religion? Depends on what your parents follow. Even if you did grow out of it in your adulthood, your religious identity will follow you all your life.
Your caste? The same. This holds a special place in the minds of every Indian, even those who feign ignorance about it and are trapped in privilege blindness. Some housing colonies don’t even allow me to rent a property. Why? Due to my religious identity. How wonderful, right?
Your sex and gender? It’s random. You have no choice here. Obviously, lot of opportunities open up for you if you’re born a male. Females have to struggle to achieve the same. (This might be reversed in some cases, but overall, males are the privileged sex)
Your economic status? You don’t have a choice here too. Whether you’re born into poverty or wealth, it’s entirely up to chance. When you have to constantly worry about food, clothes and shelter, you can’t concentrate much on education and everything else.
Have any disability? Struggle even more. And this doesn’t just extend to physical disabilities. Mental disabilities are largely ignored, or worse, blamed on the person suffering from them. They’re also bullied a lot.
All the above variables add up to form a weird concoction of privileges and disadvantages that follow you throughout your life. Some you can grow out of, and some you can’t.
Understanding privilege blindness and just-world theory has made me realize how unjust this world truly this. While some people bask in their privileges, others are fighting even for their basic survival, every single day. And when someone asks me to be optimistic, all I could think of is how stupid a concept it is. I can further my ignorance, or just accept the world as it is.
The only optimism I have about life is accepting the reality and moving on. Can you?