by Zehrabanu Hussein
RSIC 2019 is by far one of the most eye-opening experiences I have encountered in my life.
Prior to the conference, If you told me I was to be trapped in a room full of strangers, I would most definitely tell you to get me out of that situation, now, if I were to be told this, I’d be hyped about it because I now know I would walk out of that room smiling and laughing hand in hand with the strangers I was in there with. This is because I came to acknowledge how sociable I actually am after being able to relate and talk to so many people even though we came from completely parallel backgrounds. Discussing everything and anything about the world gave me an insight of different opinions, talking about the most neglected and controversial things opened me up to reality.
Apart from all the friendships made and lessons learned I would say that there is one thing that hit me the most, one thing that most of us forget we have, one thing that goes unappreciated, one thing that we always seem to be blind to.
And that one thing is PRIVILEGE.
I came to ponder upon this when I was taken to a deaf and dumb bilingual institute as one of the service projects where I was taught to communicate with a whole clan of lovely talented children, and even tho they were limited to the abilities that i posses, they were so happy; they welcomed us with open arms and wide smiles. And they would talk amongst themselves thru sign language and I was so intrigued by their actions. I started to question myself, if these kids can be so cheerful despite their inabilities, why do I complain about the slightest uncomfortable matters?
If these kids can wake up everyday and strive to learn and work harder, why do I make excuses?
I almost started feeling guilty but then again, one of the lecturers there said exactly what I needed to hear,
Guilt is a wasted emotion. We don’t mind that you feel guilty that you’re in a privileged position. Who cares that you feel bad?
Do something with that privilege. Step into it all the way and own your voice. Take risks because you are in the position to take risks when so many millions of people around the world are not in that same position.
Especially in the world of today, human beings just like you and me are dying of starvation and war, are dying of malnutrition and diseases, are dying as a result of conflict and climate change.
And us,we live in absolute peace, we have a family to go back to, we are fed properly, we drink clean water, we have access to the perfect education system, we have a roof over our heads, we are part of a community built off of round square ideals that welcome no room for racism and discrimination
So I would say our mission as students and the youth of today is not to follow in the footsteps of astronauts, Nobel prize winners, and presidents before us, but to exceed their footsteps, crush the shoulders of the giants upon whom we stand, we here are such innovative people …each one of us is specially made.
So I’m telling you, there is always room for change
Because Indeed Me and you – We are privileged.