By Trishala Deb, IDEX’s Regional Director for Asia
This year taught me in some very hard ways, how to be grounded in gratitude. I learned to not take things for granted – life, breath, mobility, time with my loved ones, the incredible range of choices that I have, that many of my ancestors did not have.
This coming year will teach me new things, and many of you will be my teachers too. This week reminded me that we are in a new time, and I actually feel more hopeful. I realized that since the period after 9-11, I have been carrying a heaviness and fear that we cannot stop the most egregious violations of our human rights. I watched as people disappeared in New York City, and other New Yorkers were not even aware that a special registration was even happening. We all watched as person after person has been murdered by the police, with little accountability.
But this time feels different. There are protests and mass consciousness on a level that I have dreamed of since I was first politicized in high school. And it feels like the legacy of the abolitionist movement, the centuries of struggle for Indigenous sovereignty and Black Liberation, the movements against the prison industrial complex and state violence, the immigrant and migrant rights movements, the movements against neoliberalism led by the global south, the movements for gender justice that have reached through the years to deliver us this opportunity.
The opportunity is to come home to our humanity, to rescue the planet and each other. It means so much more than challenging the autocracy in front of us. It means modeling democratic practice and creating larger united fronts with people we don’t know how to agree with yet. And it means producing the solutions to unemployment, the divisions caused by white supremacy, the looming crisis of automation of the workforce, the changes we all have to make in order to turn around the destruction of our planet and become protectors. We have to manifest a deep cultural change towards a real understanding of interdependence and shared responsibility.
And maybe for the first time in my life, I deeply know that we can do it.
This video was such a balm to my aching heart, I hope it feeds your spirit as it did mine.