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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Imagine!

Imagine you are staying in a green house, imagine all the houses around you are green, and so are all the trees and flowers around. Just keep on imagining. Imagine you are also green and everyone around you is green. Now imagine your name is Green and everyone else is your namesake-no Mr., Mrs., Miss or baby Green, everyone one is just called Green! Come on stretch your literate mind! But dear reader you may ask, ‘what’s the point of this mental exercise?’ After all, what’s the use of imagining the unimaginable? What does this have to do with my life? Just bear with me because I hope at the end of this uncomfortable ‘imagination’ tour we would wake up from our comfortable corners and work hard to make our world a more comfortable place.

You would agree with me that the above ‘green’ world is unrealistic, and even if it would be realistic, then it would be totally chaotic! It would be indeed chaotic because everyone will always be stepping on other people’s toes! Someone once said that we only realize the importance of something when it is no longer there. In other words, we can just take things for granted. Some or most of us take for granted our diversity and some of us even go one step further in abusing this gift of diversity. That’s why I’ve invited you to just sit down for a moment and imagine a world without diversity!

But what exactly is diversity? Is it all about diverting us due to our differences or is it about finding harmony in complementary varieties? While not ignoring or denying the former, I opt for the latter. I strongly believe that diversity is meant to unite us more than divide us. I believe it’s there to bring perfection and not chaos. I don’t know which model of the ‘origin of life’ you subscribe to, but according to the one I subscribe to, i.e. the “Creation model,’ a Master Designer created varieties for the good of humanity. Just imagine all roses being yellow- who would love a date without a red rose? Just imagine all mountains were volcanic-who would tell the beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro? Just imagine all humans were adults-who would sing a sweet lullaby to that cute baby? Just imagine a world with men only, just imagine a world with women only-what a monotonous world that would be! Just imagine!

I don’t want to live in that chaotic and monotonous world. I believe it’s the same to you. I guess you don’t even want to think about it, save alone imagine it! But I would like to ask you, aren’t we living in that world? If not, why do we keep on hearing alarming statistics all the time; Children are abused many a times; women are raped day and night; people are racially discriminated everyday; various languages, arts, animals and even plants are getting extinct at an shocking rate! Aren’t we getting more and more selfish, or to be politically correct, more ‘individualistic?’ What is happening to the old adage, “united we stand, divided we fall’? Of course I mean united in a good cause for many a people throughout history have done harm in the name of unity! Are we doing something, and if not, can we do something?

Can something be done? I don’t want to be a mere optimist; neither do I want to sound as a total pessimist here. I only want to be as realistic as possible. I strongly believe that you and I can do something. Note I said ‘something’ and not ‘everything’, that’s what I mean by not being a mere optimist! We can do our part in making use of diversity as a stepping-stone in making our world a better place. This not a time to let the rule of the jungle governs. This is not a time to sit down and say, “what can one person do?” neither is it a time to say, “I, even I, can do everything by myself!” This is the time to stand up as realists and do something-Colonies stood up against colonialism in their time, and something was done; Women right activists stood against disfranchisement in their time, and something was done; yes, it’s a historical fact that, when people stand up for a good cause in their time, something is done-it’s time to stand up in our time and make a difference.

One President once told the youth of his nation not to ask what their nation can do for them but to ask what they can do for their nation. I believe this injunction is still valid to us today, but in a bigger context: what can we do for humanity? What can we do to help our sick world? Is there anything good we can do to break the stereotypes we have internalized as defense mechanisms for shutting out those we consider not of our kind from us? I have to admit that I also don’t know which model you use to describe our “human nature,” but according to the model I subscribe to, we as humans are fallen and thus not self-sufficient in this business of doing something good for humanity and being unconditionally good to humanity. We often do good things with wrong motives. That’s why we don’t only need

Author: Chambi Chachage
Source: Miscellaneous Student Magazines, 2002-2005
Acknowledgement: I owe this title to the late John Lennon

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