KD-ADS: Expanding Horizons

Cos thinking should never be stagnant...

Monday, August 15, 2005


I have not only returned from my research trip (in which I met many wonderful people, even those whose ideas I am opposed to), but also got my new brand new computer. My old laptop was damaged, and repairing it wouldn't have treated it one bit. Hence, I sit now with a new laptop in my hand.

Coming back from my research trip, I have seen now how much more important political activism and geninue cooperation with the community (and NOT leaders of a political order) are, and how sadly even in a 'globalised' world, these goals only become more distant. Instead, what passes for community has been tranformed to 'fanclubs', 'militias', 'VIP clubs', 'political groups', 'religious groups', 'bloggers' and 'internet chatters'. Now, I shouldn't confess to be all benevolent, innocent and pure, as I certainly didn't censor myself from inclusion in these community groups, however rather I've come to realise that real communities are where differences do not become polarized, negotiations are facilitated by members of all those concerned (and affected), and finally where solutions, even if they are not always of the best, are met with the satisfaction that everyone has had some say into the process.

In the rhetoric of "democracy", "globalisation" and "liberalisation", the reverse has happened. The human race may never be free from bias, prejudice and bigotry but how much do our socio-political and economic structures, institutions and cultures actually constitute the basis of a reality where geninue participation and community is encouraged? The answer becomes clear when we answer the most fundamental questions in our individual lives and society: we hardly participate in a community group, we hardly are aware of significant social issues local and abroad, we hardly have a voice in such affairs. And lastly, even if we had a voice, how much are we truly participating and taking control of them?

I have given up on witnessing a forseeable viable future for humankind. And certainly, though there is a hint of optimism that the potential for change may only grow wider, as long as more and more people become educated (properly!) and empowered, which may lead to a final seizure of societal power from those who continue to harbour it for their own self-interests, no matter how benevolent they seem from the outset. To myself, I long knew that it's time to stop listening to men who claim to know it all, no longer shall my ears filter and process the words of a man/woman who speaks for the voice of many, but instead to engage and listen to the voices of the many first.