“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
It is easier said than done, to open your heart, open your mouth and mind. To feel, to risk your heart and love wholeheartedly.
It is hard to stay silent in the face of injustice, yet we do it out of fear, afraid of being judged, afraid of being punished for being honest, or really speaking about how we felt.
This also goes for victims of abuse; an article by Kaylen Forde on abcNEWS explores the many reasons why victims simply do not come forward, the experience of doing so can be quite traumatic and even if they do in many cases justice is not served. (You can read the full article here)
Sometimes even when we hear the stories of the powerless we sit idly by and do nothing, unsure how to react or how to help, sometimes just sharing, giving these people a platform is one step in the right direction.
In a powerful street artwork by Banksy on a wall in Gaza, Palestine – Banksy states if we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, we do not remain neutral anymore. For those of you who don’t know Banksy is a pseudonymous street artist, film director, and political activist whose real name and identity remain unknown and unconfirmed.
Something similar was said by South African archbishop Desmond Tutu:
And maybe some of you are afraid, many of you have your reasons for staying quiet but maybe we can start slow and steady, maybe you can start here with us.