There lives a cynic in me, constantly humming Kumbaya in the most sardonic tone you can imagine. His name is Steve. This cynic’s entire lexicon consists of that confounded word. If I were less introverted, if I were braver, if I were not tied down, if I had been given the opportunity, if I were Daenerys Targaryen – assuming I had to put a dollar in a glass jar every time that blasted word surfaced I’d be richer than Donald Trump’s ex-wife.
Residing in the deep recesses of my mind also lies a short, slightly rotund lady with a horn-rimmed glasses and a neat bob of purple hair. I christened her Brigitta, the antithesis of Steve. She’s much nicer.
Today, Brigitta decided that my life’s goal was to fight for equality regardless of culture and creed. I rather liked that idea. Then Steve had to interject, saying that I had nothing to fight with and everything to lose. And I decided that his point, although rather morbid, was true. I had a family to care for, a scholarship to uphold, no money, no swords, no guns and most of all, no A-bombs! How could I expect to succeed without any A-bombs? They’re, like, vital in every skirmish, no?
The argument went a little like this –
Brigitta: You idiot! She can do anything she sets her mind to. Let her save her country.
Steve: What if she has to sacrifice her family’s privacy and safety?
Brigitta: It’s all for the greater good. They’ll understand. Look at Malala Yousafzai!
Steve: She was shot in the head. Three times.
Brigitta: She survived and she was martyred.
Steve: So you want Lillian to be shot in the head and then martyred?
Brigitta: You…you filthy lawyer. This fight means something to her! It’s what she’s always wanted.
Steve: What about those scholarship terms? If she breaks them to join a hippie rally – what happens? If she decides halfway that she’s not built to take the pressure and it’s that it’s too late? What happens then?
Oh yes, I forgot to mention – there’s this other little guy. He’s tall, bespectacled and wears tailored suits made in Italy. He usually sits in the corner while Brigitta and Steve pull their punches. It’s atypical for Roger to come out so blatantly, but I’m glad he did today.
Roger: Hey, now guys…hold your horses (he’s arcane like that, my Roger). Yes, it’s a huge risk for her to fight for what she believes in – but that is a thought so many others have had. She wants to take the road less traveled, to make something of her life. She knows well enough that she and every memory of her will dissipate into obscurity one day, so let her make the most of it. She’s lived her whole life frustrated for those not granted the same opportunities as those around her – so let her try to make a difference. Let her fight for equality – regardless of race, religion and social standing. Let her –
Roger: Well…sometimes dying for the right cause isn’t such a bad thing. She believes in it. She believes that it will cause a paradigm shift. She believes that she can cause that paradigm shift. She wants to see everyone treated equally. And her actions don’t have to be big or bold. They just have to mean something. Is that so bad? She doesn’t have guns, or swords, or bombs for that matter. But does she need them? She has her voice. And then there’s us.
Like I said, I liked Roger most of all. And yes, I would fight for equality. If only I could get those –
But it’s true. I’m totally devoid of anything material. No funds, no political backing, nothing much to help me fight for what I believe in. My actions will be small, and I can only hope that the little pebble I toss in the vast ocean of reality will send ripples enough to change not all, but some lives.
In lieu of swords, I have my voice, my spirit, and my thoughts.