For the past couple of days, I’ve been sitting on the couch, laptop opened, fingers over my keyboard but nothing clicks. The world seems to be spiralling out of control and no blog post seems apt for a time like this.
I’ve got several drafts, all half-finished but I haven’t the heart to complete them. It doesn’t feel like the right time to talk about minimalism and order in my daily life, or even of my relationship with luxury goods, when the people around me are out there in the streets braving death while fighting for their rights.
I may live in well-protected Singapore, far away from the dangers that lurk at every corner around 5th Avenue or donut shops. And yes, I may have faced racism from the very people who are now fighting against racism towards their own race, but that’s another story for another day. Today, it is about resilience, equality, compassion and education.
As I open up Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, almost every 2 updates is a post about police brutality and racism. And in between are news and stories about other instances of evil and negativity: a pregnant elephant fed pineapple and explosives, foreign domestic workers in Saudi Arabia being abused, not forgetting Covid-19 and even local Singaporeans rebuking the government’s decision to build more dormitories for our dear migrant workers near residential estates.
A part of me can’t stop wondering why this exists. Why is there so much hate and evil in a world that has such great potential be so peaceful and inclusive? Even when there is good news or progress, there are always people who will ruin the moment. Why?
No matter how I think about it, for me, it boils down to ignorance, nonchalance and fear that have been allowed to manifest.
I can keep asking why but that won’t solve anything. I don’t have many resources to help the vulnerable (it may seem like the contrary) but what I can do for now is to continue to treat everyone around me right. I’m not going to avoid having difficult conversations about these issues when they arise, and I’m making my stand clear.
While that will take time, possibly for the rest of my life, what can I do now to bring me back to a state of hopefulness, motivation and just out of the dumps?
For one, I’m going to stay off Facebook and Instagram for a bit. What good is posting a black square on Instagram when you don’t get the significance of it, and neither will you do anything to make the world a better place?
I’m still posting updates but they will be more positive so that your timelines will be brighter, even just for a little bit.
I’ll be thinking about my own future and carrying out actions to move towards my own dreams and career goals. I will be spending more time with my family because heartfelt laughter and love is so uplifting when you’re in the moment and nothing else matters. I will need to retreat into my safety bubble whenever I see the need to prioritise my well being and emerge again when I feel it’s time – and this might take anywhere from half an hour to an entire afternoon to an entire week.
I’ll be tending to my plants and checking out the little surprise bouquet I bought to liven up our home. I’ll be eating well, drinking well and practising weekly Pilates. And I’ll be spending time mulling over makeup because makeup really is one thing that never fails to cheer me up.
If you’re caught in the midst of everything and find it overwhelming, do the same. Find your joys in this time of madness. We all need the stamina and energy to carry on bringing progress to the world, and we can only do so if we take breaks along the way.