Imagine, imagine that you never got on a plane, and never got paid, and never made a friend from New Zealand, or never saw the snow, never saw the sea, never moved to the big city,never owned a laptop,and never stood in a room of people you don’t know and spoke about your suffering,never sold a book, or a painting, never ate that dim-sum, never heard of Instagram, never left that hill that sits between you and all those other things in the big bad world. The big beautiful world that you’d never see. Imagine you didn’t call yourself an activist. Imagine that you never owned a passport. Imagine that you couldn’t flee if you tried. Imagine that everything you have on you right now is everything you will ever have.
Imagine that your oppression wasn’t your currency, your suffering your strength.Imagine that. Imagine that you carried your pain like a pail with a hole. A small hole, which dripped a trail in the sand and let the dust die down in just that spot.Imagine that.
What would you work day and night to change? What would wake you up in the middle of the night with a tight pain in your chest and send you into the ten square kilometres called home that you will never leave. What would put you to sleep like a lullaby knowing that on this day I changed that. What is that? That thing you do for no money, for no reason other than to make your neighbour understand. To make yourself understand.To make your lovers understand. To make anyone understand. That even in small places where nothing leaves and nothing comes, change happens, and that you are that change. That you dreamed a different way of being and this difference is you.
Dear activist, imagine that you didn’t call yourself that. That you are change made flesh and bone and that you never had to get on a plane to make us understand.