Society, as we know it, has a habit of having pre-ordained boxes where it can conveniently fit people, thoughts, ideas and feelings.
You want the government to take more responsibility for those without a voice? Congratulations, you are now a far left liberal with a shrine of Karl Marx in your closet. You want women to be able to have the same opportunities as their male counterparts? Well done, you are now a “feminazi” (read: a slur unfairly hurled at people who simply think men and women should have an equal standing in everyday life) who knows nothing of our nation’s culture and way of life.
Want there to be better unions for labourers/teachers/domestic workers so that they may – god forbid – have a better life? Wow, you must be a true “pseudo-progressive”.
For some, this can be comforting: knowing that you have an identity, that you have something in common with those who share this box with you. A clan, a cult. For others, this can be quite damaging. Think of actually being put in a box: no place to grow, no room for learning, and definitely no room for improvement. Your path has been paved for you. Your other attributes and traits are all stripped from you because in a box, you can be one thing and one thing only.
But what if you are sick of having labels being thrown at you? What if the way you are perceived is completely the opposite to how you wish to be understood when expressing yourself? This is where a sense of non-conforming identity crises sets in. You don’t know where you belong.
Can thoughts simply not exist? When did politics become such a huge part of life that every opinion and every thought has to become politicised and broken down to a bare minimum so that it can fit in a box? Is something as simple as having a sense of empathy so bad – even living in a democratic world where one has the right to demand equal treatment on behalf of those who are less fortunate?
Think for a second: if all our world leaders and the top 1% had even a shred of empathy, homelessness worldwide might not be an issue. Even if it was, there would be countless ways to work round the clock and cater to those in need. World hunger would be solved in a manner of days. Discrimination, racism, classism? Things of the past.
Remember this next time when you express your concerns to the world only to have someone call you “too weak” or “unrealistic”. Remember that they belong in a box of their own: a sad, small, dark box for those too selfish to help people in need.