“White people can’t play badminton.” This thought echoes through my mind every Tuesday during my weekly badminton session. I look around the university gym for a court I can join, taking mental note of which (white) people seem all too pleased just to be able to hit the shuttlecock over the net or who are laughing and joking too much and whom, therefore, I shall not play with. My eyes linger forlornly on the handful of Asians in the gym, smashing the birdie without mercy, creating that delicious popping sound. Alas, these brown folks are usually already embedded in a group of four. Read More »
There are many privileges I enjoy at a cost borne by someone who doesn’t enjoy them. They include a financially stable childhood, two well-educated parents, being a native English speaker, being born and having grown up in stable, open and wealthy countries, and being able-bodied. These privileges I don’t think about even on a weekly basis, let alone daily; that, of course, is part of the privilege! And it’s all the more reason why it’s so important for me to “check my privilege.” This I take to mean being aware of and acknowledging the advantages I have over others based on factors outside my control and unrelated to any efforts that I made, understanding the historical roots of these advantages and their current impact on myself and others, and taking action to correct the unjust systems that perpetuate these inequalities.Read More »
stasis gets a bad rap these days. between a culture of self-help, insecure peer-comparing narcissism, obsessive consumerism, discontent of the privileged and general millennial anxiety, we’re trained to want more and expected to achieve more. we demand more of ourselves. and this is generally a good thing. stagnation is not only boring, it’s lazy. mundane. banal. common. also-ran. we should surround ourselves with people who make us better people. we should strive. one of the great lessons i learned from star trek is that being human means seeking self-improvement.
i support all of that! but (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming)…
sometimes it’s all very tiring. sometimes i want to just be. now, for example. i’m surprisingly content with life right now. at the moment i’m sitting on my window sill with the window wide open, slither of a crescent moon in front of me, refreshingly cool night air tickling my skin. on the material and physical planes i’m very comfortable. mentally and emotionally it’s going all right.
there are many ways i could improve myself, my situation, my life, others’ lives, the world. but at the moment, i want to say forget that. i’m content and the world could stand still and it’d all be good. could it be that stasis isn’t necessarily stagnation? could stasis simply be… simply being? that is, savouring and enjoying ‘the moment’ – what’s already good.
Life and career isn’t just one long ladder we need struggle to climb up, one rung leading to the next level up. Rather, I think of my career as a collection of amazing experiences. I look at each one as a piece of the puzzle that builds the big picture of my lifetime’s body of work, rather than a linear progression where the next move always means more money/prestige/responsibility.
Mein Cousin ist nach einem Austauschsemester in Wien wieder in Kanada (sogar an der Uni, die meine Alma Mater ist). Er schreibt, dass die letzten vier Monaten die glücklichsten und besten waren, die er bisher erlebt hat. Er habe nicht nur eine neue Ecke der Welt, sondern auch etwas Neues über ihn selbst, entdeckt. Dieses Gefühl kann ich komplett nachempfinden, weil es für mich nach meinem Austauschsemester in Uppsala dasselbe war.
Es geht um die großen Fragen “Wer bin ich?” und “Was kann/will ich machen?”Read More »