Thursday, July 14, 2011

We are the People

The bravery, resilience, valor and persistence expressed by people all over Egypt to fight injustice brings the cynic in me to his knees. The events around me have come to challenge my thoughts and perceptions ever so strongly.

We often times forget that those who shout out orders over their phones and their wireless radio and command people left and right are merely human. It is only chance that gave them the power they have over others. We forgot the most important lesson of humanity, and that is that we’re all human. We need to belong to others like us. Often times we are blinded by the company we keep. It is dangerous to believe that the power we have comes from any form of superiority.

We are the people. The world was made for us. Countries were made for us. We have to ensure that we could all enjoy this world.

I look at old people and I’m haunted by a recurring thought. Could they have been somebody else? I look at an old man, who can barely make a living, toiling all day for a few pennies. He could have been somebody, you know. He could have been a manager in a big firm. He could have been an army general. He could have been a successful doctor, lawyer or an engineer. But fate has led him to where he is at today, and not necessarily because he is incompetent or unintelligent, but because the world we live in does not offer us that many chances.

I look at other old men in power; some of them important because they possess wisdom and others because they have had an opportunity to be in a position of power. Do they not think of themselves when they see other men who toil all day? Do they not think that it could have been them?

The world is hard enough as it is without an oppressive government that butchers the few chances that a good life may offer. I’m not calling for all people to be important. I’m not calling for everyone to be successful. I’m just calling for a chance for everyone to know what they’re made of, to be all they can be. Is that too much to ask?

We sometimes forget that men shouting orders are just men. They’re humans who have been given an opportunity to rule over others. The military governing Egypt at this time didn't get power over people through their intelligence, or competence or even by exercising force. They tried to shoot us, but it didn’t work. The military got their power by lying. Who are they to change the lives of millions? Is that worthy of any respect? Not to me. They are just people. I did not choose them to be my masters. They were afraid of us, and in order to overcome their fear, they decided to rule us.

I always wondered, what gives a man the right to take away another's life. Who are you to sentence someone innocent to 15 years in prison and completely destroy his life without a fair trial? Who are you to ruin those numerous seconds, hours and days where that person could have made a good life.The people sentenced to prison aren't a menace to society, those sentencing them are.

The main reason I want those false rulers out is because I’m fighting for a chance that I think most of us deserve. I’m fighting not for a better life for each of us, but for a chance of a better life. I’m fighting so that each of us gets that chance to be all they can be.

Now if you choose to do nothing, it’s your choice. If nothing is achieved at all, it should be our choice. But a few non select humans should not be in charge of decimating our hopes and dreams.

We’ve been in these chains for so long, that many feel as if they were part of their clothing. They believe that we should obey those who have cheated us out of our God given rights. Power is given to tyrants by people who accept the status quo. We need to remember that it’s not about them, it’s about us. They should join our ranks, we shouldn’t shrivel because of theirs. We are the people and it’s our right to demand a chance of a better life. It’s our children’s right to come into a world that fights for their chance to be all they can be. We are the people and we have to choose who we give the power to. Not liars, not thieves and not men in uniform who think they can scold us because they’re wiser.

The world is not idealistic, and we may win or lose this fight. I won’t pretend I have the answers, but I know one thing: we’ve been given a chance right here and right now to be all we can be. We can choose to make a difference. We can choose to use that chance. For the first time in ages we’ve been given this opportunity and it seems so unreal. It isn’t though, it’s a real as gets, the rest of life is what we’ve been conditioned to think. We are the people and even though we’ve always deserved this opportunity, we’ve had to work so hard to get it. We are the people and we deserve so much more than we’ve been given. We are the people and we’ve been given a chance. We can choose now to grow old and senile, or we can choose to grow old and wise.

1 comment:

Mohamed Elkammar said...

You had a cynic in you, but I had an optimist in me. It was very frustrating to have optimism in the conditions we were in. But thankfully, something had flipped the switch and the people, in fact, changed their reality. But we have to realize that we still have long ways to go, many boulders to move. Many more realities need to be changed.

Authority is to maintain order. That "order" must be defined by the people. People responsible for keeping order, who ever they may be, cannot be considered masters or even some how of a better bread. They only can be considered as servants.. servants of a great cause, hence the term "he is in the service". I think what is broken is how the Egyptian personality was altered to perceive the uniform. I think that is changing now. But it is going to be a tough clash.