“Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.”
True dat, Franz. True dat.
There’s definitely no logic
to human behaviour
but yet so irresistible
they’re terribly moody
then all of a sudden turn happy
but, oh, to get involved in the exchange
of human emotions is ever so satisfying
there’s no map and
wouldn’t help at all
Human Behaviour, Björk
The grey hair, just north of my right temple showed up just like that the other day. It just popped out of the curly fro that grows under my locks. Like it was saying hello. So I said hello back and let it be and it’s disappeared somewhere into the mass of hair, as if my brain was trying to test my reaction.
I managed not freak out, which is a disturbing sign that I might actually be becoming a real certifiable adult.
This past week has also been the first time in as long as I can remember that I haven’t caught the pre-birthday funk, probably because there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to factor in being miserable about getting older on top of all the other mischief I manage to get up to.
Aside from it being the week before Carnival and my birthday, today also marks the climax of weeks of social and political activism around the world known as the World Social Forum.
It’s the kind of hippy lefty event that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and today I’ll be down in Couva with the residents of Pranz Gardens who are currently making their own statement about not wanting Essar’s steel plant in their backyards.
And as I’ve prepared for today, I’ve thought about just how the lives of people who try to get involved in social change are reflected in the events and actions they get involved in.
Another thing that I can blame on my mother, is she raised me in a house that was always full of writers, activists and other assorted undesirables who gave me a distorted sense of the normalness of wanting to be involved in everything.
To this day I can’t pinpoint exactly what motivates people to get up from their beds in the morning and decide they can change the world? What gives them the right to think they are that powerful?
I don’t have a clue, but I keep getting up every morning and thinking that I can find a way to make a difference.
And the older I get, the more I feel that I have the right to stake ownership of my wanting the world to be a better place. I’m bored of the self-effacing way that this society makes you think you have to act in order for you to be somehow acceptable.
Because the unfortunate thing about thinking you can make a difference is that most people have a problem with that, unless of course you have corporate sponsorship or reside in some politician’s rectum.
People don’t like you to challenge their own laziness. They resent that you tell them good morning or ask them not to litter. They don’t want you to criticize their SUV aspirations and they certainly don’t want you to tell them anything about any blasted trees.
People would rather send me letters eloquently describing to me how much of a self-serving hypocrite I am than mentoring a child. Which would have caused confusion in the younger me.
But the grey hair I believe I have earned through years of adventures that one day I might actually tell my mother, gives me a new level of I really don’t give a toots.
Because every morning I get up and I know that today I can be more than an insignificant little columnist on a tiny corrupt little island.
The good thing about getting older is that its suddenly become so much easier for me to be wholly uninterested in what people think about me or the descriptions they spend a lot of time coming up with (the best one of these I’ve seen in a while was ‘Hanky-headed Negro’).
The grey hair is under no threat of being pulled out, hidden or dyed. I’m actually looking forward to rocking that whole platinum dread look a la Toni Morrison, even if I don’t win a Nobel Prize or any prize at all.
It’s the race that counts though and I’m running all the way to the finish.