Sunday, May 31, 2009

the freedom writer's

My ipod is stuck! Stupid thing wont work! What will I do now?
This was my biggest worry. And now it seems so insignificant. The time that lapsed between these changes, riveted me completely. I just spent the past two and a half hours of my life watching a wonderful movie called the freedom writer’s based on a book. And in these two hours I discovered how lucky I am, how much potential I have within me and the are world’s out there whose reality is far far worse than our biggest fears. The freedom writer’s is about a teacher’s journey into the lives of a group of racially divided students in a time frame in America when racial violence and hatred was at a high. I felt disconnected at the start. Of course I am against racism but never had ever experienced it first hand. I never knew what it felt to be discriminated against because of the colour of your skin. Though I live in a country where the colour of your skin really determines a lot but never let it affect me. Because an advertisement of fair and lovely really doesn’t affect me much expect for generating sympathy inside me for people foolish enough and insecure to go for such marketing gimmicks. However going back to the story I just saw I realized what human discrimination is capable of inflicting into this world.
Its not really about what race are you or what colour are you but more about how many can you gather that look just like you, target all the hatred and suppressed anger towards someone you don’t like much and become powerful by overpowering those who cant defend themselves. it’s a chain reaction that goes on giving birth to one frustrated and discriminated victim to the other. The movie was about how high school kids got into gangs and how their innocent minds that should have been taught about Mozart and Beethoven and world history were taught about sticking together with people of the same race, shooting guns at any person who was not the same colour as you, testifying against enemy races and worst of all hatred. And then I realized something. These people whose stories so appalled me and broke my heart were nothing more then lost little kids. Kids smaller then me in age but so much older in experiencing grief. It reminded me of the hopelessness I had seen so much around me. These were little kids just in school. School, an experience I have just recently passed through and had a wonderful time where I learned how to think on my own and understand what an ideal world might need. And the same word school for them was a compulsion. As one of the protagonist put it- “my parole officer gave me a choice- it’s either school or boot camp!” no one cared and no one bothered. But one person did both. She was just another teacher who could have followed into the footsteps of the people before her but she refused to do so. She fought and sacrificed her own life to bring light into the lives of these children who didn’t even bother to show her respect. She took on jobs so that she could buy them books and when these kids saw the new books on their table they felt better and felt as if someone really cared about them. A little spark of interest ignited a passion inside these kids to actually battle life and they began fighting. The journey from living in a state of doom looming over your head everywhere you go to wanting to become better and demand a better life is what the movie is about. And most of all it points a finger at you, the viewer, the reader and the one sitting comfortably at home. The finger pointing at you asks you that you too can do something to change the lives of the people who need hope in their lives. We can sit around and live life the way everyone does and not bother about anything else. Follow what the world is doing and be comfortable or take a stand and bring light into someone’s life who might need it. This singular women prevented 30-50 kids from turning into gangsters or dead bodies or overly addicted druggies and changed them into individuals with hope of living a life that could mean something. She is no billionaire nor is she super successful but her life seems so much more meaningful than the lives that I used to admire till now. Maybe I am being too idealistic but I am ashamed of the cowardice I see around. No one wants to get their hands dirty and somehow that had till now seemed a pretty justifiable reason to not get mine dirty either but now it seems like gibberish. Seems like an excuse to hide from the actual purpose in life that I intend to fulfill. It seems absurd and words a coward would use.
I want to be able to generate hope that created something as noble as the freedom writer’s and make sense out of my own life. I feel blessed that today I can think and comprehend the things that I am able to. I am proud of the enriched thoughts that I have been exposed too thanks to a couple of really good teacher’s in my life and then I feel sad because I know this ability to have an independent thought is still a privilege in my country. And a privilege not because of shortage of funds but because of shortage of people who can spread hope for a life in the people around. Imagine living in a world where free thought and by free I mean free from all sorts of bias becomes a luxury!

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