Some words are like a loaded gun.
Communism. Democracy. Capitalism. Revolution. Freedom. Feminism. And even the word, Love, can be loaded, as well.
The individual’s association and relationship to events that occurred in relation to the word, obscure its meaning.
My great grandfather was tortured to death by Mao’s Red Army during the revolution. My mother shushed me the very first time she heard me say the word “communist.” Despite family history, I am separated by 3 generations and 30 years from my great-grandfather that my own relationship with the word and the ideology behind it is not the same.
In the HBO documentary on Gloria Steinem, “Gloria: In Her Own Words,” Ms Steinem says about Feminism, “It all started from a child saying, ‘This is not fair. You are not the boss of me!'”
The simplicity of Steinem’s conclusion as to how Feminism started shocked me. Yes, I know exactly the scene she is describing. I probably said that exact same phrase a hundred times as a child. So have you.
“This is not fair. You are not the boss of me!”
Despite various ideological differences from one movement to another, the starting point is the same. It all begins with our own intuitive sense that something is not right, there is more and we want more.
Be it life hacking and leaving the soul-sucking job, to redistribution of wealth, to equality, to voting rights and beyond, every idea that is loaded with power and conviction starts with the same intuitive desire: “I want to be in charge of my own destiny.”
You have the same barrel of gunpowder in you, just as I have it in me. You’ve uttered that same phrase in defiance as many times as I have. Don’t waste it.
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