I’ve been thinking about this word a lot lately.
In a perfect world, destiny wouldn’t be such an awful concept. Yeah, it trivializes accomplishments and skills you’ve worked hard for, but it’s a pretty concept with a pretty name.
But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in one where systems have been put in place to ensure certain groups of people will fail, and to hinder other groups. And when they persevere, overcome the obstacles in their way, and eventually succeed, they become proof that these systems “don’t exist.” Their accomplishments are then turned against them.
The same people who enacted those systems, have made it so their own children will never have to worry a day in their lives about the very same things the marginalized, the disenfranchised worry about every single day of theirs.
A child should never have to worry about food or warmth. Nor should they have to fear for their lives. These are such basic, human facts that everyone agrees. And yet, children around the world are going to bed hungry and cold, and children in my own country are fearing for their lives.
I saw a video this morning of a little boy playing in front of his house. This is something my kids do too — play outside of our home. Although this isn’t always the reality for many (it wasn’t for me), our homes are supposed to be where we feel safe, protected. The little boy was only a few years older than my oldest. He was playing basketball when he heard a car coming. He turned, saw a marked police car, and hid. It was instinctual. He reacted the same way a baby animal in the wild would after sighting a predator. This is not normal. This is not right. This is not fair. And yet, this is reality for that little boy and other Black children in my country.
I don’t want to believe in destiny. I don’t want to believe that our fates are predetermined. Doing so implies that there’s something, or someone, out there who gets to decide that certain people — sometimes from the moment they draw breath — should suffer, while others get to live in blissful ignorance for their entire blessed existence.
Eat the rich. Replace the corrupt politicians. Abolish the institutions of terror and subjugation. Overhaul the entire system. Save our fucking planet.
Like “destiny,” these are also pretty concepts. The rich control everything, including the politicians. The tentacles of their greed and influence are far reaching. They built the very institutions and systems that ensure their permanence at the top of the world. The planet is just a well of resources for them to drain for their personal wealth and, when it’s no longer inhabitable, well, they have the money to colonize and destroy somewhere new.
In the meantime, they’ll just pit us against one another so we’ll do the dirty work for them. Though it feels so incredibly futile, like a child reaching for the stars in hopes of grasping one, all we can do is hope that our actions, our voices, are loud enough to demand change.