Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans



We are wired deeply in wondrous ways, we fail to appreciate this. The extent we have moved to understand ourselves is mostly what has been passed down to us in form of culture, tradition and norms. Deep down in our visceral is a moving target!

Normally as a woman the identity takes this path; girl, feminine, role-affirmation, partnering, child-bearing, acting the spouse, acting the wife, knowing one’s husband, knowing one’s own body, knowing one’s children. This is a model female normativity

Normally as a man the identity takes this path; boy, masculine, role-affirmation, virility, partnering, child-bearing, acting the spouse, acting the husband, knowing one’s wife, knowing one’s own body, knowing one’s children. This is a typical male normativity.

The above is raised on a backdrop of community, society or a larger family that they need to fit in. Presently issues of identity, families, political systems, social systems and health systems are also influencing the earlier model of normativity. The contraceptive is empowering women to decide the number of children they shall bear. This was a male decision in many cultures! Science is making our understanding into sexuality, orientation, gender and identity more specific. Today we can talk of trans-persons, transsexuals, gay and lesbians. These are the Gender-benders and without appearing biased, they are negotiating a life in a heavily heterosexual-normativity system! They have faced a lot of persecution, misunderstanding and disenfranchisement! Efforts to work with this community are called for on various fronts. The gay-straight alliances are efforts towards promoting tolerance and understanding sexuality, orientation, gender and identity of humans. There is need to empower those who have been disenfranchised for a long time. Such efforts like: remedial trainings to improve skills for those who stopped half way in their education; providing health-care for many who have had a long history of self-medication and; establishing survival systems addressing their needs.

Thanks to + WGBH (Saturday, January 19th 2013); Idi Amin is still as alive in the text of American wit as in their sense of humour. A recent one is: “....there is this cross between a dictator’s pop-star daughter and Lady Gaga and she is called Gugusha. Who is the dictator?” goes the question. “Idi Amin,” comes a loud answer. Hilarious laughter!!!

The National Day of Service (USA) has fallen during a very unique happening in USA. It is before Obama is inaugurated as President and on Martin Luther King Memorial day. Volunteers are called to engage in community service. I did with League of Conservation Volunteers (LCV)! I did get two tasks: to move wood to a wood-shed and food to a food pantry at a senior citizens (elderly people) assisted living apartments a couple of miles away from my home! It required 4 hours of my time and a smiling countenance! Which reminded me of one point and I want to share it with you.  Why don’t organised groups formulate community service action plans? It is high time all that energy is diverted to such causes! Other causes can be done hand in hand with this! There is so much society can benefit from an organised group with focused volunteers.

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