This post is called Hiii Power, in reference to the song I was just listening to on repeat, that inspired me to write a bit (I’ll link it). Due to the fact I’m neither working much nor in school at this point, I’ve, for once in my life, had almost too much time on my hands. This has gotten me thinking very much about WHY I want to do what I want to do and WHY I have the goals I have. To give a bit of insight, essentially, I have been exposed to the many structural inequalities/inequities happening in Canada and in my local community, in both past work experiences and my Sociology courses, and it seems to me like the only rational thing to do at this point– the only thing that honestly makes sense for me, is to get involved in things that work to remedy these inequalities I have been exposed to. I feel that it is my duty as someone who has had the privilege to obtain the knowledge I have obtained. I do have doubts sometimes though, as to the *real* reason I want to get into the field I do, and I will be transparent about this. Part of me, partially because of my background as a middle-class white person, wonders if I’m going through a bit of a”White Saviour Complex”. There are all these ‘poor, needy’ people that we need to ‘feel bad for’, and I am here to save them from their terrible, underprivileged lives so I can feel better about myself. Just as I am writing this I am starting to feel angered by that form of thinking. This is the same form of thinking that I see when I look at those God-awful commercials that convince us to sponsor a poor child in Africa, painting all Africans as sad, poor, sick beings who can’t do anything without the help of a rich white person who is there to save them. It’s so easy to get the lines blurred between actually wanting to help and wanting someone to become more like the person you are. I am glad there is a trend in non-profits to focus on the word “support” instead – to meet a person where they’re at and get them to where they want to be, rather than where their supporter wants them to be. At the same time though, we can strive for this, but our internal biases are never removed. It is a fine line to walk.
I am honestly not quite sure where I am going with this post. All I know is that when I can see with my own eyes how some people are getting better opportunities than others through the sheer fact that they come from a certain background, or have perceived characteristics that ultimately make life easier for them, it truly angers me and upsets me. It is a feeling that I can’t quite describe, and a drive that I can’t quite put my finger on. I can’t imagine how richer life would be if all human beings had opportunity to grow the way they wanted to. It is not only that people need to be physically and emotionally safe, this is the first step, but I want others to feel inspired. I truly want that notion that “following your dreams will take you there” or that “you can be whoever you dream of being” to be true. I can’t help but think though, that this whole premise of giving others the tools they need in order to grow into the best people they can, is riddled with neoliberal rhetoric. I think there is a question to unpack, and we must explore why it is that people are expected to grow in their best possible selves. This raises another thought- is it a human element to want to be the best self you can be? Does this necessarily provide someone with happiness? Or is the real answer to simply be content with who you are and leave it at that?
Anyways, this post took a very different direction than I expected it to. To be quite honest, I’ve never taken a look at how to do a proper blog post, so I’ve just been letting my fingers type and using this medium to reflect and to possibly start conversations. I guess my ending thought is simply that I hope, dearly, that I am coming into my role as a supporter in a way that actually supports rather than further marginalizes.