Instead of celebrating independence, let’s pause
By: Octavia Nasr
What if instead of celebrating independence or a national day, and instead of military parades and proud displays of national colors on hats, shirts, bathing suits and flip flops, we pause and reflect on whether we are actually where we need to be in this world and the best ways to preserve our freedom and wellbeing?
What if instead of barbecues and fireworks, we observe the importance of remaining active to fight corporations that treat us as disposable numbers and financial institutions that sink us further into debt and slavery? What if we challenge the healthcare system to ensure it takes care of our health instead of making us sicker to satisfy its greed? What if we keep the political system in check instead of allowing our affiliations dehumanize us and degrade us endlessly?
Can we observe our constant need for change to adjust to a fast moving world in order to make it a better place instead of allowing imbeciles to ruin our experience?
Global movements for change
The current state of world affairs leaves me with a desire for positive and peaceful global movements for change. I am rebuffed by anyone still celebrating a rotten global status quo and a desperate existence.
What if instead of barbecues and fireworks, we observe the importance of remaining active to fight corporations that treat us as disposable numbers and financial institutions that sink us further into debt and slavery?
Warmongers abuse the innocent; strong countries invade smaller ones, occupy them and act at will, and the world watches. Wars – some of them silent and under wraps — are raging. Then you have the anomaly of extreme losers like ISIS, their absurd existence and more absurd spread. Why can’t goodness spread at the same rate and inspire the masses?
In a land men tell women they can’t drive, in others corporations decide how birth control is administered; while women cannot vote, serve as a witness or pass their nationalities to their children in some parts of the world. The number of refugees is swelling and human rights abuses continue to rise. People still die of famine, disease, in revenge or honor killing. Our atmosphere is getting warmer and some still question climate change.
On social networks, we enjoy distractions of people celebrating little victories: birthdays, marriages, new babies, weight loss, races, promotions and surmounting diseases. We also see simple lies and photo edits to make people’s losses look like gains or to exaggerate actual victories.
Deep down, in real life as in the virtual one, the eternal truth remains: people want what they don’t have and joining the “happy” bandwagon masks the pain of disappointment. The danger is that it does so only temporarily. Thus, we need a global movement of serious change before we deserve to celebrate anything!
Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.