Grateful Notes Campaign – #EachforEqual

Community is us! I’m afraid the concept of “feminism” has become tangled in web of identity politics — with fixation on the individual achievement and an unwillingness to share space with people with different opinions, worldviews and histories. This leads to our concern and our energy being directed inward than outward.

Lets shift our focus from self to society.

All of us have beliefs, values and thoughts that makes us who we and that we cannot imagine compromising on. We believe these are irrefutably right and that everyone would agree if they came to their senses. But this thought bursts the minute political views, religious beliefs, or life values come into discussion — an argument breaks out. Who is right? Who is wrong? No one feels heard or respected. There is a lingering feeling of anger, confusion and hurt.

Dialogue is good but like everything created — words must be selected mindfully. We must ask ourselves is it worthwhile to make each other feel unhappy or hurt in the name of defending our beliefs. Maturity that comes with experience. To be wrong isn’t bad thing… because when we are open hearts, our minds and our will we learn to curb our ego and see the bigger picture.

Isn’t it better to be happy together than to be right alone?

Let go the feeling of sadness, confusion, resentment — the feeling of be ‘wronged’. Not for them, but for your own sake — truly completely, for yourself. The more we think about the negative. The more we become insecure and pessimistic ourselves. Sure, there exists inequality gaps in the system as the pay, opportunities and treatment are imbalanced. These type of inequality gaps can be closed up with coalition of multiple stakeholders — it requires good governance, transparency of work and dedication to face challenges with compassion. Such systemic changes don’t happen in one day. It requires that we actively everyday make contribution through small acts of kindness.

To be present. To represent. To count. To contribute. All these are positive attributes associated with development. As a country, Pakistan still has much untapped potential in giving women full participation of public life. We can slowly but surely work our way up from being ranked 151th in a list of 153 countries, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020. Kaarvan plays its humble role by building socio-economic capacity of rural women, growing personal freedom and mobility, and innovation.

Increasing participation of excluded groups is what is needed the most. In our individual way let’s meet those we do not know and give the gift of our full presence.

It’s kind of obvious to say this… There are limitations to our knowledge. Of what we know… Perhaps we forget this when we give advice to colleagues or neighbors without truly knowing what is going on in their lives. Let’s try to unlearn certain regressive values that are internalized in mass culture. Let’s desocialize from authority-dependence and empower community to pose questions, lead discussions and initiate ideas/ startups. There is a need to transform traditional authoritarian models of education to be more participatory, based in dialogue, which has the potential to lead to critical consciousness.

In the hustle and bustle of this modern life. Take time out to enjoy little things. To laugh is to live. It lightens up every situation and lifts up mood. Let’s take some time out, let’s switch off the gadgets for a while, let’s laugh with our family, let’s meet up with some old friends, share and laugh about the funny shared experiences. Let’s not forget to live. Let’s be grateful for what life has given us. Every single moment of joy, a smile on mother’s face, a shine of happiness in sisters’ eyes, laughter shared with friends, are all very priceless possessions. Let’s not live life in the fast lane and miss all the views.

Let’s create and recreate our imaginations, push our boundaries that we have set for ourselves. Problems exist in every society, what makes nations different is the way they look at problems and create solutions for them. Instead of having debates on persisting problems, let’s discuss creative ways of engaging with the issues. We need to reclaim our imaginations. Think, feel, make things that gives community new ways looking at the world, give wings to creativity. Let’s not try to encage this wonderful ability — think beyond the boundaries, beyond the borders and a more just society won’t be a dream anymore.

Let’s live in the moment. A warm cup of tea during office hours is as enjoyable as a vacation on an island. Let’s savor life, sip at a time, bit by bit. Joy doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge pay raise or the smell of a new car or a mansion in the suburbs, it lies in the small moments of life. A handshake, a hug, a simple smile from a stranger, everything has its value and there is no guarantee that happiness will only come to us in a mansion. I’ve seen people living in one room houses and so grateful to have a roof over their heads and the love that the family has for each other and I’ve seen people living in big houses alone and depressed. Let’s not put our happiness in the hands of others and in materialistic things, let’s learn to be happy and comfortable within our own skins. Let’s just be and let others be.