Greetings and Happy Midweek!
It being just days before the General Election here in the US (including choosing our new president), I thought we’d look this week at activism. Not partisan activism - mind you...I do try to steer clear of that in all my endeavors! But I’ll venture to call what I’d like to reflect on “cross-cultural activism”...because many of my own life lessons about activism have happened cross-culturally.
For example, one of my most inspiring personal experiences with activism was in Tunisia in fall, 2014. This was almost 2 years after Tunisians had deposed their leader, which began what is now known as the ‘Jasmine Spring’ across North Africa and the Middle East. After a long fight in Tunisia, on that October day in 2014, the Tunisian citizens were voting on accepting their newly crafted constitution. It was a dangerous time, fraught with uncertainty and yet also infused with much hope for a new day and a new form of government which would better serve the people.
I was working in Tunis at the time, staying in a rented room in the home of a local family. My hostess, a bio-chemical engineer, got up early that morning, and went off to her job for the day - being a poll watcher in one of the nearby towns. She left her husband with the kids, and bravely took up her post. Given that the country was still in the midst of revolution, and there had already been violent election related incidents in the city, I asked her the night before if she was afraid. Her response? “Yes, I would be crazy to not be afraid. But we each do what we have to do, and this is something I feel I have to do...it’s just that simple”.
That deeply touched me at the time and I have often returned to it since - reflecting on my own versions of activism as I make choices, within ‘my’ cultural contexts or sometimes against one of those, if I feel so led. I include below a link to several other activism stories, including another personal experience I had (that time as a voter, during the elections of 2018).
What about you? How do you define ‘true activism’ in your own life? Have you had “activist” experiences or been inspired by someone else’s?
And, if you are an American - have you voted? I hope so!
Until next week!
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ an activism story of my very own! And the end of the story is I did get to vote, after figuring out how, with input from the election officials who were willing to work with me. https://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/2018/08/28/fort-myers-voting-day-issue-leaves-voter-unable-cast-ballot/1126027002/
~ a compelling interview with several young activists (representing very diverse issues - I liked this because it was an enlightening conversation about activism itself, not a divisive argument about issues (which is so much of what we hear, and participate in these days…)
2020 - Celebrating Global SKIlls 10th Anniversary Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community