This post was written when a wave of anti-CAA protests swept across the country, college campuses were breached by guns, children were arrested & tortured and still the crowds stood, still the rhetoric continued. At the time of scheduling this for publishing, the protests are still going on while the government shows no sign of ceasing or even reconsidering its actions. I hope by the time you read this, we live in a world that has remembered the value of trust.
TRUST. It’s not a word that gets heard much in this time of rage & outrage. How can there be freedom without the trust that it will be a liberating and not fatal experience? What is democracy without freedom?
Politics is about using words well – election platforms, voter wooing, policy campaigning. But words are not much in themselves; just hot air, scratches on paper, bytes on a glass screen. What gives words their power? Benevolence, not bullying. Generosity, not vindictiveness. Inspiration, not threats. Caring. Yes, the truth must care. That is what makes it believable. When the words care, the listener trusts the speaker and is willing to be influenced, even led.
Trust is based on history, else it’s just blind optimism. The latter must be a choice. A promise that things will be different will have to cross the span of doubt and not be enraged. No one can feel entitled to another’s trust. It must be sought, earned, built and maintained. Constantly. Violation of consent (including forcing what is not yet trusted) doesn’t engender trust either.
We are experiencing a time when the letter of the law is being brandished like a weapon. Weapons do not inspire trust. The law is a body of words and like all words, only a net attempting to cover something as fluid as human living.
The policy may be worded in an airtight way. But trust has not been earned or even sought. Violence will never beget trust; only fear. How can one trust a person, a policy or a party that fosters violence on unarmed civilians, students or anyone who says NO? “Democracy, for the people, by the people.” It’s not democracy if the people it’s for, don’t trust the people it’s by. I cannot challenge words being said anymore than voters challenge election promises. It’s not words I protest. It’s the fact that I have seen discrimination and I don’t believe it can be true freedom. It’s the fact that I’ve experienced silencing and that is the exact opposite of trust seeking. I see my trust being demanded, bullied out of me and because of this, I cannot trust.
No other words matter.