One of my greatest fears in life is to be out of touch with daily reality.
I'm not talking about daydreaming my afternoons away or getting lost in a creative storm. I'm talking about social and psychological disconnect- if I am able to secure my future, if I've done everything I've set out to do but eventually have grown oblivious to my past struggles and others' struggles, I might as well have taken a step backward from my sense of humanity.
Knowledge is redundant. Intelligence does not immediately equate to altruism. Autonomy is not synonymous to selfishness. I don't have any interest to leave a mark in this world. At the same time I'd love an opportunity to bestow a little bit of kindness and instill a sense of optimism in my community. Empathy isn't one of my greatest strengths. But then again, I've learned that one can only empathize up to a certain point; some peoples' struggles will never be yours. But that doesn't mean you don't try to learn what's on the other side of the fence.
The idea that I want to give back without even considering how my actions and mindset is detrimental to the very community I'm trying to help is disconcerting. It's like wealthy countries being proud of providing jobs and stimulating economic growth in developing countries while exploiting its natural resources and workers. Or the male feminist who demands quality for women but claims "not all men are like that" in the wake of sexual harassment/violence.
If I make these kinds of mistakes, will I simply be forgiven for doing so out of sincerity?
I'm learning all these social, economic, and political theories and arguments in school but I believe observing daily realities close to your doorstep paints a better picture of our problems and solutions.