Not a big fan of productivity but I’ve taken a lot of online courses on Skillshare, my YouTube watch history is a story for another day, I’m almost done with about four masterclasses on Udemy and I’m currently running a nanodegree program on Udacity. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learned in 2020 so far came from a reflection I had after a discussion with a friend.
Recent happenings around the world have been extreme, the planet has been revolving around the orbits of violence, rape, and racism over the past two weeks. As humans, people are triggered to react because most of these cases go without justice being served. While it is true that some do not care about rape and racism, but have to talk about it on social media to look cool, while it is true that #WeStandAgainstRape is just another content strategy in most brands’ content calendar, what is also true is that some genuinely care, but believe the best they can do is to share black pictures, tweet hashtags and curse rape apologists on social media.
One week ago version of me had believed it was sheer hypocrisy to just post on social media without doing a thing in real life about the situation, however, a reflection I had after a discussion with a friend changed my mind. What if the reason people never act but only post on social media is that they believe they can’t make an actual change? What if the reason we share posts and write long angry captions is that we have been made to believe that’s the only thing we can do? That our actions are so insignificant and cannot change the world? That all we can do is too harsh tags and rely on hope? What if, society had conditioned us into becoming just slacktivists?
It is good to stand against rape on social media, enlightenment is key, after all, rapists and rape apologists are on social media too and we need to confront them on all fronts. However, what comes to my mind is a sentence from MI Abaga’s reply to Vector when they had a duel last year.
“…with all your memes and retweets, just don’t only win the beef (on social media), win in life.”
I used to believe I couldn’t do a thing too, until Oamen Aletor, a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineers, University of Ibadan Student Chapter, which I am part of, suggested that the association starts pushing for laws, policies, campaigns and support systems that would help prevent sexual assault in the department. The underlying strong potential this had didn’t ring clear until I realized the University is made up of departments. What happens if all departments start making laws, policies, campaigns, and support systems to fight sexual assault? The university environment starts getting safer and saner.
Away from schools, the world is a big place, but it is made up of about 7 billion humans, you are one, and I am one. We should all start thinking of the small actions we can take to put an end to rape and other social vices. When you do get an idea, share it, and work on it with your small community. That little effort you are putting might be what will put that one rapist behind bars and save the lives of human beings.
It is okay to think we are helpless, to believe our actions can’t create change, but we should never forget the ripple effect a tiny drop can generate. Always remember, that “it is one small step for you, one giant leap for mankind.”
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