I am that other

(I wonder…
… is there a limit to what can happen before we revolt
(and we continue to blame refugees)
… can truth only be mentioned in irony
(and we continue to vote out of fear for the unknown)
… who is this grand hero that ends this dark fairy tale called reality
(and we continue to put our faith in financial institutions that profit from loss)
… what can I do that does not add to suffering and misery
(and we continue to distinguish between them and us)
The reports mention tens of thousands who are stuck/dead/suffering/lost/drowned/astray
… where even one inescapable, unwanted tear on even the most guilty person is too much to bear.

If someone is responsible, it is me. And it is not up to the world to first understand they are responsible, it is up to me – to respond is to be human. We’re all in the middle of this, but so am I. This call is unbearable when not re-sponding…

To respond… is to face the Other, and to know that you are only insofar as the other is. (Thank you, Levinas.)

Democracy is the end of accepting this Other – let’s build a world in which we can talk with each other, care for each other, instead of decide what good life is – for the other.

Picture from a little statue at one of the Temples in Miyajima, Japan.

I will continue to vote – but my vote will be empty as long as the system is inherently discriminatory. I will continue to speak this language that is used to abuse and distinguish – but only to say ‘no’. I will continue to breathe this air, to live this life – but only as long as I am not forced to be part of something that is beyond the limits of what it means to be human.

Nobyeni is a freelance philosopher and author

Read more short stories by @nobyeni at her website.
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