There have been so many things I’ve wanted to talk about this week. From an internship at a company that is close to impossible to get into to my first published article in a newspaper to how more than anyone in this world, this blog has seen me evolve from the most depressed person I’ve ever met to someone who looks at life in a positive way. Beyond all, I wanted to say “Thank You” for the encouraging comments and giving me hope every time I wonder if this is what I should be doing.
I was having what one would consider the “perfect week” until a few days ago, when I came across #BringBackOurGirls. I then wrote an unbelievably angry letter that I had to delete because, “Thanks Mom for talking me out of uploading it! And oh, Happy Mother’s day !”
I’ve mulled over this a lot over the past two days and I realized that I just cannot ignore it. I cannot act like it isn’t happening. On April 15th 2014, 230 girls within the age group of 16-18 were abducted from their schools in Nigeria. Almost a month later, the media is finally turning its attention to the situation and celebrities across the globe are using the #BringBackOurGirls to raise awareness and start a protest that demands the girls be sent back the way they were taken. No harm, no scars. Though I highly doubt that is possible for the mental scar this may leave on them might never be erased.
I come from a family that has let me make my life choices. Not all of them were good but they never shut me down or shoved me in a corner and forced me to pick. I have had the freedom to study what I want, date who I like and live how I choose to. I believe that this shouldn’t be a privilege. This should be the normal way of living for any human being. Your life, your choices. Nobody should have the right to dictate your life, tell you how to live or force you into anything. And honestly, I think being forced into living in a marriage you don’t want is the same as being raped.
I hated school at one point. I didn’t believe I needed university or a degree but in today’s world, literacy is twice as valuable as a diamond. It opens doors and windows of opportunities from across the world. And in my opinion, anyone wanting all that, wanting a better life for themselves and their family shouldn’t be forced into giving them up because one group of people think it’s wrong. I’ve talked about this before. I believe that if you have an opinion about something and you find someone else who thinks the same way, fantastic ! Be friends. But just because you believe that is the right thing does not give you the right to call someone out as committing a mistake when they don’t agree with you. Each person has the right to live their own life any which way they want. If I choose to be an atheist, it does not mean I am disrespecting my culture, my family or my country. It simply means, I, as an individual, have made a choice to be myself. I will still respect everything my culture preaches, I respect everyone that follows it but I just choose to live differently. This doesn’t put me in the wrong. I’m not committing a mistake. I am simply living my life. Tell me now, is this a reason to kidnap me and force me into something I genuinely do not want ?!
To think that these girls weren’t even that. They weren’t atheists. They weren’t on the borderline of converting. They were just innocent girls with dreams. All they ever wanted was the right to education, the right to see all the beauty this world has to offer to them, the right to live their life and the right to be happy. How does someone put religion and culture into that ?! How does someone see a mistake in something as simple as that ?!
When I write about this, I have to fear my life. I have to fear the outcome. WHY ?! Why is your right to speak your mind not realistic?! Why should you be made to feel bad for having the ability to live your life as if it’s a fortune that doesn’t come very often ?! Why should people you have not met, talked to or ever heard about before have the right to tell you that your life is being lived the wrong way ?!
I am being honest when I say that if it is possible, I will join whatever force it is that fights those who condemn people from living their lives and to save innocent children from outrageous acts like this.
I am asking you today, to not spread this blog but this message. Give every child the right to live their life. Give every child the right to dream and to chase their dreams. Give every child the hope of a better life. Give every child the support they might need to fight this battle.
And most importantly,