The other day I received an invitation from @jomiray, one of my oldest and closest friends, to go see a living installation called #NeoSlaves he'd be taking part of, in #UnionSquare. I didn't know much about the piece but from the name I was able to make some safe assumptions.
This country is currently out of control, draped in tragedy and hate, and severely deficient in compassion. The rest of the world isn't doing a whole lot better. And what I saw in the piece wasn't necessarily hope or resilience, but fear and defiance. I saw a reflection of myself, as someone who plans on leaving the US in 2018, and my friends, family and countless millions who don't have many more options than to stay and #resist. I've often joked that I'm taking the coward's way out, but the truth is I've never felt like I owed this country very much. I grew up abroad and as a brown queer, this place has little love for me and my kind.
The current wave of crazy has affected everyone around me and I'm both fascinated and saddened by the way our collective psychology ais being impacted. Going back to Joseph, I've always known him to be funny, loving and the happiest person in any room he enters. He is now also vocal, engaging and actively educating the people around him.
I suppose my take away from Neo Slaves is, quite literally, not to be a slave. We all must fight the forces and mentalities that oppress us, but looking further, we should also be prepared to question all beliefs, including our own. We're all the heroes of our own narrative, but it doesn't matter if you're right wing, left wing, religious, atheist, or whatever. We've all been taught to think a certain way, but why must it be unshakable, unmovable thinking? Before you reject an ideology and jump into another, ask questions, break it down and really analyze it. Don't be a slave to a belief. Learn. Evolve. Embrace your humanity. Question everything, especially if there is the slightest hint of cruelty and injustice.