Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Recounting as Empowerment

Nisha recounting her job and work

Siew Lian recounting a day in her normal life

Earlier this week a friend of mine told me about how his Jesuit High School teacher taught him about the power of recounting your day. He told me that three times a day, morning, noon, and night, he was supposed to recount what had happened to him during that succinct amount of time, what he did right, what he did wrong, what could have gone better, etc. etc. He told me this as a bit of advice since I had asked him how he deals with daily pressures and disappointments.

As I watch both Nisha Ayub and Chee Siew Lian explain their daily routines and their thoughts for the day, I am reminded of this practice. What is it about recounting our daily lives or counting our blessings that centers individuals so much? The answer may seem obvious for some, but obvious does not necessarily mean simple. I think that forcing ourselves to sit down and/or stand back and recount our daily lives within our own words, thoughts, and feelings allows us to not only to see what matters the most to ourselves, but also reveal to others our true selves. This is definitely not a simple feat. Today's society is only growing faster, bigger, and more complex making it harder at times to truly recount who we are as individuals.

By viewing Nisha and Siew Lian's videos, I can see who they are apart from their struggles. Lupus may be a part of Siew Lian's life and Nisha may be transsexual, however as I witness both women recount their daily routines, their daily struggles, and their daily work I see two very unique women who have not let their challenges define who they are as human beings. While I may not have Lupus, I can relate to being a victim/addict of multitasking. While I may not be transsexual, I can laugh and relate to Nisha's "fussiness when it comes to cleanliness". Recounting ourselves within the contexts of our daily routines, our likes and dislikes, our family members and loved ones, etc. etc. is not only a form of self-empowerment, it is a form of expression that allows others to see ourselves not only for our strengths and weaknesses or struggles, but also for our innate human qualities.

I believe that this especially important in terms of applying a face to very human struggles such as disease or gender identity bias. Because Siew Lian and Nisha had the courage to express themselves on youtube, they have contributed to a better understanding of individual courage as well as what it takes to be human in the face of extreme obstacles.

No comments:

Post a Comment