This Linked Experience, Stepping Aside For Others.

Founder’s Note / Jan. 13th, 2021 Posted by: Okhiogbe Omonhinmin

There is something about this moment, this collective reality that we are sharing directly and indirectly, this linked-experience that has forced people to think about their mortality and even more, created fear and pain. But I am here, I am as centered as ever, I find myself silencing my own experience just to make those going through pain seen; Who sees me?

If I silence my experience, do I silence the fact that I had this amazing time while there has been fear, anger, suffering around me? Why can’t my joy and peace exist within the pain and grief? Why do I feel as though the sharing of my experience threatens those with opposite experiences?

What world have we designed- where opposing ideas and realities can’t take up the same space.

Why can’t there be numerous ways to this thing called life? Why hasn’t a woman been president of Nigeria? Why do we have more men in positions of power? Why are women still fighting for equal pay?

All of these feelings and questions drive me toward more clarity. In order to create a more inclusive world, positions must be lost, some voices must be silent or reduced. I must make sure that my stories of joy and peace during a global pandemic don’t overshadow the pain of those sharing space with me.

I must do the work to find the line that connects and makes it comfortable for the person sharing after me to speak about their pain and feel seen. I must know when to share and when not to share. As simple as this may sound, the world still hasn’t figured it out.

To have equality men must also be frontrunners in demanding and making space for equality to occur. If men were doing this in majority we wouldn’t be talking about inequality in the home, offices, government and society.  If people were free to love who they love, we wouldn’t have the battle globally to allow queer relationship exist without the societal judgement gaze, the fear, the crimes against humanity, we wouldn’t ignore people when they state their pronouns.

We live in a world that still has a lot of work to do and we must take our own responsibility (even though I have friends who argue otherwise) for this bullshit and continue the path forged by our progressive forebearers” (even though I struggle with the idea of embracing all ancestors, I am fine with the ones I know) known or unknown to them. The path is right in front of us and tomorrow our footprints will guide someone somewhere.

So personally even though 2020 was an amazing year, being that I am not really void of others, I worry about my aged grandmother, and aging father. I worry about my siblings. I flew into various countries during this pandemic. Passing through empty airports isn’t fun. I was fearful sometimes. I cried uncontrollably when Chadwick Boseman died.

This piece is me saying don’t get stuck in your beliefs and ideas that you don’t have space for other thoughts, feelings and ideas. No matter how opposed you are to others, don’t be the one that makes space non-inclusive for them. Sometimes the best thing to do is allow someone else to go through the door and just help open it. You might be bigger than you think for your destiny or purpose, but you might also be smaller.

“We are nothing but pencils in the hands of the creator” – Wale Adenuga | Aerial shot of the Sahara. Photo by Omonblanks

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