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Disentangling ‘We’

Who are ‘we’? One wonders about the many.

Maybe one can talk about ‘we’, but what if in reality, one isn’t included in ‘we’? Could one be mistakenly included by another? Could one mistakenly include oneself? What does one share with another in order to be included, and what are the bits left out?

What makes us, ‘us’? That one is like another? That one is interchangeable with another, with all their needs and desires, interchangeable with the oppression one faces or the opportunities that one can access? Maybe, each one is unique and in one’s interaction with another, each one shapes the ‘we’ and the ‘we’ shapes each one.

One deserves a time-out. Or a time-in. In either case, it won’t be enough. One needs the time to decide what to do with time, time both personal and collective. In the collective, one might discover the personal—how to meaningfully subsist, sustain and prosper. One does not have the time to figure out how one’s life is affecting another, affected by another. One finds it difficult to make the time to put the fragments of interactions, experiences and knowledge together. There is a lack of unity, of oneness in one’s living, mathematically speaking.

Mathematically, 1 is unity. But ‘we’ isn’t about unity alone, is it? When you add each one, you no longer have mathematical unity, but an aggregation. In the statistical sense, aggregations are both useful and misleading. Is ‘we’ a unity of aggregations or better off as a disaggregated unity? Can ‘we’ be both? Maybe, math is indeed the most misunderstood art form–statistics being the modern blessing and curse.

Thinking about fragments, one couldn’t help but think: when one breaks the glass ceiling, do the shards that fall from up above cut another? Do other floors cave in when one breaks through ceilings? Does one choose a ceiling or does one just find oneself staring at one, and then another, like finding oneself in a scene within a dream, unaware of how that scene emerged? One wonders about other ways of witnessing open skies and living dreams. Maybe, living dreams and awakening to reality can go hand in hand.

We’ shall overcome. Are we talking about overcoming the same problems? In overcoming one problem, does another worsen? Does one share obstacles with another? Can one support another in overcoming their obstacles and still manage to deal with one’s own? Maybe one can overcome different and more obstacles with another.

United ‘we’ stand, divided ‘we’ fall. What is one standing for? Can one stand up for something that ‘we’ do not stand for? Would that still mean ‘we’ are united? Can one stand in unity despite divisions? Can one sit and rest for a wee bit, while others stand united? One might’ve stood for way too long.

When does one know ‘we’ isn’t ‘we’? When one is left behind, forgotten by the strides ‘we’ make? ‘We’ make or ‘we’ makes?

What comes to mind when one uses ‘we’? Do faces come to mind? Are these faces different from one’s own– in gender, class, caste and colour? Do you see other creatures and trees? Or is it a coagulated abstraction full of multiple oneselves, where ‘we’ is more of the same? But even then, aren’t there also different selves? Maybe, what one seeks is authentic solidarity that goes beyond vanilla unity.

One finds oneself in ‘we’, one gets lost in ‘we’. ‘We’ can make one visible, ‘we’ can also make one invisible.

‘We’ are one and many. Tread lightly when you talk about ‘us’.

Published inEducationPolitics

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