The Search for the Lost Blog post begins, like many grand epics, with a legend passed down from long ago. Many moons ago, a Young Adult Volunteer had the idea to write a blog post about a specific aspect of his Zambia experience. He worked on it rather quickly and finished before the Zambian Day of Independence. Then Independence Day came and added a new layer to the blog post. This YAV, historians refer to him as Johan, tried to weave in this new journey into the now fabled blog post. Time went by and the blog remained unposted. Many people made inquiries about its whereabouts, but they all received the same response from Johan, “I’ll post it soon.” As many new thoughts and experiences began to add to the mind of this YAV, our hero realized the need to post this rumored story, so that these new tales would not become lost as well.
He went one day with his laptop to a public Wi-Fi location, where he intended to reveal the blog, when tragedy struck. As he was about to move the blog from the document where it was housed, a massive boulder came rolling towards our brave protagonist! Seeing the incoming doom, Johan did the only logical thing that he could do, he put the blog back in its document, and ran away. When he returned to the safety of home, Johan reflected about why he couldn’t post the legendary transcript. He thought about the specifics of the blog that remained so close to him, but yet so far from the rest of the world.
The specifics of the blog are unimportant but to continue further along you need to have a vague glimpse of the blog titled, Let’s Talk About Race. Johan had the idea to talk about what it is like being a minority for the first time in his life. The blog also included the topics of white privilege, hospitality, and a rather blunt political message about how America needs to work on race relations. Johan realized that even though these topics still matter to him, the way he was using the topics was rather forced. It was at that moment that Johan realized what the metaphorical boulder chasing him was, it was a crushing fear that he was manipulating his experience in Zambia into something it wasn’t.
I came to Zambia with one primary purpose in mind, to find a purpose for myself. I didn’t come here to create a soapbox for myself to stand on and manipulate some of the facts of my experience to get my politics across. In the now infamous post, that remains covered in dust in the archives of my computer, I had kept some details of my experience out to better get my point across. Even though I really wanted to add my thoughts to the internet, before the divisive election, I knew that I would only be sharing partial truths. I knew that even if my views were valid, expressing them in that now infamous blog post would poison my intentions. I knew if I posted it, I would no longer be the protagonist of this tale, but a minor villain.
It’s like Watchmen, either the movie or the comic (by the way if you have never read Watchmen and enjoy dark crime noirs with superhero flair, read it now). I won’t spoil the ending, but the villain makes some dark decisions for the survival of the human race. It leaves the reader asking if the outcome justifies the means to achieve it. Right now, the United States is in a very vulnerable place. Since the election people have spray painted swastikas on a playground with the president elects name next to it, the president elect is tweeting out messages that seemingly are telling people to stop using their first amendment rights, millions are scared that changes are coming that will target them for just existing, and millions are celebrating because they feel a positive change for them is coming. In such a time as this, it is important to express our opinions to the world around us, but we can’t betray our values to do so.
If we are not completely truthful, to ourselves and others, then we are just adding to the chaos that is happening around us. I’m not saying that now is the time to be quiet, but instead it is time to choose each word with extreme precision. It is time to stand up for what you believe, as long as that belief does not discriminate against others, because it’s not a guarantee that someone else will speak up for you. Right now, there is a lot of hurt on both sides of the US that will take time and effort to repair.
To wrap this up, it was not the time to share that blog. Maybe, after more time and editing, parts of it will make their way out of the ancient archive, where they now reside. If they do resurface, Johan Soko, the daring and dashing archeologist, will make sure that they will be seen with all of the facts available. See, the Indiana Jones style was leading somewhere! I promise that I will speak up when it is needed, and I promise to not alter the truth for my own purpose. If I stoop to the level of sharing untrue information for my own gain, then I am just contributing to the problem. So as I leave you now, while pulling my fallen hat through the other side of the closing door, I just want to wish y’all the strength to stand up for what you believe.