Borders

We live in a world where the words “evolution” and “development” are constantly making it to the headlines. A world where connectivity is a given, accessibility is almost omnipresent, and where technology has enabled us to surround ourselves with a (literal) social network, linking us to multiple worlds, diverse realities. It’s very beautiful, eh? Yeah, it is, but don’t be fooled by it: these are tough times.

Those are just a few examples of some of the humanitarian and political crisis we’ve seen over the last 10 months. I will say it again – only ten months. As a kid from the 90s, I come from a generation that, for a glimpse, had hopes that we were walking towards a new, better day. I saw “third-world countries” become “emerging markets”; I experienced the rise of the internet and the birth of social media, an ally for people under conflict to speak up and shout their rights for freedom; I celebrated as my own country, Brazil, became part of the decision-making geopolitical scene in a non-precedent way. As I reflect about how dangerous and uneasy our world has recently become, though, I feel real concern for what’s going to happen over the 10 months ahead (ultraconservatism spreading across different nations; religion being used as a weapon; a common ignorance to how climate change is already affecting our lives; etc.)

And why am I writing this in here? In the Philippines, I hear people talking about crisis all the time. Natural disaster crisis, war on drugs crisis. I am part of an organisation that is trying to prepare people to react to such disasters, to become better humanitarians. Over the last few days, after workshops and brainstorms about how we are going to make that happen, I realised something: as PULSE volunteers, we are ambassadors of a borders-free world. We come from the developing to the developed world, East to West, North to South. We go around the globe helping people regardless of where we come from, of our beliefs and races – what really matters are our strengths, our skills. Our passports are just a gateway that gives us access to a wonderful range of possibilities.

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On her latest single “Borders”, the British-born Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A sings: “Freedom, I’dom, me’dom, where’s your we’dom? This world news a brand new re’dom”. As PULSE volunteers, we can be enablers of this “we’dom.” We are trying to make societies better, “to be the change we want to see in the world.” I read our blogs, I follow our stories, and I think about the 640+ of us that are out there, that have been out there, and how much change we’re bringing to the small communities we are supporting.

Call me utopian or naïve, but “I have a dream.” I dream of a world where one can reach success despite their gender; where one can walk on the street wearing a veil without being stared as a threat; where one can have access to the basic needs for a healthy and happy life no matter where they’re born; where one can love whoever they want, no matter their gender, nationality, race, or religion. If being a dreamer makes me a fool, hand me the clown suit and I will wear it nicely – the pleasure is all mine.

Keep up the rippling effect, guys. “We’dom the key. We’dom the keydom to life!”