By Maui Del Mundo
People’s personal “utopias” come in many forms. For a college student, it could be the sound of keyboard clicks, the smell of brewing coffee, and the comforting chill of a café. For working professionals, it could be the feeling of sand on their skin as they unwind on the beach on a Sunday. For retirees, it could be the act of crocheting as they sing along to their favorite music at max volume.
Each person’s “utopia” is valid; people like to enjoy their peace, whether by themselves or with their loved ones. Some would say they are essential to refreshing and resetting ourselves, and I don’t disagree.
It’s stressful to live in a cycle where you wake up, eat, brush your teeth, go to work or school, then go home and repeat. This cycle is forever, as we need to live, earn wages, and buy our needs. For impoverished people in particular, the uncertainty of not knowing whether your income is enough to feed your family weighs heavily every day. And if you’re a poor student, there are moments when you wonder if the knowledge you are learning in academia would even help you to get a stable job one day.
True peace – the kind that will last for months – is assurance. An assurance that all goods and necessities in the market could have affordable prices for everyone. To see the prices of vegetables, meats, and dairy products go down brings about a different level of peacefulness. Having a monthly increase in wages for all workers – be they factory workers, caregivers, or health workers – instills peace as we know it.
Sadly, for many people in the world, these assurances have not been given by the government to which they belong. Corrupt leaders tend to focus on their personal endeavors and redirect all the blame back to the community like professional gaslighters. As global news has shown us over the past decade, it’s not uncommon to see ineffective leaders sit and watch TV as their countrymen suffer from the effects of inflation and crony capitalism and die of hunger.
At this point, people should anticipate that the system they belong to plays a big part in the trajectory of their lives. In other words, they have to reassess the leaders they look up to and the extent of their participation in the community. Yet despite the obvious threats, people still tend to endure the pain they experience as though all things are normal.
It has been ironic to see people who consider a thousand pennies a big amount also romanticize poverty and be used to it. Nothing is fair in the world and everyone needs to acknowledge it, oppressor and oppressed alike. People deserve justice but they must ask for it, ask for a world where all people are provided equal respect.