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Sunday, 9 December 2018

War and Pieces

Anger. Frustration. Resentment. Boy, do I know these feelings. I know what it feels like to be so choked up on rage, to feel constantly at battle with others who 'don't get it.' I know what it feels like to walk around pissed off and tense and snapping at everyone you see online and offline. Which is why I know it's a waste of time.

I'm tired. I'm tired of the fury that I see everywhere among people. I'm tired of the constant fights everyone wants to pick because someone has an opinion they don't like. I'm tired of pettiness and I'm tired of people wanting to tear one another to pieces.

Listen. It's ok to be a feminist and it is ok to not be a feminist. It is ok to support the Labour party or the Conservative party. It is ok to dislike Donald Trump and it is ok to like him. It is ok to be white and it is ok to be black. It is ok to be religious and equally ok to not be religious. It is ok to be straight, gay, bisexual or asexual. It is ok to be transgender and equally ok to be cisgender.

You know what isn't ok? To tear others to shreds because they see things differently to you. To be intolerant and cruel to one another. To take things far more seriously than they need to be taken. I spent my teen years in a haze of rage and what do I have to show for it? Fourteen months of sobriety in AA and scars on my arms and legs.

It doesn't matter what you believe in or where you come from. What matters is how you treat people. Yes, of course our beliefs shape how we treat others - someone who is homophobic is probably going to treat gay people badly. So I've sort of contradicted myself. But what I mean is that we are more than our beliefs and our opinions. Actions speak louder than words. Doesn't mean that words mean nothing - it would be silly for a writer to say that. But someone who says they believe in free speech who seeks to tear down others for disagreeing with them is not matching their actions with their words.

Anyone can stand up and make statements, but acting on those premises and 'walking the talk' is not always easy. I'm far from a perfect person, and I am still incredibly young and don't know much. Conversations I have had both online and offline with everybody who has walked in my path have shaped me to be what and where I am today. I believe fundamentally in treating others with a degree of respect and kindness. Sometimes that is hard, especially when people piss you off. But overall I think it is attainable. The least we can do is try to get along and put aside our differences.

Life is too short and the universe is too big and we are currently being faced with much broader problems: artificial intelligence, climate change, global warming, plastic overfilling seas and the extinction of many species. While we stand and quarrel about whether to support House Stark or House Lannister, the white walkers are coming towards us. I am probably never going to be able to solve the world's problems; I don't think that is my place on this earth. I am an artist; a writer and a musician and that is what I am here to do. But my bit, though simple and small, can be effective: spread kindness, see the good in others and look past pettiness. All we can do is try.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: