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International | Government & Elections

How Does It Feel To Be Deprived Of Your Dream?
by Sudhama Ranganathan ( uconnharassment [at] gmail.com )
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 10:38 AM
The right to choose, is so important to our ability to develop as people. Choice allows us to turn right in life as opposed turning left, for example, leading to vastly different outcomes for us than had we taken a left and vice versa (political implications aside). In any truly functional democracy, options allow us the difference between a candidate of a certain philosophy or that of another, forever altering the courses of towns, cities, states nations and so on. Choice allows us the option of being responsible for our lives and the lives of those depending on us, or of letting them down and perhaps selfishly damaging them for years to come while simultaneously inhibiting our own growth process. Choice also allows us to exercise our rights as humans, not privileges, to decide our directions in life.

freedom gone

There are those that rise to high positions in life gaining power over others, that then forget the plight that gave them to their position in the first place. As such, they can lose sight of the hardships of their own people, perhaps a few generations removed. They can even begin to develop beliefs relating to the assumption it's okay to manipulate the choices others, in order to better suit certain outcomes they wish to see take place favorable to their staying in power, and/or becoming more powerful. It can begin with the best of intentions. People that were once held down or had nothing, suddenly say to themselves, “now, in order to get more power, and ensure we can grow that power, we need to do this or that.”

Often, what can happen at that point is that sense of power and desire to get just a little more of it, just a slightly better position, pushes people into making the kinds of choices leading to the concerted erosion other's choices, so they can have a better foothold in their position.

Perhaps they are part of a religious group, for example, that believes they have the right path. Perhaps they believe, if all others just believed as they did, those others would come around. To take it one step further, perhaps they believe because their credo tells them they are right, and all that don't believe as they do are wrong, they have every right to restrict the options of others. Perhaps they believe that their cause to further empower their own kind is excuse enough, is justification enough to cut back the rights of others. It's a “whatever it takes” mentality. Yet, the red flags never appear on the radar of their own inner system of checks and balances.

They might forget they worked to get where they are, in part, because they once had their rights taken from them – meaning for the most part, if not exclusively, the right of choice. Choice was taken from them, and the right to make choices freely – choices all humans should have from birth.

How fast it can turn. How fast people can go from fighting for their own rights. How fast they can go from saying, “we will no longer allow ourselves to be maligned like this as a group and as a people.” How fast they go from saying, “we are a proud people with a rich history, and we don't deserve to be stepped on and repressed for no doing of our own.” How fast they go from, “humans deserve freedom and the right to live in peace.”

How fast they can begin to turn towards thinking, “now that we have this position we can dictate some terms.” How fast they can drift from peace for all mankind to, “well nobody would complain if we took from that group of people, or even that one person, the right to choose.” How fast they can begin to say, “we deserve a piece of the action too, let's get some for ourselves.” How fast they can start to think that as individuals, if their people become powerful, that can in turn make them powerful. How fast they move from getting good things for their people to exerting control over others and their choices, in order to collect more goodies for themselves as individuals.

How fast that desire for control to get more and more can morph into twisted perversions of desiring freedom, for those that once fought so hard and endured so much to attain it themselves. How fast groups that were once repressed can begin to blithely excuse taking the rights of others - others that had nothing to do with their former plight or that have ever tried to bring harm to or cause their people suffering in any way shape or form. How easily they can begin to excuse such actions to themselves as merely necessary steps in playing the power game and securing the rights of their own people.

When we do this as groups of people that once suffered, were repressed, were subjected to forced enslavement or any other form of being maligned as a culture, racial group, religious group, nationality, etc, what have we become? What is it a people allow themselves to become when they do that? What do those groups of people or individuals responsible for such actions within those groups, do to the reputation of the groups they purport to represent or to their own credibility as individuals representative of freedom, liberty, peace and a democracy loving way of life?

Throughout history, when people deprived others of their liberty, there was always some excuse. There was always some elite conclave of folks that believed themselves somehow better than, and that, in this case, with these people, it was okay to restrict liberty. “The ends justify the means.” “Sometimes you need to do bad to do good.” “It's for the greater good.” “Sometimes you need to sacrifice a few for the good of the many.” Or even, “it's not what it is, it's what it can be made to look like.”

Sometimes it's just greed, perversion and corruption that have dimmed the lights of a soul that once shone brightly for freedom. Sometimes “freedom for the poor, my culture, my race, my religion,” just becomes “better stuff for my kids, a better lifestyle for my loved ones and more power for me.” Sometimes, it just devolves into the stuff cows leave behind, that we all try hard to avoid stepping in.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.