I had never tried hanging out with activists—until lately.
To begin with, I still have a little understanding of what they do, and what they ought to do in furtherance of their cause, save that of what I learned about a single night of community with a small group of friends who hosted a dinner, where I was invited.
Moving in a neighborhood where radicalism is a norm, my benign beliefs and conventional philosophies never stood out—and I kinda liked it. I was never on the limelight, but was a mere observer of everything that went around me– vandalism that cries against imperialism, rallyists pushing for agrarian reform, and cultural shows whose Art exhibit social realities that I have least knowledge of.
Which is kind of ironic, considering I am pursuing a career in a legal profession which is perpetually connected with the concept of Justice. Perhaps, my knowledge of it is bookish—theoretical, lacking a better understanding of Social Justice.
This small dinner was composed of myself, a lesbian couple, a gay man who looks a bit Amish, and a Philippine Studies major, all of whom seem to go way back sharing their activists activities and other similar pursuits. And probably, at all points, I was a mere outsider.
Dinner was proceeded with wine, wine with Beer. As the night progressed, ideas floated on—and I had the mistake of expressing my conventional outlook at Agrarian reform.
Expressing some disagreements with the cause of the law, I was confronted with a set of conflicting responses, compounded by the very idea which they hold—that I, left with the impression of being bougie, was wrong all along.
Standing on the other side of the fence, opposite to the kind of Justice these activists believed in, I felt helpless and powerless. Bombarded by questions which put my conscience into inquiry, I subdued.
I took no offense, but that very night, I realized that there is never unity in diversity.
The diverse opinion that we hold will always stand as a wall, giving life to secularism, and will always stand tall. We will continue to recognize they exist, and continue to lay bricks to bring higher divisions for everyone to see quite clearly.
And that is exactly the point. These walls are built so we can scale them. They allow us to realize that there exists another side of the fence. It may not be greener, nor may it be that which where we will flourish, but the thought that there is another place, or idea to discover, is enough to keep us in discourse and dialogue.
As long as we remain constantly passionate about what we stand for, we will always be divided. We will always be on our guards, engendering our own ideals, and when privileged, offer them on the table—and hope that the other one would try and have a taste of it.
I may never be an activist myself, nor will I ever engender radical beliefs, or try to contribute in an outspoken and open manner my desires for specific changes.
But one thing I am sure of, that night, activist or not, we drank on.