I know that the lives of many human rights defenders are under continuous threat, that sometimes it is impossible to sleep or to enjoy a moment of peace because of the harassment coming from the outside. What I address in this text is our internal disposition as activists, and the ideas that stop us from taking care of and holding ourselves together.
Connection is essential for our survival – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We connect with people, form networks of care and support, and in a sense weave webs of safety and comfort that we can turn to when stressed or simply want to infuse a dose of joy into our day.
Family, immediate and extended, is usually who you turn to. They are the ones who provide stress relief and reduce anxiety by boosting self-confidence and self-esteem and providing a protective shield. There is a sense of belongingness in good times and in bad.
In our mid-month issue, Stuti Tripathi considers whether raising the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21years is indeed a one-stop solution to check early marriages. She brings to our attention the many factors, such as family pressure, inaccessible educational and financial resources, traditionally defined roles of women, and gender-based marginalisation that together lead to early marriages and argues that young people need rights not protection.
I am going to share a personal queer reading to help put forth what I mean. One day, while I was reading the gospel of John for my family, the final words of Jesus, made me wonder whether Jesus could have been gay.