No grab-bag candy game

Feeling this article especially while currently job hunting in the midst of the pandemic, with a dash of the rise of neoliberalism where your every worth is commodified: 

Where does ambition go when jobs disappear and the things you’ve been striving for barely even exist anymore? And what if the things for which you’ve been striving no longer feel important because they’re the spoils of a rotten system that needs a complete overhaul?

I spent some time last week articulating my professional goals because more so than just for looking for the right kind of job, I wanted to make sure my values and those of the organisations’ I am going to collaborate with are going to align. While I am not ready to divulge these goals yet, to summarise they are something along the lines of wanting to work for the companies or organisations: who empower the communities they serve and ensure they are included in every process from start to finish, who consider to reflect and continually improve on the disparities of power produced by the existing values, practices, and narratives of how they design their processes and products, and finally who aspire to use their privileges to open doors and provide equal opportunities for disadvantaged groups to seek respectful employments. If you take a look at the goals, you’d notice how, in all the goals’ vagueness (because I am not sure yet which of my many skills specifically would be of good to this) that these goals are no longer confined of my own. Granted these are ambitious, but I am allowed to have radical imagination, because without imagination there is no hope, without hope there is no course of action. Most importantly, my radical imagination must no longer be centered around myself, it should also include for the liberation of others.

The last paragraph of the article pretty much shares my sentiments:

At the same time, my ambition for my community and the wider world has gotten bigger and broader. I don’t know exactly where I fit in it, but I do know that I want all workers to be treated with dignity and respect — a small, humble ask that requires an unending amount of work. And I want all people who are unable to work or unable to find work to also be treated with dignity and respect. I want to become more active in organising, I want to be a resource for those looking for guidance in their careers — at least while we’re living under capitalism — and I want to make enough money to be able to throw some of that money at the world’s problems. My medium-size dreams for myself may be getting smaller, but my ambitions for the greater wide world have to be enormous. It’s the only way to get through.

Inspiring these goals are also the words of Toni Morrison’s, whose words, more so than just adornment, had been my lodestar to answer the question: “what good shall I do with this knowledge I have earned?” which is the question that I have asked myself repeatedly during my doctoral journey.

Reading in my tabs:

  • “Garner did not appear to display aggressive behaviour in the interaction that led to his arrest. That’s because it wasn’t his behaviour that was threatening to the officers — it was his body.” TIL: how fatphobia plays a role in justifying violence against Black Americans.
  • How the pandemic is disproportionately disrupting mothers’ careers.
  • “Some of the biggest events in 2020 have demanded more of our time, more direct action, and have been more emotionally taxing than we’re used to. The result feels like a mental DDoS attack that drags down our mental health, allows misinformation to thrive, and even makes the job of delivering news more difficult.” Our ability to process information is reaching a critical limit.
  • “The first real symptoms were not mine, but my cat’s. Miette, who kisses me on the lips each morning to see if I have become food yet, became deathly ill with a stomach virus two days after my return; my other cats soon contracted it as well. I know what you’re thinking, but please let my husband have this. It pleases him so much to believe that our cats might have had coronavirus ‘before those cats in Belgium’. If I one day win the Nobel, it could not confer a greater distinction.” A thoughtful and poetic account of having coronavirus by poet Patricia Lockwood.
  • “We have been too quiet for too long. There comes a time when you have to say something. You have to make a little noise. You have to move your feet. This is the time.” RIP John Lewis.


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