Vision for the Nation

At a time when everything seems to be falling apart for most people while a few see the hope and birth of something new; people are so divided in their thoughts and vision for the nation, and the young generation seems to have gone haywire on social media and so indifferent to the current affairs of the country it’s a breath of fresh air to witness a very rare platform like AWIB. What the monthly meetings and speakers bring is invaluable. Not only the topics raised, the diverse and prominent figures invited but what strikes me the most is how these platforms and conversations are bridging the gap among the generations. Facilitating the dialogue and bringing women of all ages and diverse backgrounds for much-needed discussions.

Following May forum 2022’s agenda: ‘’Ethical Politics and Leadership’’ I wanted to reflect on the topics of Critical thinking, Communicating one\’s Vision, and Women of vision.

In light of these discussions being brought on the previous month’s events, I was forced to rethink what it meant to critically think on the topic of vision. The statement \’ Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ has always resonated with me but only at an individual level. Yes, it’s one\’s vision, dreams, and purpose in life that makes her jump out of bed in the morning. It\’s the burning vision of life that makes her endure more than she would. It\’s a vision that breaths hope into life.

We\’ve heard the famous speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. that shook the world. Even if it happened decades ago, we still hear about it. Quote it to inspire ourselves and others. What was so strong about that speech made nearly six decades ago, I asked myself. How was it able to move people of all backgrounds and generations? What’s the power behind a struggle we weren’t part of and an era we didn’t share. It wasn’t just him but Malcolm X, and the likes of them. What was different with them?

It was the utter conviction they had in their vision, it was the clear and precise communication, it was the unwavering commitment and passion they had for the vision, it wasn’t enough that they had the vision but they communicated it with passion. It was a force so strong that it\’s still felt. It still shakes the grounds that they no longer occupy. And that I thought is the power of vision and a vision stamped on the hearts of people, and they made it their own. These visionaries transcended the topics and agenda that created them, they spoke to the essence of the human soul, and hence the generations after them have made it their motto and inspiration to draw from.

We’re not new to this concept, history has shown us over and over again that it’s great visions and visionaries that shape nations and the world. But these days we’ve been numbed to these words of vision and mission only at an institutional level or as an individual. Conversations like these are what get us out of the bubble and thinking about the bigger picture.

What about the vision for our country? Whose responsibility is it to create the vision of this colorful and diverse nation? What individual responsibilities do we have in realizing it? How do we get conscious of our role while we’re living our daily lives? But the question I can’t seem to shake off is How is this vision going to be communicated? Do we have the hearts and minds open and nurtured enough for it to get through?

To quote James Allen, “A man\’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”

Hence, I ask What have we fed our youth? How do we stir a nation of young people pulled from every direction for attention and in mass distraction? How does one have a chance to critically think in this era we live in? On what grounds do we intend to sow these visions for the nation.

We may have multiple discussions on critical thinking and communicating vision but how do we pave the hearts and minds of the people, especially young people who’ve mostly taken the passive approach. Don’t we all need to pull out the weeds of our minds?

We’re all diverging into our daily lives, the world we live in seems to make it so easy for us to connect yet so hard to connect at the human level, it seems that we’re all tangled up in our own little lives.

And as a woman, I see how we take for granted the seemingly trivial opportunities we have. I remember reading Virginia Wolf’s essay (A Room of One’s Own), She credited her success to having the privilege of an inheritance that allowed her to have a room of her own, literally. Unlike the woman of her generation who was denied this ‘simple’ privilege. ‘Of course!’ I thought, how can creativity flow otherwise (Believe me as an avid introvert, I know). Reading about the roles and lives of women of that era made so much sense on why history was written by men.

The intriguing part was how that essay was written nearly a century ago, and yet most of the aspects still hold. Indeed, it is a man’s world, meaning it was designed by men, for men in all its nuances. And I doubt if it will fully change. But at least now we have a seat at the big table!

Hence, we owe to praise and recognize the generation of women with vision, the ones on whose shoulders we stand. History may never write about them but it’s our mothers\’ and grandmothers\’ visions and struggles that have given us this space that we take for granted. It’s these mothers, wives, and sisters\’ strength that our trailblazer men stand on.

There’s no time to tiptoe in this world anymore, we owe to be in no one\’s shadow. Grab your chair at the ‘big boys’ table. Live your vision. Let’s not disregard our vision for ourselves and nurture it as it owes to be, how else would one ‘little’ person master a grand vision for her nation if not start with herself!