The Activist Type

There are people who, in all their good intentions , are blissfully ignorant on how the world works. They lecture you about how your life should be, yet they have no idea what they talk about. They speak in abstract floating examples and click their judgemental tongue at anyone who does not fit their lofty standards. 

I have met many people in my life such as this and they are the greatest challenge to not yell at them.  They are what I call the Judgemental Activist. As I grow older, I begin to understand that their intentions are good. They have no idea how hilariously off base they sound. They stand on their pulpits and think they know it all. But yet, they have the fresh faced dew of youth , the misplaced optimism not yet tarnished by corporate rat race.

They are exactly like this :

One girl I met in College. She was part of the vegetarian Co-Op I was a part of. A co-op which I did really bad in, and probably missed the point about.  I knew that, eventually, they were going to fire me. They were just too granola hippie and I was well… I am not sure what I seemed like to them. They had gathered around the table to announce my fate but not until they spoke about how they were feeling.

It was the time when a huge hurricane had hit central america.  The girl spoke in soft tones  ” I am very worried about the women in HONdurrrasss ( she made sure everyone knew she was supposedly pronouncing it well) those brave washerwoman I spent a week with when I was backpacking there last summer”.

A huge wave of sympathy washed over everyone. Huge awwws. I am not entirely sure if she did know the women she was talking about. It seemed like she was saying it because it was the trendiest thing to talk about ( she was statusing before there was ever any facebook or twitter)…

In my mind I was thinking ” Um… wait a minute. I have grown up there my whole life, my family is still there, yet somehow she is the expert???”

In the adjacent college, hampshire college I took a video class. The college students were filled with this type of activists. Activists who appeared to hate everything and anything, yet whose parents were the very thing they seemed to be protesting about. Kids with BMW’s and no real concept of poverty.  They spewed out rhetoric because it was the norm, not really because they were going to much about it except smoke pot and complain. I did a piece about how El Salvador has been misconstrued in the media, and showed the horrible Oliver Stone film … the words flashed ” Not My El Salvador” … it was an abstract piece, filled with small slivers of poetry , my brother in a hammock … kids jumping around trees…It was pretty self indulgent but I didn’t expect what someone said 

” This seems like you are putting a hey let’s look at the natives bit, it’s really racist”

Whattt? It was partly my fault for not explaining off my background, but it seemed like it was beside the point. I asked what was racist about it and they told me ” all the shots of the brown kids and the fades from red to white to blue that means you are promoting american values “

They went on and on about it. They had to be kidding right? Nope, not at all. It pretty much killed any desire to keep doing videos.

Some kids sometimes would try to school me on how violent El Salvador was, or how things work. 

I hope that in retrospect they learn not to judge. But yet I don’t know if they can. There was a couple I stayed with in Madrid who seemed the same type, protesting everything but their lives seemed exactly the very thing they were protesting. They helped people as a job, but were terrible to people in their home.

Now that I am more mature I am more patient. perhaps I see a little of myself in them. Are they to blame for being sheltered? I wonder , in this day and age of facebook and twitter how this kind of behavior can even be more encouraged.

It is not bad to Care. What we should try to avoid is judging others, or thinking we have all the answers. Perhaps they irked me so much because I felt that perhaps there might be a reflection of myself, or what I feared most of who I could be.  Nowadays, I can smile a little and shake my head and leave it at that.

At least, that’s what I hope.

 

 

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