This category was a difficult one to write for. I started my blog with a vision that it would be a different kind of fashion blog. It would be more about me and the things that make me a complex human being but it would also be about people. People we forget, people we love, people we love to hate, people we miss and people we just don’t see. I wanted to use this category to profile people who inspire me and whose stories could add value to my reader’s lives. I’ve allowed my blog to develop organically over the last two months and while the fashion and beauty based content resonate with my readers , I finally have enough courage to start filling up this new category and I hope that you will gain something more than just fashion and beauty tips. To my subscribers who have gotten a chance to get to know me on social media particularly well on my YouTube channel, you call me humorous and you send me so much love on all the content I put up. I love you for allowing me to be me. I hope this post won’t sway your judgement of me. Rather, I hope you will get to know me a bit deeper. I hope that you have a moment of introspection that in turn forces you to look to the other, look to your fellow woman/man and consider that perhaps your problems aren’t as big as you think they are. As much as I am writing this post for you, I am writing it for myself.

Behind the scenes of the high res pictures and the perfectly fitted eyelashes is a woman who is often paralysed by global, breaking news. So much so that I quickly become mad at myself for complaining about a lost lipstick or a burnt silk blouse. While social media has done great for many careers and hobbies it has also heightened our lust for vanity. It has turned us into narcissists who, if we don’t get the perfect selfie, feel as though our day has been a complete waste of life. I’m guilty of sometimes allowing the above to take hold of me, but never to a point where I am completely detached from what’s going on in the world around me.

I start and end every day by watching or reading the news. It drives my husband insane because I’m always in a mood about something Trump said or something the Pope didn’t say (Rohingya). I grew up in a tiny house, in a humble neighbourhood with my grandparents.The 7pm news and a cup of tea was all we had to look forward to. It was the only way we  could connect to the rest of the world. I never lived a life of my own. I was always emotionally attached to the crying faces or bloody bodies I saw on the news. I used to imagine those were my people. Just as we mentally embody characters in fictional novels, so too, I would embrace the crying mother on the SABC news whose daughter was found raped and bludgeoned to death. My grandma would say “no matter how big we think our problems are, we don’t weep for ourselves, we weep for humanity”. So this post, my first post about the people, highlights three major world crises not in order of importance to me or the world but crises that I at least want you to reflect on as I attempt to shift your focus from ‘self’ to ‘them’, even if just for a moment.

December comes with joy but also anxiety, fear, debt and the need to impress family and friends with elaborate gifts so they can see how well you’re doing in life while you’re actually losing sleep because you will never be good enough to every one. The global suicide right spikes because people feel extra lonely. So if we remove the wrapping paper and sweep away the metaphorical snow, we begin to see that our focus on vanity, self, and the need for acceptance from others, leads us to lose sight of some of most pressing issues in our world that go way beyond finding that perfect New Year’s Eve dress. If you think you problems are big, just browse through the three issues below and then for a second, just look back at your life and I sincerely pray that you feel a profound sense of gratitude that will change the way you speak, think and act.

The Rohingya Refugee Crisis:

Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS0K0zxfJJw

The Rohingya people of Myanmar have been displaced. They have faced unthinkable ethnic violence. Women have been raped and left for dead, men and children have been shot and killed by the Myanmar military in what is believed to be a form of ethnic cleansing. The Rohingya people are denied citizenship in Myanmar and are considered refugees in Bangladesh. Could you consider for a moment, having no country to call home? No government or state claiming you as its own? No home. No freedom. No place to practice your beliefs and religion freely. No access to food, water, education and shelter. No hope for a future, just hope that your body won’t fail you as you try to outrun military vehicles and soldiers who believe your culture is a threat to society…

Sometimes we complain about our government and our lack, so much so that we fail to see that we are considered blessed. For the most part (and yes, I recognise that there are exceptions), we have religious tolerance in our country, we coexist and we are not victims of ethnic violence. We are not displaced, we have access, we have a country to call home. We are proudly South African even when our leaders don’t give us enough to be proud of. Our good, as the people of SA, outweigh our bad. Guys, real talk, we are fortunate AF!

Libya Slave Trade:

Image Source: http://time.com/5042560/libya-slave-trade/

If you aren’t already aware, human beings are sold as slaves because the slave trade industry is believed to be a “lucrative industry” in Libya after it was left lawless. Libyans attempting to leave for Europe in hope that they will have access to a better future are being captured and sold into slavery. These are human beings! Our fellow-men, our fellow Africans. We are free. We walk fearlessly into the future with hope and ambition while Libyans can’t fathom dreaming up the big dreams we do because they see the impossible. They see hardship, death and injustice all day. We on the other hand have opportunities, we have a moment during our day where we can think about ourselves, our ‘terrible’ work day or traffic. For some, that which we complain about are only but a dream to them. What they would give to have traffic be their biggest problem. Check yourself!

Saudi driving ban lifted but what about the other things women aren’t allowed to do?:

            Image Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41408195

How happy are we that our fellow women are now able to drive in Saudi? Great news right? But what about the other things they cannot do because of the strict laws imposed upon them? Like swimming in public, wearing embellished Abaya’s or competing in sports? Things we take for granted. We are able to freely practice religion in our own ways, according to our own spiritual journeys. We don’t have to deny parts our ourselves that we love, or even hate. We can express ourselves in speech, written word and art. We are not monitored or jailed for having an opinion. We are not forced by law to dress conservatively and even if we chose to, we aren’t held up by police for how much makeup we have on or how bedazzled our garments are. We are free. We are blessed. I hope you see. I hope you stop, I hope you think.

Life could be worse.

I don’t mean to depress you or steal your holiday cheer. I just want you to realise that even the fact that you have access to read this, probably means you are already better off then the people above. My hope for you is always joy, prosperity and true peace. But I hope too that you will never be so self consumed that you brush off how blessed you are to be where you are, and to be so free. So free to dream. This festive season, while you celebrate with your loved ones, say a small prayer for the people mentioned above and many others that don’t get media attention but are also in dire situations. If you can’t physically help, at least spiritually send some light their way and then thank the God you believe in, that you are free.

Love & Joy

K.Joseph