“Sometimes the state of this world breaks me.”

Tonight without meaning or planning to, I found myself discussing and eventually debating about social injustice, educational injustice, climate change as a propaganda tool and those who suffer the most from its impacts, and this frustration I’ve struggled with about the outdated and ignorant developing versus the developed world school of thought, among others. The two of us, with no road maps when it comes to our conversations, began with what brought us here – water – and found ourselves contextualizing it in terms of economics, poverty, and more.

Why do the ones who have already lost so much keep losing?

This realization that the world, as we’re only now truly discovering, is unjust where the rich gets richer and the poor continues to shoulder debts; the unfairness and injustice stir something deep within us, which is only now brimming to the surface. Against the darkness of the night sky that we were standing under as we continued to walk with heavy footsteps, we debated for our respective plights with voices that were loud and hard, yet shaky from the frustration of this helplessness we feel. The more we kept going, the more heated the conversation became until it was so fraught with tension. Why, why, why? So many questions, difficult and heartbreaking questions, with no answers. This feeling of helplessness has overpowered us. Tonight it won.

The both of us, wounded and spent, fell silent.

Someday I’ll look back at this night; when I was twenty-three and a masters student in Stanford University… for a brief moment on a particular November night as I walked home with a dear friend, without realizing it, I… have become an adult.

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