The cage

Our society and education moulds us: we must dare to be critical and reflect. A personal reaction to the WFD, from openDemocracy’s youth newsroom.

Anxhela Bruci
9 November 2016

Flickr/HeedingtheMuses. Some rights reserved.

Flickr/HeedingtheMuses. Some rights reserved.Finding different ways of learning and exploring more about yourself sometimes leads you to unexpected situations. You end up asking people around you if it is worth searching for a lot of things at the same time, if it is harmful or time consuming.

On the other side, you face multiple characters of people, you learn and you make mistakes. You rise, you fight for your rights and you live. It is that strange feeling of curiosity that makes you surround yourself with multiple conferences, meeting rooms, travelling around different countries. The desire for success, achievement and development takes you to unknown paths, and you feel so small, unpowerful and unsafe to believe that you are the one that you decide for your own life. But especially when you face your insecurities, you start the long journey of knowing your rights. And when you achieve, to learn more about your rights and responsibilities, you realize how blind you were before.

It feels like you are in a special, incredibly small but well decorated cage that when you enter inside it you get insane from how dirty, confused, messy it is.  People they are inviting you to get out of this but you are just so used to your small cage and you can’t get out of it. The only thing you see is your shadow, that is pulling you inside the small dangerous cage. Even if you try to get out, there are a lot of voices making you holding back from your decision. And after all of this the only thing you can see is your shadow.

I would like to know what your eyes see when you face your shadow. You think you are what is reflected on the ground, but what happens when your shade changes depending on the light?  That shadow is yours, and only if you allow the others to feel your shadow, only then can you see your shadow in someone else's body. I’m talking about shadows because I believe that they are those ones who keep us locked inside our cages. These shadows make us believe that we are dead leaves, even if inside us we have the potential to be wonderful forests. But they destroy our potential, creativity and optimism.

Even if we know that the shadows are wrong, we think with ourselves if we would be really small leaves, can a thin autumn leaf cover the whole sidewalk? Debating with my ego I say that there are thousands of leaves which together can give colour to the monotony, and of course they don’t need to cover the sidewalk: they need to start building a new one together.

As the days pass, I see small leaves who are fighting for their rights, for a better world! Thousands of thoughts, but silence is prevailing, all silent and allow the black curtain, which has covered our country catch up in our homes. Why we keep silence? Why do we not say that the future that we dream can be the today that we need?

It's hard, I know. It is very difficult to convince yourself  before you convince the others. But how can we talk about society, philanthropy, and patriotism when we do not appreciate these values? People are models locked in small frames, "programmed" by other people to be the same, to feel the same, to think the same.

Me, you, all together, we are subjective frames, we have feelings, are fragile and do not want to get hurt, but when we are given the opportunity to get out of our cage we can’t, because, in this way it hurts less, it costs less. When the night is coming, we lie down in our bed tired and we are enveloped with our mistakes.We think that our mistakes will disappear with the darkness, but they still remain there, as we open our eyes in the morning, we put off  yesterday's mistakes and become enveloped again with the present day’s mistakes. With sadness, we realize that mistakes, they do not disappear, just wiped out with the darkness. But in the end who is perfect?

So are you ready to face with your shadow? To break the cage? To stop that thing that makes your memories hurt you? Get out of that cage that others created for you. At least, if you want to be in a cage, create your own!

openDemocracy is at this year's World Forum for Democracy, exploring the relationship between education and democracy with a youth newsroom. More here.

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