Although I have dedicated one blog entry to my time home and could technically calmly proceed with something that resembles actual updates of what I’m doing now, there is one more thing I want to share with you. It’s always more about me wanting to tell people stuff than others waiting for these pseudo-insights of mine, I’m sure, but oh well.
When I was home, I had, needless to say, a bunch of awesome chats. Catching up with friends, telling each other random ridiculous stories from whatever times, criticising Lithuanian politics (the beauty of being home…), etc. Yet there was one chat that has culminated in a question that got stuck in my head.
I got myself into a discussion on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights (we just had a march for tolerance thing in Lithuania, a tuned-down Gay Pride parade, although that was already after I had left) in a pub with my friend’s friends, and, well, as I’d like to say, the most engaging discussions can only happen when you have divergent opinions (though, another thing that I like to say that Human Rights is NOT a matter of opinion. Oh well). So, divergent opinions we had indeed! The cool thing was that we were all talking about equal rights with almost equal level of calmness and managed to be all civilised in our arguments and listening skills. “Great success!”, as one of the satirical characters I like often says.
And almost at the end of this chat, you see, this guy (I should say ‘man’, I guess, he’s a bit older; it’s a piece of info in a way relevant to his question), in a slightly mocking yet innocent way, asks me (this question came in the context of advocacy-related discussions, essentially):
“So, what so meaningful have you done in your life?”
[a second of a pause followed, stuffed with multiple thoughts at once in my head]
After all those highly homophobic sentences he has uttered (including an oxymoronic statement that the problem with Lithuanians is that they are too tolerant), interestingly, THIS question was the one that kinda made my blood boil instantly.
There is an infinite amount of comments that I could have made. One of them would be actually asking him how he himself defines a meaningful activity. To my idealistic mind, any positive change we leave – albeit not a global one but on a personal level – matters. But so, without even mentioning that, hey, you know, for instance, I have for some time volunteered as a teacher living on, essentially, no money whatsoever, I quickly told him that I’m about to move to the Middle East to do some meaningful stuff there. I was polite (=not an asshole) enough and didn’t ask him what so great he has done with his life. I didn’t ask this precisely due to the fact that I myself would define meaning in rather broad terms.
Was his question such a shock to my system? No. It was something that I reckon is natural to think about once in a while. Maybe it is just that I wouldn’t hear that question from anyone else, not in such a context at least or that kind of tone. I was glad that it didn’t take me a long time to come up with an answer that actually didn’t lead to more of patronising comments. Wooh, perhaps I haven’t been, indeed, wasting my time completely?
What my answer did lead to was some afterthoughts and this blog post. Was this meaningful? I’ll ask that guy next time I’m home.
(<—after some time of looking for the right photo for this post, this one came to mind. A sophisticated option, I know.)
Ah yes, and a song of a band I’ve discovered recently. Even less relevance/meaning here!