It’s one of those days, you know, when you are feeling low and your self-esteem is at a real zero, that the universe provides hope in unexpected forms. With me this happened in the form of postcards, not one, two or three but ELEVEN of them. My Dad bought the post on his way back home and I almost cried with joy to see them all.
What makes a random activity like postcrossing really click with people and invest their time in sending postcards with messages to strangers all over the world? I believe, it is the necessity to claim humanity, to claim the love that is lost in the vast sea pool of hatred, discrimination and diversity. The more connected the world has become, the faster we have lost our shroud of humanity. We are increasingly being divided on the basis of race, color, religion, economy, culture, geography and politics, of course! Our conscious collaborative is not working amidst high powered business economies and commercial profit ventures. People who come from diverse backgrounds are no longer celebrating this diversity but are being subjected to their differences leading to an unbalanced socio-cultural indifferent platform all over the world. No longer do we cherish simple activities like stopping by a streetside to hear someone play music or talk to each other on public transport. Our jealousies based on gender biases has also taken a worse turn in cultures that ironically supported and cherished women’s emancipation movements. That is why, a free platform like POSTCROSSING works in this global multitude of regions and cultures that still have people present in minority who wish to connect with the world.
I know I make it a mission to just write about the positive that is dominant in our world and rightly so we all must. Afterall, we are all the same underneath our different costumes, our tongues, our music and dance and our laughter! Do we not perk up to see a child laughing freely and unrestrained on a crowded train? Do we not turn heads at the sound of music in a public arena? I believe, us, humans, are really connected on a deeper level with cultural elements and especially music! When I see people writing cards and sharing their favourite music, it makes me feel akin to them however the distance. These are people who perhaps I will never meet but are kind enough to share a slice of their lives and themselves in ten lines or so on a small postcard. Isn’t it a beautiful sentiment to have evoked a sense of unity among strangers all over the world? Why else would children, teens, young men and women, professionals, older people connect themselves with snailmail that takes sometimes sixty days to reach their intended locations due to postal constraints? I am amazed at this patience people showcase for an activity like this. But then, we also deal with the negative world that lies and occupies another half of our planet. A world where minorities are trampled, women are placed under patriarchal dictatorships, economies are crushed by autocratic rulers and the lives of so many millions displaced, distressed and devastated due to the ugly greed of giant corporations and first world economies usurping their power over weaker nations. The growing disparities between rich and poor, religious minorities within Europe, OPEC and rest of the world and the rise of militant and fascist dictatorships is a cause of concern if we wish to see our calenders go beyond the year 2030.
Even with all this hullabaloo and chaos of an unstable world, I have met people who surprisingly harbour a great positive outlook towards human race and its progress. There are optimists who believe and cheer for change in people, in governments that rule with an iron fist. Among our technology obsessed and interactive display driven lives, we still find time to write to each other and send it to strangers across seas and nations. We still find time to read books and discuss them passionately even on online mediums like Instagram which is strictly seen as a photography website. The world is closer than ever and perhaps also at the same time stretched afar. How we bridge this distance speaks a lot for our future generations who shall have difficult legacies to carry forward!