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Dauntless Manifesto

We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices.
We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace. But more than that: We believe that justice is more important than peace.
We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions. We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
We believe in acknowledging fear and the extent to which it rules us. We believe in facing that fear no matter what the cost to our comfort, our happiness, or even our sanity.
We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
We believe, not just in bold words but in bold deeds to match them. We believe that pain and death are better than cowardice and inaction because we believe in action.
We do not believe in living comfortable lives. We do not believe that silence is useful.
We do not believe in good manners.
We do not believe in empty heads, empty mouths, or empty hands.
We do not believe that learning to master violence encourages unnecessary violence.
We do not believe that we should be allowed to stand idly by. We do not believe that any other virtue is more important than bravery.

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Abnegation – My Mother

Has anyone ever read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth?
Well, in this dystopian young adult book, the society is divided into 5 factions:

Abnegation : The Selfless
Dauntless : The Brave
Erudite : The Intelligent
Amity : The Peaceful
Candor : The Honest

When I read about how people lived in the abnegation faction, it grated on my nerves how nice they were. I mean, I’m all for kindness and love, but the degree of their selflessness was exhausting.

And now, people, I have realised that I’ve been living with an abnegation.

My mother.

She has possibly got to be the most selfless person I know. She’s an english teacher over at my school, in a place where everyone is looking for people to dump their work on. The one person who always says yes?

My Mother.

Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. She’s already got loads of corrections to do, she teaches grades 6th to 9th (that’s two classes per grade, mind you) and she’s basically the foothold everyone finds to give all their work to.

My school board has just introduced ASL, [I am not aware about the A, but the S and L stand for speaking and listening], and my school principal is basically my english teacher. So, it his job, you know, to take the speaking and listening skills. Apparently there’s this new rule that the teacher teaching the class can’t take ASL for them (which I highly doubt so yeah, OK, don’t take our ASL, but for God’s sake find another teacher.

My mom is loaded with work, she has to make an average of marks accounted by 40 students in 5 subjects, she has to take care of my brat of a sister, she has papers to fill and forms to collect and stuff to pack, and now she has to take my speaking skill.

I should be thrilled, right? This would seem like a free ticket to getting full marks in ASL. But no, I am not relieved. It is excruciatingly sick and I’m tired and bloody irritated about how the staff of my school take my mother for granted. They respect her, yes (as they’ve said countless times) but they still take her for granted. And it’s like she has a physical disability and can never, and I mean never, say no to these people.

It’s a quality I love about her – her faith in God and faith in herself and that no matter how much work she has, she can accomplish it, is what gives me my strength. But it gets very, very..gah, I can’t describe it. Try a mix of irritated, on the verge of breaking someone’s face, full of anxiety, troubled, angry. Mostly angry.

My mother, people, is the perfect abnegation. Maybe more so that the characters in the book. And while I love her for it, I can see why I am not abnegation. Someone needs to keep her from going off the map trying to save others who are going off the map. Or something.