Why am I in Development? (Judith)
I could tell you now how having grown up in different corners of the world has made me aware – and outraged – about the injustices you can encounter simply everywhere. It is true, but at the same time, anyone, anywhere, who cares to take a second look and question why things are the way they are, will come across inequalities… and yes, injustice.
I do not like ideologies. Communism can be appealing… in theory. Cosmopolitanism is an intriguing concept, especially for someone who feels affiliated to many countries, or maybe none at all, but rather to the people that you meet along the way. I simply believe in life and that it is worth protecting. Human beings are selfish – it must be some kind of survival instinct built-in by nature – but that must not necessarily be a bad thing. And being selfish does not mean, we cannot also see the beauty in every (human) life, and thus believe that all life is equally worth protecting. But when protecting becomes patronising, then something crucial has been misunderstood.
Doing development is not synonymous with doing ‘good’. Either way, the development industry does exist and is likely to continue to exist. Mistakes have been made and will continue to be made, but lessons can be learned. And that is why I study development. To start learning those lessons. Whether that means I am – or will be – in development… I’m not sure. But I will always care. And to care is rarely passive.
Judith Magdalena (MSc Development Management)