Tariki and Jiriki


In the Japanese language, Tariki is a word for waiting to be helped. For putting your life and your deserved experiences in the hands of others. For assuming powerlessness and for the proclivity to give away one’s agency. It’s the kind of things the masses do every election cycle as they hope for the emergence of a messiah who would come to solve all their problems.

Jiriki on the hand is about assuming self-power. It’s about taking responsibility and choosing yourself. It is about being human enough to raise your hand to speak even when you aren’t absolutely sure. You make the effort to negotiate your freedom with the clarity that you alone, are absolutely responsible for the outcomes of your life. Not your family, not the government or the society you are born in. You choose to be a player in your own reality than condescending to being a victim, no matter what life throws at you.

The Jiriki guy says if not now, when, if not me, who and if not here, where. Rather than waiting to be rescued, he rescues himself.

You know, when a baby cat gets into trouble, it screams and the mother comes by and picks it by the neck into safety but for a baby monkey, he has no choice but to grab the back of his mother to negotiate his escape.

Every day, it turns out that by our actions, we are either waiting to be helped or we are actually helping ourselves.

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