By Simon Heywood
Peace can’t exist until everyone in the world is free to live a full and happy life. True peace can’t exist if people are oppressed and living in fear of whether they are going to actually live to see the next sunrise, or even more dire, today’s sunset. The Olive Branch was meant to spread the truths that were found to help bring peace. However, there was always one thing missing. Actually there were many things missing.
Bringing people the truth alone cannot catalyze the movement towards peace and harmony. Another major thing must be spread. A collection of emotions that can fall under positivity. Namely, hope. Hope inspires. Hope provides strength, and hope, most of all, is stronger than fear. Fear has been the most utilized tool by many of the world’s leaders to convince their people that the reality they live in is unchangeable and for the best. The only thing the people can do to have a better life is to contribute to the toxic cycle of the current society. What they leave out is that the current state of the world, this reality, is only for the leaders’ best interests and lives.
The political system, legal system, education system, (socio)economic system… all were meant to help benefit the people. However, as of today, the United States is the leading post-industrial nation with the greatest rate of social and economic inequality. The national state of affairs plummets to worse depths everyday. Everyone in this country has let their fear start to control their lives; and therefore has let their hatred run loose. This nation has gradually become more apparently divided, and as a leading economic nation still to international communities, strife has echoed to other nations.
However, the shift in social climate has caused other nations, and the people of those nations, to passionately seek dramatic social progress. Civilians that reside in nations that still have tyrants for leaders, now desire democracy. Perhaps they want to take after the political system of the U.S. and other capitalistic nations, where the government is more of a governmental body made of the common people, actually chosen by the people.
This type of democracy is not actually concrete in the United States, although. The U.S. is “a democratic republic” and sometimes the people the citizens of the U.S. want representing them don’t actually get to be representatives. There is a flaw in the U.S. political system that I hope people of other nations that want democracy will recognize and be extra careful when being able to successfully transition into a civilian-led democracy.
What does all of this perspective have to do with the site, you may ask? Well, I may just say, look back at the last two words of the headline. “Stronger mission.”
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to all of you (or re-introduce, if you have been following my journey of online documentation) The Hummingbird. The Hummingbird, once a literary webzine on Wix with a horribly long URL (because membership with Wix is too expensive), is now a news and commentary, editorial/opinion, and independent media site. With The Hummingbird, I aim to inspire in everyone globally that “Truth and positivity will set you free.” I want to actually plant and spread hope in others to find and spread the truths of the world, along with spreading their daily sources of positivity.
The truth can be dark, and at times it can drag us down. When we discover a certain truth, it can also discourage us from wanting to keep digging. That’s why, along with spreading the truth, we must spread positivity as well, to give hope that we can do something with knowledge of these truths. We can acknowledge and accept these truths, but we can also do something about it. By spreading positivity, we can inspire the hope and courage in others to find ways of doing something about the darkness of reality, of making sure it isn’t permanent. Just because the truth is the truth, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed, especially if that truth is how certain people in society are really being treated, disrespected and violently oppressed. The truth is contingent upon time, which means with acknowledgement, effort and actions, the truth can change. After all, change is the only constant in life, in reality.
Why this change? Why is all of this so built up and so dramatic? Well, fact of the matter is, I felt that when I started The Hummingbird as a literary webzine, I didn’t have a true and defined purpose with it. I just wanted to try out having a blog and creative space. And then I decided to pursue it further, and opened up The Olive Branch. With that, my purpose became clearer. However, I felt that because the name of the site was inspired by an event in history, I still didn’t feel as motivated. After all, The Olive Branch was named after the document signed during the revolutionary times in the U.S. (when it was still colonies on stolen land), “The Olive Branch Petition,” and the mission inspired by the symbolism of an olive branch (typically pictured with a dove carrying the branch in its mouth), a symbol of peace. “Find the truth. Spread positivity.” They all connected, the site’s mission and the symbolism of the olive branch.
However, things still felt tied down. I wanted to do something with the site that was more helpful. I was posting product reviews, articles about small artists that deserve to be more well known, some news and commentary articles (namely two), and articles that detailed the creation and inspiration of the poems I post on Instagram. I was posting and attempting to post weekly. But I felt that I wasn’t going anywhere. Analytics were stagnant, but so was my drive to write articles. I invest so much into this site, to little recognition but also with only near-absolute passion. I needed to siphon more passion into this site.
That’s when a thought to change the name and look of the site came to mind, as well as an even more clearly defined mission. An enhancement to what I want to and have been trying to fight for. Truth, justice, empathy, positivity, and freedom. I couldn’t actively spread the truth and positivity by staying so grounded and waiting for a wind to pick up to spread it for me. I had to actively go and spread it. Even more actively than my past actions. I wanted to be more than just a blogger, poet, and an overall general writer. I wanted to be a citizen journalist.
The thoughts for change became a desire, and that desire continued to grow stronger, and I realized I needed to reclaim something I started way before The Olive Branch. It was time for The Olive Branch to shed its leaves. It was time to tend to the forsaken wings of a songbird. To fully sprout stronger wings, to become The Hummingbird once again. The Hummingbird version 2, now with more purpose.
This change was meant to re-inspire not just the writer in me, but also the investigator in me. This change is meant to inspire more hope and positivity in all of you, and I hope it does. One thing to note though, the change in name and look paired with a stronger mission doesn’t really mean a change in content. However, it does mean that I am changing the frequency of content being put out. Instead of trying to meet a weekly deadline, which was starting to fall anyway, to really put meaning into being a citizen journalist for me, I’m going to start trying to post as often as possible. The only change in content is that I hope to release more articles about what’s going on not just around the nation, but around the world.
The olive branch is a symbol of peace. However, the hummingbird, a different songbird from parrots, canaries, and the like, is a symbol for eternity, continuity, infinity, love, and hope. Just the fact that the hummingbird is a different type of songbird makes this site feel more unique and innovated than before. Physically, the hummingbird has one of the fastest flight speeds and sometimes, it is seen to fly in a figure-8 pattern. Not only that, but the speed at which it moves its wings creates the image of an infinity symbol. The hummingbird symbolizes so much more to me, especially personally, and that is why I want to reclaim it, because now I can finally fully feel those symbols.
To everyone who has taken part in observing my journey in online documentation, and to everyone who has played a part in inspiring how I can improve my mission and the actions to represent it, thank you. To the world, I gladly bring to you all, The Hummingbird.