For those of us who observe and analyze international affairs, there are generally two tracks that an individual can take, and each track has three stages. But both tracks begin from the same point or initial stage. Both begin with personal background, life experiences, and student life. Perhaps the most important factors which weigh into a person’s observation and analysis of international affairs is personal background, as well as life experiences and student life. After this initial stage, there are usually two more stages. For one, an individual can then move onto government and policymaking at various levels. And once they are done with government and policymaking, the individual can perhaps enter the third and final stage, which is academia and journalism. Or the reverse can happen, whereby a person’s background, life experiences, and student life can take them first to academics and journalism, and then finally, government and policy.
In my case, the initial stage (personal background, life experiences, and student life) took me into government and policymaking through a short stint as an assistant to the Afghan ambassador here in the United States in 2018. After this short stint in government and policymaking, my instincts took me directly into academics and journalism. But after a short stint in government and policy, I could not land the conventional jobs in academics and journalism, such as teaching at a school or university or working for the mainstream media because I had no connections whatsoever. Thus, when all else fails, open a blog, and that is exactly what I did in June 2019 after my stint in government and policymaking came to an end.
With a blog, you can essentially kill two birds with one stone, in the sense that a blog has both an academic and educational dimension, in addition to a journalistic and independent media dimension. Thus, you get the best of both worlds, and once you develop the blog and develop a niche audience for your blog over time, only a massive incentive would lure you into relinquishing the blogger life for something else, especially when you live off of passive income from real estate as I do. And once you are confident in your content and the quality of your content, you don’t go out looking for an audience. Rather, you let the audience develop on its own based on your content and the quality of your content. Bloggers receive certain statistics as to the geographical scope of their audience from their web host, and in an age of global connectivity, one’s audience can often be global in scope as mine is.
Bringing a unique perspective towards international affairs is the name of the game, because there are so many individuals and egos that you have to both coexist with and compete with in the world of academia and journalism. In government and policymaking, there is more of a groupthink element involved, where everybody thinks the same way and they have the same goals, namely, money, glory, and lust. But in academia and journalism, it is mainly about your unique perspective of international affairs and of the world, and that is why the initial stage of personal background, life experiences, and student life overshadow the subsequent stages of government and policymaking and then academia and journalism.
By bringing a unique perspective to international affairs and the world through academia and journalism, you can shape the perspectives of others. And when you shape the perspectives of others, you shape reality, with reality being the totality of all things which exist. These insights are particularly important for young people who are involved in international affairs and are wondering whether they are a better fit for either the world of government and policymaking, or academia and journalism. And more often than not, it all begins with stepping back and observing where we are in terms of these two aforementioned tracks.