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Student 23's picture

Contrast

What makes it so difficult for me to form an opinion about this week's reading is that, although the article makes many interesting points, it doesn't tell us what to think about them, or even how the authors think about them. There's no conclusion I can agree or disagree with!

Anyway, I do agree with that what is enabling for some is disabling for others, and the article does a very good job on elaborating this. Like the children with learning disabilities-- they suffer at the hands of what many "normal" children benefit from, an institutionalized form of education, and an emphasis on focus and specific skill.

When any of us to enjoy the benefits of our societies, we create obstacles for others. But those others, in enjoying their own benefits, in turn create obstacles for us. Culture, as the whole of the human experience, feeds on contrast. This is my personal philosophy: in order to really experience the good things in life, we must have something bad to compare them to.

Thinking about this reading brought to mind one of my favorite quotes, though it deviates a bit (read: a lot) from the main ideas of the article itself:

"The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if . . . the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and unmistakably warm." (from Moby Dick)

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