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Sunday Post

ttong's picture

        During the Friday class, one woman said “I can’t just move on. I can’t just let go. How can I move on if nothing has been changed and I still live in fear?” It was heartbroken to hear someone saying this in front of me, but still, I whispered to myself, “Don’t change your perspective entirely. Add this part to your perspective.” This is the mechanism I have developed through the interaction with underprivileged people. “They are so much more than that.” is the sentence I always keep in my mind. 

        This psychological struggle with recognizing other people’s hardships while still regarding them as whole people reminds me of the story of Pandora’s box. When she opened the box, she has given the world so much more than negativities as she also provided the world passion and hope. But people always remember the worst. We seldom recognize how far people have come from their original background, how much progress they have made, and instead, we ask “why are you not there yet?”. We label people by the most vulnerable character they have, and we often forget everyone deserves to be whole. 
        As an Ed minor, I have constantly been asking where is the line between recognizing the oppressed background of people and avoiding damage-based approach. And in this 360s, I started to realize there are so much more lines in this society that we need to be careful with. I was first reminded of this concept when we talked about the underlying ethics in doing arts with the women that I wondered where is the line between helping them to voice and using them as the objects of our education. After we went to the Mural Arts tour, I questioned where is the line between arts/freedom of expression and the law. As we got deeper into the course, I often think about the line between respecting everyone as an individual and preserving the characteristics of different backgrounds as groups. Why do we have so many contradictions? I hate it when I could not provide an answer, and instead I tell myself, because it is human nature. We love and hate, we think critically about some while being numb to others, we protect and hurt, and we create and destruct. 
        At the end of Citizens, Serena Williams said “It is not a match. It is a lesson.” It is not a lesson. It is a long match in which we compete with ourselves, we struggle with where we come from, we seek the balance between our contradicting natures, and we try to win by constantly learning. It is a match, and what matters is what lessons have we learned through the endless competition.