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The different approach to make “contact zone”

yhama's picture

The different approach to make “contact zone”


The title of the story is not “the poor child as a sacrifice” nor “the happy people in Ormeals”, it is “The ones who walk away from Ormeals”. It means the author, Ursula LeGuin, focuses on the people who could not stand with the system in Ormeals and left there. Why it can be the point of the story?


I met my best friend when I was twelve. She is a super nice Christian girl, who looks happy all the time. Even at the hard time, such as the examination period for university, she kept being optimistic and that made me motivated. We spent a lot of time together, and our bond has been getting strong year by year. After three years had passed since we met, she told me her secret. Her sister has a mental illness. Actually she put up with her sister for a long time. Her sister K depends on her mentally. I felt like she was manipulated by K. For instance, when K got into a depression, she cannot stand to be alone and made my friend be around her all the time. Even when she already had a plan to go to see her childhood friend who was acting in the theater, she had to cancel it because K did not want her to go out the house. She gave me the ticket to see instead. Sometimes K feels a jealousy against me because her sister and I meet many times and she shares everything with me. When my friend tries to make K independent by letting her alone, K mentioned that she was going to attempt suicide, so that she had to be with K after all. Every time I heard about K from my friend, I got upset and seriously concerned how to solve this problem. I suggested that she gradually try to be colder to K so that K can be independent, but it was not easy for her. She kept being kind to K, and put up with her temper. That made me irritated. However, I realized that even though K is a kind of the burden for her, my friend still loves K and she does not want me to speak ill about her. So I decided to be indifferent to her problem unless she is really depressed about the problem.

There are a lot of problems around the world, countries, friends, family, and even in ourselves if we keep on focusing them. However, once we decide to keep away from them, the problems no longer bother us. Mother Teresa saidI was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” (Shelton, 2009) In other words, what we can do for the problem is not to be against it, but to imagine the ideal situation. The people who left Ormeals were honest to their hearts and walked toward new worlds which do not have terrible paradox. If the number of the people who make actions increase, the child no longer has to be in the dark space. It seems that they do not share contact zone with the poor child, but this is the only way to solve this problem, and they actually share more contact zone with the children than the Ormeals who stayed.



Shelton. J. (2009). Owning pink.