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Slippery Or Not? It Depends On Human Will

Iridium's picture

Are slippery supposed to be forgiven, as it is a form of unconscious misacting?  As my freshmen seminar professor says in her passage, “slipping is inevitable, but often unnoticed.” (Dalke p.255) She also gives the effect about it, saying that it is “a form of ‘ecological’ thinking and acting: diverse, unruly, and fertile; conditional, uncertain and incomplete- an unending process, very much dependent on the unexpected.” (Dalke p.254) The effect she is talking about is the positive effect on the oneself, but missing other people who are also involved passively. What if someone get influenced from the slippery one made? What if the so-called “slippery” was intentional but the person who have done it consider it as a slippery?

            One of the reading materials we need to read for the class is The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. It is a story about a peaceful town where people all live in joy. The society is like “a fairy tale, long ago and far away” (Le Guin p.2) as the author described. However, their happiness is on the basis of wrenching a child down in a locked basement. The adults living in Omelas are not ignorant, as the author said. “They were not naïve and happy children…they were mature, intelligent, passionate adults” (Le Guin p.1) and they know “the existence of the child, and their knowledge of its existence” are the necessities to support their utopian society. Do they literally live in a purely happy life? Do they believe that the “one thing there is none of in Omelas is guilt?” (Le Guin p.2)

            If slippery can be regarded as a potentially good effect to improve some competence, or a sign to inform people that “something down there needs to be cleaned up,” (Elstad)what will folks from Omelas consider their relationships to the child? By comparing the “beauty and delight of Omelas” (Le Guin p.4) and “the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas” (Le Guin p.4) with “speaking even a kind word to the child,” (Le Guin p.4) can the effect of that afflicted kid even be larger than that of a dust on their land? A dust can go into eyes and get some tears in return. What about that young-aged human? The young people from Omelas who first see the child “often go home in tears, or in tearless rage.” (Le Guin p.4) and as time goes on they begin to realize that if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom.” (Le Guin p.4) They realize Omelas is guilt and they are never free as they used to think. Then the people appease themselves with imaginations that even if the child got released and cared, it would probably “be wretched without walls about it to protect it.” (Le Guin p.4) After that, they throw the guilty feeling away, as if there is no guilt in Omelas.

            For people in Omelas, is the meeting with the child locked in basement a slippery? They find their guilt by knowing a child suffering from their happiness, and then they “clean up” the guilt by imaging some “even if” sentences.

            By knowing the existence of the child, do they understand more deeply about “the nobility of their architecture, the poignancy of their music, the profundity of their science?” (Le Guin p.4) After going to see the child, some people leave the town and never come back; others remain get the learning and pass it down. No matter the folks remain or go, they all kick the guilty feeling away and ignore the conscience of saving the child. Young people “would like to do something for the child.” (Le Guin p.4) Compared to these who are just transferred from “naïve and happy children,” (Le Guin p.4) do “mature, intelligent, passionate adults” (Le Guin p.4) think they have more considerable apprehension for the common good and their decision will be fair to everyone?

            There is a saying in Chinese, “try first to make the mistake sound less serious and then to reduce it to nothing at all.” Is there a clear definition for “slippery?” I discussed with Amanda in my class about whether the mistake one person made could be a tiny slippery for the person, but very intentional and hostile for the other.

I have met some people who did seriously mistakes to me and took them as slipperies. One of the people I told about violated my personal privacy, and his reply was light like a feather, “that’s how we run the program.” Since the negotiate did not work for me, his next choice is to kick my disagreement away and do what he wanted to do to run the so-called program. After the thing was done, the thing was gone. His sentence became, “I never know it affected you such a lot. we just needed one and we picked yours.” For him, maybe it was a slippery that he randomly picked a person but the person refused violently. For me, it was an intentional hurt and his attitude made the problem more unforgivable. What would this sir get from his “ecological” thinking and acting? Avoid bothering a strong-minded person anymore like the folks from Omelas may avoid showing the existence of the child to young people who are not “mature” enough?

What would I do if I were one of the folk living in Omelas? I have no idea yet, but at least, I would not take knowing the child’s existence as a piece of slippery.

However, slippery or not depends on the oneself. I see the folks’ behavior as intentional, though they may see it as a slippery. There will never be an exact definition for it, as the human will, which does not have an exact state, decides it.


Work Cited

Le Guin, Ursula. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 1993. Print.

Cohen, Jody and Dalke, Anne, Chapter 8, “Slipping,” Steal This Classroom: Teaching and Learning Unbound. New York: Punctum Books, forthcoming 2017. Print.