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Children V.S. Society

wwu2's picture

There is no greater joy than looking at a baby. When I encounter babies, their smile can easily melt my heart. I always want to touch them, tickle them, and cuddle with them. The reason that makes “my maternal love arise” is because babies never hide their feelings, and display their true selves in front of people, even the ones they don’t know. Their purity makes them “the cutest things in the world.”  However, as the time ticks away, gradually, those children become more introverted; they begin to care less about the society and they become more likely to camouflage sensibility in the bottom of their heart. What happens to those candid cute babies? What makes them lose the sense of purity?


My answer is us. We are the ones who lead this to happen. Before we start to complain about others, we should pause and rethink about ourselves: are we truly not guilty? When we pass by the storage rack, did we pick up the dropped goods on the ground? When we encounter things that we don’t want to mention, do we lie to people? When we don’t like someone, do we choose to isolate them from us? Those things seem to be trivial but have gradually taught the little kid not to care for the society they live in. Children are the reflection of us; they learn things by observing. And because of our egocentric mind, those children are turning into us. Yet deep down in our heart, our awareness of  integrity tells us where we do wrong. And if people twist their characteristics a tiny bit, I believe our society will become much healthier.


Related to ‘the Ones who walk away from Omelas', Le Guin shows us of the city Omelas, a utopian place where the ambience is happy and calm. Yet underneath this peaceful illusion lies a secret where everyone knows a child is being tortured in a basement and understands that their happiness “depend[s] wholly on this child’s abominable misery.” This system show that a child is a “scapegoat” which carries all the sins in the city. If people have sympathy and rescue it, the property and beauty of Omelas will be destroyed. Therefore, they try to neglect the child and happily move on in their lives. Even though it is obvious that Omelas' citizens are indifferent and self-centered and couldn’t care any less about that child, in their subconsciousness, I feel they still feel culpable of their behavior. That’s why some of the people went down the basement but didn’t talk with him. Maybe their guiltiness drove them not to talk with the child because they were too ashamed of the fact that they abandoned it. In my opinion, everybody is virtuous, no matter what their age is. However, when growing up, we become more self-centered; these characteristics being to separate us from being purely candid people. This Omelas story is an extreme case where one child suffers, and the rest enjoy happiness. Sadly, no one even takes the child’s side or takes any action. Their egocentrism and self-protection awareness has covered up their compassion, so people chose to elude the fact and ignore the child. However, could the people who live in Omelas really feel at ease enjoying their happiness which is built upon the child’s pain? No, I don’t think so. 


As Le Guin mentioned in this short story, it’s true that “happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive.” We should be the one who distinguishes the right from wrong. If we weren’t too invested in ourselves, we would live in a much happier world. To obtain happiness is a two-way street, we may begin to realize that the majority benefits from those who sacrifice to make their lives better.  But if we aren’t altruistic to each other, how can we expect the others to do the same thing?


MLA Citation:

K., Le Guin Ursula. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Print.