Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eye to eye, side by side

    So far this semester our class has traveled in multiple ways through out our readings. We have traveled to and from the places Marco Polo had seen on his journey; we have traveled through time and memories as we turned the pages of Black Rainbow, and we have traveled through a society in Tales of the Tikongs that is, in some ways, the complete opposite of what we are use to. However, can we say yet that we have traveled through the emotions of the people in the books we have read? In a way, are we ever able to fully understand what the people we have read about have gone through without experiencing it for ourselves? In order for others to travel in a way that fully allows someone to gain an emotional understanding of a different life, people cannot just read about it or observe it from a far; they need to immerse themselves into a life that is different from there own.
    As I read The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education, I realized I was reading something that had been drilled into me since day one of my time here at Loyola. That the point of a Jesuit education is to create a well-rounded person and this is not by solely sitting in a classroom and getting good grades. It is about getting out there, trying new things, as well as immersing yourself into a society that gets you out of your comfort zone. Community service and interacting with people in the Baltimore community is promoted by Loyola; they want us to understand people who are less fortunate than us in a way that makes us relate to them. All of the sudden, their problems become your problems, what they are upset or happy about you become upset or happy about. Loyola and the Jesuit education system wants its students to realize that no matter where we grew up or come from in this nation "each one [of us is] an unique individual" and "they all aspire to live enjoy peace and security and to make tomorrow better" (32). Jesuits notice that the only way for a person to travel through the emotions of others is to create a personal involvement with that person (34). Looking back at my time at Loyola, I am thankful for the core classes I took and the opportunities this school has given me to really experience Baltimore. I have traveled through the emotions and the memories of this city and its citizens and it has definitely made me a better person.
      In Letter from a Birmingham Jail, I think Dr. King is touching on the idea of looking through another eyes. Yes, we can talk to a person and we can say we are 'helping them' but does this mean that we understand what they are going through. Sometimes those who have spent their whole lives without a care in the world, do everything they can to push away anything that will create awareness of the inequality going on the world. Dr. King is showing in his letter that sometimes in order to get people involved someone has to "create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a forced to confront the issue." If an issue of sorts gets someone involved to the point where they can create a connection with people from different walks of life, I am all for it. Sometimes people just need a little push in the right direction.
      Traveling through someone else emotions is not always easy. Sometimes people try to avoid it getting involved in someone else life. I say that the Jesuits and Dr. King have the right idea; traveling down this path can only be beneficial. You begin to understand the world in a way that you never knew existed; you can also share the emotions you experienced through-out your life. In the end, this is one form of traveling you cannot solely get from a book; in order to see life through another's eyes, you need to walk side by side with them first.

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