Date: 2010-08-24 02:02 am (UTC)
qoheleth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] qoheleth
First off, it was so sweet of you to comment back... and so quickly. I have been impressed with the things you have had to say for more than a year and feel honored to have your response.

Secondly, I want to make it clear that my writing strays quite fluidly back and forth between the literal and nonliteral. Perhaps I shouldn't have posted this as my first entry... it is very... heavy. And nonliteral in some really important places. But after reading some of your posts today, your discussion of privilege struck a chord with the way I had been feeling in this big house and I figured this was as good a way as any to begin.

I like to think that I generally hold myself accountable. And that I am usually looking for the things that I may not yet know or have overlooked so that I can be more sensitive in the future. .. I grew up in an environment that inherently instilled an acute awareness of different levels of privilege. I went to a high school where I very much was in the racial minority (the school was about 65%, 25% Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) and 10% "other")... and although my family was certainly not rolling in money, I was far more economically privileged than the large majority of my class mates. Of 1,000 freshman, only 360 of us graduated in my class.

University was the biggest culture shock of my life... so many rich white people. And other races I had never had any exposure to: particularly people from all over Asia. It took years to become used to it... and it still makes me uncomfortable.

Anyway, I could not agree with you more about the "education" of the "less fortunate." Liberal-minded westerners think that instilling white-hot individualism, democracy, etc into the people of developing nations is the answer to the world's "problems." It makes me so sad. The last thing the world needs are more copies of mini-Americas... that comment about educating the unlucky was tongue in cheek? Sarcastic? Something like that.

Literacy, I think, is an important tool... but only so people can make their own well-read, well-informed decisions... however even the act of teaching people to read and write has a slew of complex implications and ramifications. The material with which they are taught is biased, the people that teach them have agendas, it is all very complicated.

Although I can't do it all, as far as awareness goes, I think that not enough people, with the time, energy and resources get out there and make social problems known. I think that people should try harder, that they should do more, should always be pushing their own limits. And generally, I feel like if I'm not pushing for more, than I'm probably not doing enough.

And what I said about death being the only solution was also nonliteral... or rather, perhaps literal in some ways, but certainly not a social remedy I would ever actually consider. I do appreciate the concern... maybe I should be careful to add a disclaimer to my journal as some of it can be a tad extreme... My writing has a notoriously fuzzy boundary between fact and metaphor.
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