Week 1 A1

A Student Response From:


I worry about doing the right thing constantly - perhaps it’s a cultural fear engrained in all of us now, misslips of the past always becoming the “truth” years later in self righteous cancel culture. The lines of right and wrong are abundantly clear in the major issues, but the smaller issues, the everyday issues - how we raise our kids, teach others, teach ourselves, how we interact - the rules are being written, rewritten, thrown out, despised, recycled, and normalized again every other month. It’s an exhausting loop of defensiveness and moral superiority grounded in good intentions.

I say good intentions because I think that, generally, these inflamed reactions are based on treating others “correctly”. Because we should treat others equally, and we should dismantle the systems that have destroyed that equality. Yet, how can we escape it when we’ve been grown in it, taught it, told it was the “truth”, and, consciously or not, continue to uphold those systems?

The world tries to be numerical these days - and crushes the everyday people under those numbers. Money is dangled as the road to freedom, yet keeps us shackled. Logically we should worry about prosperity, but lack of access and resources for those born with less or nothing makes any prosperity almost impossible to obtain. And instead of focusing on that problem, we are divided, judging the individual and not the system, because American “truth” is built on a dream. A lie told to us, a fairy tale about how our exceptionalism will of course bring us prosperity, we just need to work a little harder.

I’m reading, learning, and teaching history to my younger brother, and watching the eerie similarities of the past makes me wonder what actions I’m taking now will be deemed as “right” and what will be deemed as wrong. And as I read these histories, I have to remember that the narrative told is the ones taught by the victors. Even when historians try to repair the past in their tellings, so much is omitted, not through lies, but because so much has been lost - destroyed.

We have to build our own truths - and my truth is focused on knowing that I can only know so much, and with what I do know, I can only try (and fail, and try again) to be helpful, kind, and honest in a time period where it feels we are being forced to be defensive and enraged.

Comments 3

  1. “It’s an exhausting loop of defensiveness and moral superiority grounded in good intentions.”

    I’m really feeling this.

    Are we being allowed our truth? Or maybe that settles it back in victimry. Are we allowing ourselves our own truths?

    What is my fear to acknowledge my own truth? What beliefs stand in my own way?

    I am feeling grateful for your words.

  2. “And instead of focusing on that problem, we are divided, judging the individual and not the system,”

    This was stated so well about prosperity. Each individual does have their own definition of wealth and success. I would state basic needs are necessities and everything else is prosperous.

    In history we are warned about things repeating, historically only those that are prosperous held a platform for their truth.
    This got me thinking about my own core values. I value genuineness in interactions with myself and others. Empathy of others and their situations. To be open to the ideas of others and guide people through positive actions, love, and support.

    The truth is the entire system cannot be changed in its entirety. I find that we must look internally and challenge our engrained beliefs. Find our core values and in the process help others see the beauty in themselves.

  3. My favorite place is driving through the Jemez and exploring nature and the outdoors. My roommate and I would drive to the Jemez once a week when the pandemic first started. It was nice to take the doors off the jeep and just feel somewhat at peace with a whole lot going on in the world. Although we were locked down and could not see other people, we were able to leave our house and escape for a while without worrying about getting sick. We would go on weekly hikes for miles, which would lead us to a surreal waterfall. During this time, our Jemez trips felt imaged because they were an escape from reality and all the fears Covid brought, but it was also so real. Likewise, my memories also feel pliable and elastic like the emotions that gave them life.

    Although we may not know each other and everything may just end with a smile and a nod, it is nice trying to feel someone’s emotions through words and have them feel mine. Being able to feel creative expression helps us grow closer due to expressing what I am passionate about, as well as identifying what you are passionate about and how our life experiences have shaped us into two entirely different people.

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