One Atlantic contributor responds to the article of another. Not to sound haughty taughty, but this is interesting to read because the concept that I and the rest of the Intro Econ TA’s have been trying to drill into the students since Day 1 is that values are subjective.
“You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.”—Louis CK (via obliteratedheart)
“Social networks are creating a superficial generation that always show what they purchased and how they wore it. All I want to know is what did you invent, whose life are you changing and what are you adding to the world? The only way to predict your future is to create it.”—
Jim Whittaker reflects on decades of exploring the outdoors.
"It is in the wild places; in the damp, clean air of an ancient forest, on a heaving ocean, in unpredictable winds, on a snowy summit at the top of the world, that I enter my own personal cathedral - that I know where I fit in the vastness of creation. Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most."
I am so tired of hearing peers (and others, but mostly peers) criticizing, to put it lightly, people conversing in presumably their native tongue that’s not English. In my area, this is especially noticeable when it comes to Asians, whether they are Asian-Americans or immigrants, i.e. “Fresh Off-the-Boat-ers”. Actually, I take that back: castigating the Asians is not just especially noticeable but completely particular. I’ve never heard disapproval directed towards two people speaking in Italian or Hebrew, both of which correspond to cultures our community is pretty substantially comprised of. Granted, many Italian and Jewish families have established their roots a long time ago, relatively, so English and American-living may have become what’s familiar to them, whereas empirically, the presence of Asian communities is much more recent.
But even this is too draconian of a speculation and besides the point. To denigrate and coldly judge people conversing in non-English is incredibly condescending and inconsiderate. Aside from the “walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes” argument, they should have the freedom to do what is comfortable for them. If we can dress however we want to or blare music in our car with the windows rolled down, how are these venues of communication/self-expression any more acceptable than my speaking to and conversing with a Chinese girl who doesn’t know how to get to the A/C/E lines?
Sure, I understand and agree that at times it may be uncomfortable and even inappropriate for people to be speaking exclusively in another language. For example, it’s irritating and awkward if employees who work in a service or industry that’s hinged on customer contact are incessantly chatting in a different language (okay, we’re all thinking it…nail salons). Or, given circumstances in which odd behavior paired with foreign languages could be slightly alarming (airport security). But rarely do I actually see the aforementioned peers unleashing their fury over situations like those. Most of the time it’s just rolling their eyes followed by an annoyed side comment to a classmate, or a melodramatic squirt of words into the cybersphere.
I’m not an anthropological specialist and this post may contain a lot of logical or misinformed fallacies. And no, I’m not writing about this because I’m an Asian-American. Actually, a lot of comments I hear come from Asians about other Asians. It’s just frustrating to see people championing ‘Merica and all that entails but ignoring, and in some cases even condemning, the different cultures that call this land their home, no matter how new or old. Homogeneity never achieved anything, and the fact that I even have to take the time to write this post is disappointing.
“There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one’s cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head — because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West’s fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West’s prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.”—Uzodinma Iweala, “Stop Trying to ‘Save’ Africa”