Creating this blog has been quite the journey. I must admit, looking forward is much scarier than looking back. The latter is also more rewarding, seeing that I was given the extreme opportunity to examine diverse narratives through so many mediums.
As a writer, I was really stretched to look beyond myself and beyond my usual comfort for rhetoric. It furthered my passion for diverse pieces to be created and to mirror a brevity of experiences and identities. And it showed me how much I still have to learn. Although, that doesn’t scare me too much anymore.
In these final thoughts, a couple quotes speak to me about this journey:
Tara Brach says in her podcast “Your Awake Heart is Calling”
Your Awake Heart Is Calling:
“Love has sometimes been described as giving our full, unconditional attention. When it’s really full and unconditional, the love is already there. Its almost like what cuts us off are these pulls from the past that get us very self-focused and “the other” becomes “bad other”….so we really aren’t paying attention because we have an agenda”
Paying attention to people, really listening to what they have to say— whether they are right in front of you or behind a text they have written or a piece of art they have created— is a dynamic part of becoming a compassionate and genuine individual. The more we listen, the less we “other” people. The less we “other” them, the more their experiences become important to us and the more we learn about the world around us. Truly, this is one of the greatest callings on the human life. We have the capacity for this connection. We must strive to use it.
Another author that was not explicitly mentioned in this course but is very near and dear to my heart as an educator but has truly inspired my work through this blog is Paulo Friere. This advocate for marginalized communities and well-rounded education for all people once said that “if the structure does not permit dialogue, the structure must be changed”.
Furthermore, I believe that we must take steps as a collective to reconstruct social notions that neglect diversity of culture. In a world that has solidified and isolated in our minds what “diversity” means, it is our duty to assess the structure that engenders this isolation. We have a responsibility to incite progression-positive discussion. We have an obligation to question the role that diversity of culture plays in our lives and create dialogue that no longer allows for the disconnect among people from different backgrounds. Lastly, I believe that the sooner we see our individual part in this process, the sooner we can migrate from a mentality of tolerance to one of compassionate understanding and appreciation.