The quote I have chosen for this discussion post is: “Suffering does not ennoble. It destroys. To resist destruction, self-hatred, or lifelong hopelessness, we have to throw off the conditioning of being despised, the fear of becoming the they that is talked about so dismissively, to refuse lying myths and easy moralities, to see ourselves as human, flawed, and extraordinary. All of us extraordinary.”
When I read this quote, the metaphor of the Phoenix bird rising from the ashes immediately comes to mind. This quote speaks to the power of human beings to overcome adversity, to be resilient, and to thrive against all odds. This point view might sound idealistic, and I am not saying that adversity is wanted or wonderful because it is not! What I am saying is that adversity is thrown at us without our choice, so the only way to survive it is to find the only resemblance of free will that we can find, and take ownership of our lives as they are, not as we wish they would be. Our response in the face of adversity is what builds and defines our character, and I believe this is the main idea expressed in the quote chosen.
All essays that we've read this quarter spoke to the authors' capacity to process raw experiences, to make meaning out of them, and to show us how to move forward, therefore opening the gateway to growth and knowledge. To me, this is the main connecting point between my chosen quote and the essays we have read over the quarter. Whether the authors wrote on overcoming poverty, dealing with cultural stereotypes, learning to live with an illness, or navigating the modern world of technology, they all brought their unedited, courageous, and raw selves naked right before our eyes, therefore inspiring us to hopefully do the same; to drop the masks, and to dare to live bravely not in spite of our imperfections, but because of them.
In closing, I remember answering the question What makes good writing?in the beginning of the quarter, and, without looking, I believe I wrote that it was the kind of writing that had the capacity to get to people and to send them important meaning and messages. Looking back, I wholeheartedly feel that this is what all of these essays delivered. Learning from people's stories, if we are open, can spare us so much heartache and pain, so it is such a blessing to have access to so many narratives, lessons learned, and bits of wisdom. I truly believe the world would be a really sad place without stories, especially those that are authentic and rich in insight and meaning.
The quote I chose for this discussion is: "I need you to do more than survive. As writers, as revolutionaries, tell the truth, your truth in your own way. Do not buy into their systems of censorship, imagining that if you drop this character or hide that emotion, you can slide through their blockades. Do not eat your heart out in the hope of pleasing them."
What this quote tells me, is that it is very important to write what is in your heart. To not be afraid to express your true feelings and emotions. Like revolutionaries, writers can bring about a complete or sudden change in the world with their words but in doing so it is important to stay true to what you really believe in and not change your beliefs to please the audience. Sometimes there are things that people do not want to hear but a true writer will say them even if it means that the readers will not approve or he/she will be judged negatively.
I would say this quote applies in some way to all of the essays we have read this quarter. The writers have been open about their experiences and spoken about very personal matters that some people would not be willing to share. For example "On Dumpster Diving" the author is not afraid to speak of having to eat food from the dumpsters that other people have thrown away. "On Being A Cripple" the author goes into detail about her struggles of having multiple sclerosis and openly speaks of her body image. In "The Myth Of The Latin Woman: I Just Met A Girl Named Maria" the author discusses dealing with an offensive man and her humiliating experiences as a Latina. These are not experiences most people are willing to share and would prefer to keep to themselves. However, these writers are true revolutionaries making their voices heard to make a difference in the world.
I completely agree with this quote as a good writer does not hold back and expresses his feelings and emotions to the fullest. Looking back on the essays I wrote this quarter, I was surprised at myself that I opened up about very personal matters in my own writing. The fact that I was also willing to share them with complete strangers was also shocking to me. I felt that in order to express my feelings and emotions, I had to be truthful in what I wrote and not be afraid of what others might think of me. I guess that is what writing can do to a person.
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