SE Asia Unit Reflections

One major thing I learned from this unit was the perils of stereotypes. Also, it was a lucky coincidence that I was able to learn about the similar topic in Sociology. After this, I started to think differently. I learned to understand the poors. In the past, I also was one of those people who thought that it was their fault to become poor. I felt ashamed to even think that I had this stereotype, and I tried to influence others to be in poor people’s shoes.

These people have been working hard only thinking about surviving through today. We are blessed to even think about the future. Environment factor was one of the biggest influencer in our lives. We just thought that it was our hardworks that brought us up here. Maybe we wanted to think this way to feel superior over others. I repent to these people who are working even harder than us to survive through the day.

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The Power of Hope

The statement that we are in the middle of hope and fear and we are constantly getting tugged from each edges resembles my state of mind. Most of the time, however, I fear. When most of my valuable time vanishes with my fears, hope suddenly comes in to somehow pull me back into the real world. This excrutiating lasting of fear and sudden shortburst of hope got me to here. However, I didn’t have time to think about the fear that has been always with me, and I tend to think about the hopes that rarely stays with me.

If you ask why is having hope so important, in my opinion, there is one answer to that question. No matter what happens to you, hope leads you to better thoughts and results. Of course, in order to fully reach the desire, hope has to correlate with the work you put in, however, at the least it helps you to think positively. Nobody can be posilutely absotively sure about the actions that you take, but with hope, things do get better.

Holocaust Survivor stories

Joseph Moses Lang’s story

On Joseph’s 17th birthday, he was transported by cattle car with other hundreds of other Jewish people, to Auschwitz. When arrived, men and women were immediately separated. He was sent to work camp, and he did many arduous works such as working in a cement factory, railroad working, and woodworking. During that time, he was beaten very badly several times. One time he was sent to the “dentist” to get his wisdom teeth pulled out as a punishment. Another time he was charged to run four laps when the German shepherd dog was chasing him. He was beaten on his neck. Every single thing in that place was horrible. When Jews were liberated, he lost track of their family, which gave them even more horrible time. 6 months later, he found Meir, who was his older brother, but couldn’t find the rest of the others except some of the relatives from his mother. On mid 1970s, Meir got killed from the agricultural accident. He got a skin cancer from the woodworking when he was at the work camp. The End.

At first, I chose this story because the name of the fellow was pretty interesting. However, when I read the story, I was shocked. I was shocked on how he was brutally treated. I was shocked on how his life did not have an awarding ending compared to how much he has suffered. The fact that he could not talk about this story right until his death came nearby explains how traumatic his life in concentration camp was. It is a very depressing story that will stick in my head for a long time.

World War II Poetry Analysis

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Truly, the title embedded lots of meanings. In that period of time, the soldiers were treated as numbers. Of course, they provoked tears in citizens eyes, and were very well respected, but there were just too many for all of them to be remembered. Were those forgotten soldiers’ sacrifices worth it? It is for them to decide the worth, but the fact is that they were forgotten.

E.L Mayo effectively uses the word, “delicate,” by expressing the relationship between hand and gun. This partnership of gun and hand just didn’t end up to a bright situation, but triggered the wary bird of peace fly away. When people were celebrating for how the war went, these forgotten soldiers weren’t able to attend these cheerful moment, and had to stand outside like wolves in the moon. At the end, all they knew was the war. They knew this concept of war bitterly well, but they didn’t get to know this thing called peace.

In many ways, Mayo delivers depressing message of the forgotten ones. It is like he knew what they have been through, and he created a great mixture with his opinions about them. Wars create many emotions, and they always give the soldiers the worst emotion that could ever come out from the war, Loneliness.

Nationalism

My grandfather always told me about when he lived in one of the poorest countries in the world. He always starts his story with, “you are lucky to be born in this century,” and he tells me that people in the past had to go through bunch of hardships, and it was normal for them. He believes that he was in part of developing the country in such a short amount of time. He is proud to be Korean and I also am proud of my nationality. Nowadays, people tend to forget where they are from, and started to adapt other countries’ perspectives.

In the past, people stood up as one country often enough to create many historical events. This was possible because before then, there was passion in everyone’s heart. In this continually globalizing world, it is just not possible to convince majorities to support their nation when we all are so busy trying to become global citizens. Nationalism, however, is sometimes important to correct the wrong doings. Korean citizens were very self-centered, and seemed to have no passion for the country’s well-being, however when the former president did things that were against ethics, Korean citizens stood up as one country to bring her down. This wasn’t possible without the love of their nation. Nationalism isn’t always bad, but with the sinful thoughts in their leader’s mind, nationalism could be devastatingly harmful.

The war of ideas

If I was born in an Atheist family, perhaps I would be one of them. However, as soon as my umbilical cord got cut off, I was Christian. I didn’t have anything else to believe in, so I followed what most members of my community followed. When I got into the elementary school, I learned that not everyone was Christian. In fact, most of my friends were adherents of Buddhism, which shocked me for awhile. It was like, we were living in a different world, but on the other hand, we had many commonalities. As we grew older together, I was able to turn my friends into christians. I might be wrong because nowadays, people go to church to make friends, and they might be what they were used to be in the past. Nonetheless, I can confidently say that at least their mindset has changed in some way.

Conflicts in our heart never gets solved. It gets more vague as we grow old. Since I was so desperate to believe in the right thing, I had to be correct. I tried to find some of the mistakes that bible had made, and actually, there was a lot. It was such an immature move to make, and I learned that real belief comes from you, not from the bible or any other documents written by humans. My friends must have struggled to find the right answer, and they came to a conclusion that led them to go to church every Sundays. We all seek to find the right answer, and the right answer technically does not exist. It was us that formulated the right answer. I believe that even the extremists must have struggled to find the truth, and their own personal truth was to become the person they are right now, or they might still be working to find the ideal truth.

The Collision of Culture, Morality and Human Rights. (Extra Credit)

Culture is set from the belief by the certain group of people, but morality is set by your own point of view. The world has always been unjust, and there were only few who valued morality truly in their heart. Culture has shaped us in a way, so that we can’t get out of the cube that they created. Firm beliefs are often turning into stereotypes, and that’s what causes people to violate human rights. We can see some examples in The Good Earth, when Wang Lung treats women like a slave. Wang Lung was definitely a kind and moral person, but the culture has shaped him to feel nothing when it came to treating women harshly.

I don’t believe that I lived a moral life, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t give a thought about morals. Every time I add up the garbage onto my set of morality, the stinky smell of it creates confusion on which is garbage and which is not. I used to be very conscious on such things, but I don’t think I feel as much guilt nowadays. My consciousness of guilt just got numb very quickly without my own self noticing it, but I couldn’t bring my innocence back because the stinky smell is already too overwhelming. Maybe I would be able to cleanse myself if I just throw away everything I obtained throughout my life. I mean, erasing all of my memory to begin again.