Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Imperfection is Beauty

Despite the fact that I attended the Global Oneness Banquet over a month and a half ago, the event, geared to raise awareness of hunger throughout the world, has stuck out to me more than a starved, homeless child’s ribs. I was not sure what to expect; all I was told was that I should dress up and come hungry. I spent half the day getting ready, doing my hair and makeup and picking out a nice outfit. An hour before I was to be at the banquet, my cheerleading coach called me to announce that he was holding an impromptu practice in the next few minutes. Apparently my excuse of attending the banquet was not good enough to excuse me from my college varsity sport duties. I was expected to practice, go to the banquet, and then return to practice afterward. I had to strip from my beautiful, carefully picked out outfit and sprint to the gym, ruining my hair and makeup in the process. I angrily put up a few stunts, getting further sweaty, and more agitated. Finally, I was excused so that I could run up a few more flights of stairs to the fourth floor programming room to attend the banquet before having to return to practice, again.

At this point, I figured it was pointless to change back into my nice outfit just to change out of it once more. Hence, why I showed up to the banquet, panting, hair in a messy ponytail, wearing workout clothes and lacey stockings underneath. To top it all off, I was told that I would be seated at the nice tables. At first, I thought that might be a good thing to get some sort of special treatment. I was in desperate need of some good news. To my dismay, I found out that this would be the subject of envy and evil glares. Since I was in rare form that night, instead of thinking like I usually would have in this situation—about the poor and how everyone should help them out—I had a different thought process. I felt some empathy for the Donald Trumps out there.

It is not fair to always blame the top dogs. It is often through hard work that those people have gotten to where they are. Of course there are some people who have gotten their money through unjust means. There are also people who have gone to school for an extra amount of time, worked hard, and through their efforts, they have achieved success. It is not fair to place those people into the category of corrupt and evil just as it would not be fair to place all of the poor people of the world into the category of lazy no-goods. Sure, some people are homeless through no fault of their own and it is due to some bad luck. There are also people who have made bad choices and through their own laziness they have gotten to where they are today—homeless on the street.

Before I start saying bah humbug, I would like to point out that I did not miss the whole message of the event. Prior to attending the Global Oneness Banquet, I understood the importance of being compassionate to the less fortunate. Instead of reiterating the same, trite things as everyone else who attended the event, I wanted to give the true underdogs a chance to get their voice heard. The “top dogs” are so well-to-do that people never consider that they could be the underdogs, too. That is exactly what makes them the underdogs, the ones for whom absolutely no one is rooting. The poor people of the world have the Church and various charities rooting for them. With God on their side, they should not need much more help. After all, if they are not rewarded on earth, they are supposed to have an eternity of rewards in Heaven.

At the banquet, the speaker mentioned that, “When we experience oneness, we feel in the gut and in the heart that we are part of something beyond ourselves, that there is harmony and meaning in life, and that every human being and every aspect of existence is uniquely valuable. We live oneness through respect, compassion, cooperation, and creativity, which naturally support the most fundamental needs of life.” If that is the main message that was supposed to be taken from the event, then it should have been more clear that, while helping out the poor, no one should discriminate against the rich. That would defeat the whole purpose of oneness. The Dove ad shown in class shows that there is no such thing as perfection. Since there is no such thing as a perfect person, no one should fault others for common mistakes. The rich should not turn their cheek to the poor, and the poor should not scold the rich for having wealth.

In Shakespeare’s play, Measure for Measure, one line stated, “They say, best men are moulded out of faults,
and, for the most, become much more the better
for being a little bad.” Interestingly enough, the heroes in the play are just as flawed as the villains. One of the most interesting things that I learned through the events and readings is that it is through people’s imperfections that they learn the most, and that is what shapes them to be the heroes they are.

In the novel, Shane, the character, Shane, though he looks dangerous and the Starrett family does not know much about him, they are willing to give him a chance, no questions asked. Though he does have a rocky past, he looks past it in order to help the family for whom he has grown affectionate. Through the biggest act of self-sacrifice, he is willing to risk his life and go back to his old ways in order to help benefit the family. Shane was hardly perfect, yet he more than lives up to the expectations that the family had for him. In his past life he may have been seen as a villain, yet to the Starrett family, he is a hero.

There is never going to be a human who is entirely perfect. Therefore, common mistakes are bound to happen. In order to reach oneness, it is important to be forgiving and to think of everyone as equals. All people should be shown respect—people of all ages, races, genders, and economic statuses. Once there is no longer room for discrimination in the heart, then there will only be room for compassion, and that is the first step to reaching Global Oneness.

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