Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One man Under God

There’s more to me than you see. It is a seemingly simple quote which has a little bit of a rhyme to it, that makes you smile and nod in agreement. We all like to think that people see more than just face value of who we are; we hope that they take the time to get to know who we are as people instead of just holding us to stereotypical viewpoints of our race or ethnicity. The truth is though that most people do not take the week it may take, but starts judging from the very second they see you. I went to the lecture, “There’s more to me than you see” and at first I thought it was just going to be another cheesy thing Loyola does to get us to get to know each other. I thought there would be some stories about people which may or may not be true and I thought that I was not going to really get much out of it. Then when the lecture started I realized that it was going to be a little more interesting than Gaby goes to College.
Most of the seats were taken in the back and middle sections, so my friend and I were lead right up to the second row where there was a noticeable different atmosphere. The people sitting in front of us were obviously teachers or some kind of other authority figure. It was weird because they did not seem eager to hear what was going to be said they seemed to be on edge and looked a bit nervous as if they were expecting something bad to happen. When the speaker welcomed us I got that same kind of somber feel. His voice was a bit shaky as if he was on the verge of tears and his voice was more monotone than anything. He went on to ask everyone if we could all please stay in our seats and pay the people the respect of not talking, this was all normal stuff, but then he added that if anyone got offended by anything that was said to hold their comments to themselves and just excuse themselves; this I thought was a little weird. What the heck was going to be said where people are not going to be able to stand to sit in their chair?
In the first row there were about eight students sitting side by side preparing their thoughts to speak and share their stories, which dug right into my heart. I heard about a black student who, while trying to save a man from not jumping off the Loyola bridge, was called the N word over and over again. I heard about a blind student who was abused by his swim teammates who were suppose to be his friends, but instead thought it as funny to poke him and probe him with sick games. I heard about an Asian lesbian who brought up the point that we all probably thought she was going to talk about being a minority on campus, but really she was making that her point that no one would know that she was a lesbian by looking at her so we shouldn’t judge her as if we know her, when we don’t. I heard about a white Irish male student who did not come from a high class rich neighborhood, but was proud of his heritage and who he was and comfortable enough to venture out to become the President of an African American group on campus. I heard about a student who lives her day switching with her moods and dealing with being Bipolar, and how she was placed in a box of depression and isolation. I heard about a Jewish student who gained confidence in embracing her religion. I heard about a student who did not think about what he said most of the time and slipped up with calling his friend a ‘fairy’ by losing a video game, he was joking but he did not think that someone in the group may have been gay or might have taken offence.
I heard a lot of stories that night and I realized something. We all have a story and are all living our lives facing each other and are probably being judged by one another. This shouldn’t happen though. We are all people, all made up of the same things, but we are also all unique and I think that we all just need to embrace each other’s differences and learn about them instead of shying away from something or someone that makes you uncomfortable. I wish we really all realized that we are one man, whether we are black, white, gay, Asian, blind, challenged or whatever, and that we are all under the same necessities to live under God. I’m glad I went to this forum because it made me exited for my next four years here. I realized that there are people out there willing to accept others, we just need to open ourselves up also.

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