Monday, November 15, 2010

You Can Make a Difference!

About a month ago I attended the Global Oneness Banquet which was an event that portrayed the struggle of poverty and hunger of many individuals all across the world. The Global Oneness Banquet allowed me to step back and analyze reality and overall changed my view on global issues. This event really hit me and immediately made me want to make a difference and help in some way to ignite change for a better society world-wide. My event for this week is based off of my experience with attending the Global Oneness Banquet. It involves the club on campus called Ignite Change. I signed up to participate in this club after the impact the Global Oneness event had on me. On Monday night I chose to check out the club and what it had to offer and if it was something I would be interested in. I arrived a little early in order to introduce myself and get a seat because I really didn’t know what to expect. It turns out that the club only has a few members, but don’t let the size fool you, the experienced members don’t waste any time planning events and setting up ways to inform the Loyola community of the worldwide global issues that surround us. They made me feel welcomed right away and allowed me to share my own ideas and topics to discuss. At the event meeting we discussed the impact of nuclear weapons on society today. I have chose to become an active member and am extremely interested to see what changes we can bring about in the community. The purpose of Ignite Change is to aspire to raise awareness and actively engage the greater Loyola community on global issues. I encourage others to participate in future events the club is organizing. It’s a step towards change for the better and there is nothing better than that! Ignite change discusses events and issues such as Relay for Life, the Red Flag Campaign, Human Rights, and Global Warming. These are just a few future endeavors the club hopes to tackle.

As I was sitting in on the Global Oneness Banquet and the Ignite Change event I found that the values and discussions present in these event can be directly linked to the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer. The main character in the novel, Shane, represents the spirit of the west. He mysteriously enters a valley in Wyoming and immediately impacts the Starrett’s life. After the completion of the novel I went back to analyze Shane’s role and he, like the club Ignite Change, does in fact represent change. He symbolizes the hope of attaining the American Dream. Joe Starrett was a farmer and was use to, for the most part, caring for his land on his own. He did all of the physical labor in the field and tended to the animals, but had the constant irritation of competitor and big land owner, Luke Fletcher. Shane arrives suddenly and serves as another father figure towards Bob, the narrator and child in the novel. There is one scene in the novel where Shane states “a man has to repay his debts” (page 21), his debts meaning the trust that formed between Joe Starrett and himself. He begins chomping at the strong roots of the stump which represents all odds against the Starrett family to be successful and the conflict between humans and the natural world. After the two men are able to uproot the stump from the ground which symbolizes hope and freedom, a significant bond forms and the men soon become inseparable and Shane becomes part of the Starrett family. Shane becomes the protector of the family; he fights Red Martin and Fletcher, on Joe’s behalf, and does not allow Joe to show his face in town on the occasion he might get hurt. Bob states before Shane heads for the town before killing Red and Fletcher, “I remember Ed Howell’s saying that this was the most dangerous man he had ever seen. I remembered in the same rush that father had said he was the safest man we ever had in our house. I realized that both were right and that this, this at last, was Shane” (page 129). Shane represents danger, mysteriousness, and quietness, accompanied by love, kindness, and pride. He entered the small valley of Wyoming and made a change for all the homesteaders. He stood up for their rights, their land, and for their safety by putting his own life at risk and defeating Fletcher. His is a dominant figure that changed that small valley of Wyoming forever.

This conflict between humans in the natural world is what the club Ignite Change seeks to mend. One person can make a difference in society and Shane proves that in the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer.

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