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Dare To Dream

by sweetjane

An essay commemorating MLK which we had to write for class so, there are some formal things required by my teacher which I would have done without.

There are two conflicting lessons you learn by growing up which collide to form hopeful, restless ambition: the world is an imperfect place, and empathy is its solvent. ”Empathy is the sunlight to the vampire of culture.”(Stefan Molyneux) I say that in light of my recent surge towards politics and my realization of corrupt society. Oddly enough, I am not turned off by this revelation but intrigued. I have humanist, idealistic hopes of change by way of education, the empowerment of women, travel, science, and art.

Indoctrination and ignorance are defining characteristics which are shared by poverty ridden and prejudiced regions. An example is: Eastern Europe, where the remnants of the filtering of intellect and opinion in the USSR are thriving. According to the author G.K. Chesterton, “Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” According to the EFA report of Oct. 2013, “Globally, over 40 years, income per capita would be 23% higher in a country with more equal education.” Education provides a shovel with which you may dig yourself out of the initial, unfortunate state of poverty. It also diversifies a community and forces them to attempt empathizing, creating a more inclusive, less bigoted, dogmatic culture in which ideas and opinions are valued over preconceptions. According to the article Education and Indoctrination in the Muslim World, “… the United States is an active player in the international education scene. Unlike U.S. diplomatic and military policy, however, its educational activities are not widely debated in the media or even widely studied within the scholarly community. That will have to change if we are to realize our aspirations for stable, friendly, and productive international relations” (Coulson 2). In short, education has time and time again proven itself a highway to higher living.

Women are half of the population, and should this huge portion be set free, so might the world. The thoughts of the UN Women are in harmony with mine, saying: “Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth…women make enormous contributions to economies… but they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation…gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions. It curtails access to economic assets such as land and loans. It limits participation in shaping economic and social policies.” As I must provide a solution as well as an acknowledgement of the problem, education seems yet again to be our savior. Gender inequality is not just a human rights atrocity and blatant contradiction to what we say we support but, a tendency which holds us all back. We must refuse to associate ourselves with those who decide to oppress our people, our children, citizens, contributors, artists, academics, politicians, scientists due to any of their characteristics which are out of their controlled realm.

I have painted my dreams upon the idea of travel; the magic of seeing a sea of faces which don’t look like mine. I will not sit waiting for a chance to realize the enormity of my existence and experience that certain connectivity to my world. Exploring the extant ideologies, controversies, mores, and sights light the fire which might press me into the ranks. Travel forces you to think, to inquire, include. You are made closer to problems which have not previously touched your life. You might see the grossly unsettling crying face of an emaciated child in contrast to a beautifully natural scene of Earth and be called to a cause which you have not seriously considered prior to this singularity of emotion. I dare to subject myself to this turmoil.

Science, truth, and questions are my religion. I have complete faith in the positive effect a higher rate of science literacy might have on the world. This walks together with my belief in education. You mustn’t be a scientist to be scientifically literate, simply have an elementary understanding of the workings and laws upon which your world is set. “So you can actually take that piece of science and come out of it with almost a deeper spiritual connection to nature…but let’s say that you don’t even have those kinds of altruistic sensibilities, then science literacy allows you to understand the causes and effects of your actions... scientific literacy can contribute to what kind of legislation you might pass…so that your descendants can be proud of you, rather than embarrassed by the fact that you were not good caretakers of the world they inherited.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey)

Art is simply an expression. Empathy again appears to be the theme. I weep at a song outlining the struggles of gaining equality for homosexuality although I myself have not experienced this struggle. I find in the face of the focus of a painting or photograph my own life, and suddenly feel a surge of compassion towards this specific person and their obstacles. I write and watch as my mother reads over my piece, her eyes cue that she suddenly feels our similarities and understands me more deeply. Art is universal, no scholarly study needed, just emotions.

Using these ideals which I dare to dream and have come to love and because the ugly traditions of this place do not deter me, I will change the world.

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Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:07 am
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there sweetjane and welcome to YWS! Niteowl here to review for Team Blue Moon this fine Review Day!

Overall, I think this has a lot of great ideas. You use a lot of excellent quotes, and it's great to hear young people's ideas about changing the world.

That said, I have a couple major comments. First off, is this supposed to be a formal research essay or a personal essay? The piece switches tones several times between an impersonal research essay and a more informal first person perspective (I wouldn't use pronouns like "I" and "you" in a formal essay).

My second observation is that this is very broad, touching on so many different ideas that it feels disjointed. If you cut out the paragraphs about travel and art, the whole thing would feel more cohesive. On the other hand, you may need that personal touch for this assignment. In that case, I suggest weaving your personal experiences into the issue paragraphs. Have you seen or experienced some form of gender discrimination? How has education changed your worldview?

”Empathy is the sunlight to the vampire of culture.”(Stefan Molyneux)

I love this quote, but it might make more sense at the beginning of the paragraph. In fact, you could set it on its own line, as an epigraph (quote that summarizes the whole essay).

Oddly enough, I am not turned off by this revelation but inclined.

This sentence is incomplete. If you replaced "inclined" by something like "inspired", it would work. Or you could say "inclined to fight this corruption" or something like that.

Using these ideals which I dare to dream and have come to love and because the ugly traditions of this place do not repulse me, I will change the world.

I might be missing something here, but "repulse" doesn't seem like the right verb. Wouldn't being repulsed by the current state of things be the first step toward fighting for change? If you mean that you will change the world despite what society does, I think "scare" or "deter" might fit better.

Overall, you have a lot of great ideas! Welcome again to YWS, best of luck at changing the world, and keep writing! :D

sweetjane says...

Yea, that point about the verb repulsed is really obvious now that someone pointed it out. I now read it like that. This was an essay for a contest which my teacher told me valued personal testimonies and objective facts. So, I attempted to weave them booth and I am planning on making this essay idea into some sort of series of works. Thanks for your review, it actually made me smile.

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Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:23 am
Lycando wrote a review...

Oh my...I really really loved this.

Okay first of all let me begin by saying that you've touched on a topic which I myself am very interested in, freedom of expression, empathy and equality. Yes, Martin Luther King is one of the people I look up to as well. :)

I like the very fact that this wasn't solely based on your opinion but on the words of others as well. Just goes to show that you do your research and it's not just some biased conjecture you arrive at.

However there are some ways in which I think you could have polished this up to make it even a more convincing argument.

1. Include some ideas and opinions from others who may disagree with you. Not everyone agrees with equality, especially for women. Some people still hold on to traditional ideologies that different genders have their specific roles.

2. Be clear on what you mean by education. Define it, give examples of it, paint this vivid picture of what education is to you. This is the part where you have to give your own opinions and input. This is mainly because propaganda does exist and is an extremely strong tool in changing entire societies. Make the comparison between the two and even suggest how a proper education leads to people daring to speak up against tyranny.

Overall a very good essay to read and I felt you put your point across convincingly. Normally I don't review essays but this one caught my eye. Hope my review helps you to improve on it!

sweetjane says...

Thanks. I think I am going to make this idea into some sort of series and expand on all of my points while adding the points you said

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jcyws says...

1. Include some ideas and opinions from others who may disagree with you. Not everyone agrees with equality, especially for women. Some people still hold on to traditional ideologies that different genders have their specific roles.

I think if you limit your audience to everyone who believes in 'equality' in some undefined sense of the word, then you still have a very large audience. Consider that a lot of the people who believe in traditional roles, actually see those roles as 'different but equal', and so do share some sense of the 'equality' value. So technically i admit you are correct, it's not a universal. But neither is speaking English for that matter... So I'm not sure I agree with your point. There's no way to be persuasive without appealing to a shared value somewhere. It is true, it increases your persuasiveness if the other side feels listened to, but you can't accomplish that without empathy. Basically, I think you have to assume the conservatives are not a different species, but really have the same values, however possibly ranked differently, and they just need to see the pros outweigh the cons of actually changing our ways.

That means sweetjane could possibly increase persuasiveness by giving some attention to the cons of change in order to dismiss them. As the piece currently stands. I see it more as motivational rhetoric, a sort of personal mission statement, that might hope to inspire some kind of activism among those who already share the values.

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jcyws says...

In my reply to @Lycando, I said:
That means sweetjane could possibly increase persuasiveness by giving some attention to the cons of change in order to dismiss them...

I think if you want to address an audience that is more moderate or conservative than you are, then a good approach would be to talk about what has helped you personally to adapt to changing social mores. If you do not have any such experience yourself, then perhaps you could find some anecdote from someone else's experience to reference, in that case make sure the point gets across that whoever it was, it was clearly someone you admire.

I think when you are young, it is actually kind of hard to understand that adaptability can be much of an issue because you're constantly adapting regardless, forced to learn things older people already have known for years. (Although, in the computer age that is true more and more for older people as well.) I think it was the french philosopher Foucault who invented the concept of 'anomie' to help articulate some issues with social change. So that might be a lead for your research in this regard.

The idea here is to convince us that not only can we adapt to whatever changes you envision, but that we will find it well worth doing so.

"Now I realize that there is no righteous path, it’s just people trying to do their best in a world where it is far too easy to do your worst."
— Castiel