It makes us feel; at least it made me feel.
In class, the students read an article entitled My Family’s Slave. I have never had such a powerful reaction from any of my classes in my 14 years of teaching. Students were emotionally connected to the article. I asked a few of my students to put their thoughts down for me so I could share. Here is one of the reactions.
By Izabella Pawlina
The article we read was heartbreaking. Obviously, Lola had to go through so much for majority of her life. She was practically a slave. But what was also upsetting is the fact that the author’s parents decided that the way they treated Lola was okay. In the society we live in, we would never imagine to do something like that.
Growing up, we were taught to respect others and “treat others the way you want to be treated”. So hearing that something like this happened fairy recently is what caught me off guard. Something I found interesting is that the author knew this was a problem instead of their parents who should be “role models” to their children. The author’s parents had some sort of reason for this and quite honestly, I don’t think it’s a very good reason.
A question I have always wanted to ask is why? Why do you find it okay to put someone through something like this? Do these people enjoy seeing others in pain? It makes me uneasy knowing this is real; this is happening without us even knowing. Now that is the problem. I always thought that slavery isn’t as common in this century. I was never taught or informed by this problem. Who knows, maybe there are people who know a lot about this. But there are still those who are uneducated on this topic. What happened to Lola shouldn’t happen to anyone. But no one is stopping it or not that many people are trying to prevent this.
Again, we were taught to “treat others they way we want to be treated” but why is no one actually taking that lesson and using it? There are so many problems in our world and by just being a generally kind person, we can help prevent these problems. But we do need to take into consideration that we can’t just be kind 100% of the time. My definition of kind is “to be respectful to others despite who they are.” We can still be respectful to someone we don’t necessarily like; we can still hold the door open for them or thank them. We don’t have to be friends with every single person on earth. Just show them that you are a good human being. So why are we so rude towards others? Why would we make others feel like objects rather than humans?
I think this article opens up many questions. It also informs us. It makes us feel; at least it made me feel. This article brought me to tears because I realized that something like this is still going on. I felt sorry for Lola and all she’s been through. I believe people should open up their minds and see the world around us with more focus. We’ve been told how to think. But this is our mind to control not theirs.