Americans. We as a people are, in a way, a paradox. We, together, are connected because of our differences. Our discontinuity brings about continuity—a starting point for a discussion. We want to know? Where are you from? What’s your heritage? In many ways the more unique we are, the more pride we have in ourselves. It’s a confidence booster—a sort of self-patriotism.
But at the same time our differences disconnect us from one another. Different religions have different practices. Different Races often find strength in numbers. But one of the major factors in our society’s discontinuity is income.
Them ambition in “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” is clearly there. This document clearly illuminates the Jesuits’ goals to bring about faith and social justice to people of all social standings, races, and religions. They call for “the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.” This sounds great on paper, but is it feasible?
The document goes in to our capitalistic economy where the poor work long hours for low wages with little chance of social mobility. It is a prime example of the strong (wealthy) taking advantage of the weak (poor). It’s been going on in our country from its establishment. Poor people worked in textile mills, made diminutive wages, barely made enough to support their families, and then got injured and couldn’t work anymore therefore sticking themselves deeper in quicksand. Now in present day, immigrant s come across our borders (many illegally) and look for work. What they find is a black hole with no social mobility.
Last Semester I watched a film about Mexican immigrants working in industrial factories where they would assemble various appliances for huge corporations. We watched these impoverished people work villainous hours and come home to barely support a family that already lived in huts that were contaminated and falling apart. This is a live we “Americans” cannot imagine. And yet, how much different are these people than us? Aren’t we a country of immigrants? We’re most of our ancestors in these peoples’ shoes sometime over the past few generations? This way of thinking, our way of thinking, is “the result of what man himself, man in his selfishness, has done…”
While talking about Salman Rushdie I found it incomprehensible that his country, India, where he was born, lived for numerous years, and him, himself, loved, would never let him back into the country because of something that he had written? C’mon! And yet he still loved the country? C’mon X2!!
And yet on a small scale I can relate to him in “Imaginary Homelands.” In class we have been discussing what it means to be a home. Or better yet, how does somebody’s home define them. Yes it is their culture, their native language, their religion, but above all I believe that it should be experiences and relationships that were built in the homeland. Rushdie doesn’t look back at his time in India with contempt; no, he embraces the country as part of him.
Let’s bring this a little off topic, for a sec, just because it’s been omnipresent in my mind for the past week. So I’m a huge fan of the Liverpool Football Club. My favorite player on the team is Fernando Torres. He recently left the club for their arch rivals. Now I’m enfuriated. I love the player, yet he is the enemy. It’s hard to wrap my thoughts around it. Right now, sure, I hate him. But that is just because of how much I liked him, how much he had meant to me being a Liverpool fan. But than you realize that it is just a football transfer, and life goes on. I’ll get over it…eventually.
Now, let’s bring it back. Rushdie talked about how all people, all over the world, immigrate from their past. (Off topic paradox of time: if the present, now, is the sum of all present’s past…then what present can last?) Immigration through time, is not problem but a natural process in life. We move on, but at the same time we strive to make the world a better place. Home is our comfort zone. A place where we can embrace ourselves. Yet the world we live in has been denying people this comfort.
The document “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” has ambition and a purpose, but our society’s foundation is working against their ultimate goal. The Jesuits’ look to “spiritually educate” everybody, that is teach them morality, justice, and love. However, I’m not sure one can simply change the way of the world. But there are higher goals here that are worth trying. Everybody needs to feel like they have a home.