Shania Steele - shanias
Journey Log #3
The readings that stood out to me this week are from our classification assigned Monster PDFs. As a ranger, I read Monsters and the Moral Imagination and focused on the part where xenophobia was discussed. First, I searched "xenophobia definition" to get a more in depth meaning of the word besides the one given at the bottom of the page. Xenophobia, which is the fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or anything that is strange or foreign. I find this concept quite odd since our entire country was founded by foreigners and strangers with separate cultures and ideals. Instead of embracing things and people that are different from us, we make fun and outcast them from our society. We also always seem to find a way to blame everything wrong with our society on those we have pushed away and made a joke of. This would be otherwise known as scapegoating, where the outcasts embody the meaning of this word so that the "normal people" don't have to. The scapegoat theory dates back to Biblical times and is simply a way for our society to give an excuse for the wrongs we have inflicted on others. This powerful concept has been used by political leaders to bring a group together against a cause or separate group that causes a threat. If we accepted "outsiders" and stopped acting scared of things they cannot change or learning more about them and their cultures, life in our society wouldn't be so hard. This would also eliminate the never-ending cycle of acting scared, blaming, outcasting, trying to fix the issue, and so on. It is our own responsibility to improve our views and society as a whole by starting small within ourselves and promoting positive reinforcements against differing cultures instead of downplaying or ridiculing it.
In the other reading that we were all required to read, my favorite quote was "If we are all insane, then sanity becomes a matter of degree." I feel that a comparison between the definitions of sanity and insanity would help me interpret the quote better. I searched "insanity definition" and "sanity definition" in Google. Insanity was defined as a severely disordered state of mind usually occurring as a specific disorder while sanity is the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner. The two words can be taken very literal or not at all depending on the context. In our society, those that deviate from the practiced norm to commit certain acts or have certain views that we can't seem to grasp as anything but insanity are seen as the outcasts. Although we'd all like to think of ourselves as sane, it doesn't work that way. I get called crazy for my OCD and making sure everything is in order or changing the numbers of the volume in my friend's car and being picky about how my book bag is arranged. Since my actions differ from the norm, I'm seen as even a little bit insane with my head not completely there. But that's okay and I've come to terms with it. I don't freak out when people say it anymore cause I can't change it (and trust me I have tried). The matter of degree isn't actually defined in your own mind, but instead in the mind of others and how they see you and your actions. Maybe if our society wasn't so judgmental against those that are even a little bit different, then we'd live in a better world. However, we all know there's no way in hell that getting everyone to think the same thing is gonna work. The "real definition" of insanity from Albert Einstein perfectly captures how our society works. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results." We talk entirely too much about how we want things to change and how we'd like everyone to get along but we are stuck in our ways and follow the same ideas that will change nothing. We, as participants in modern society, are responsible for the way things are and also why they're not changing. It only takes a few differing opinions to get a conversation started where others will pick it up and follow. Of course there will be those that oppose it, but if we can get a majority for even a small change then it could happen.