a boy writing to the world

Archive for the tag “society”

One moment changes everything

This morning, I got in the subway holding a box containing my sculpture project. I was on my way to college and I was tired since I had only slept 3 hours that night. I was standing, holding myself to a pole with one hand, and holding the box with the other. I looked behind me and met the eyes of an old woman who looked kind of homeless. Two stations later, somebody next to her got up and out, so I went to sit next to the woman. “Good thing you sat down, holding that box standing up in the metro is not obvious,” she said. I looked at her and acknowledged her claim with a slight smile and a simple ‘yeah’. Then she said  to me, in a joyful way, “stay the way you are.” I was quite confused and surprised, so I looked at her and my first reaction was to  say “what?” as if I hadn’t heard what she had said. She then told me, “actually, I was observing you and I noticed something, so I wanted to tell you to stay the way you are. Never let anyone influence your being.” The woman was smiling and seemed very happy and proud to be telling me this. She had a missing tooth, a blue coat, and an elated glance. I smiled back and thanked her for the kind words. I didn’t know her, she didn’t know me, she had made my day, she had changed my day, and as everything seemed the same and went down the same, deep inside it wasn’t.

Good thing I didn’t skip my class that morning.


A little knowledge doesn’t hurt

I was reading this essay by Jonathan Kozol the other day for my English course and at some point during my reading it kind of hit me. The essay is called “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”, it is worth reading. I never really had taken the time to think about the struggles illiterate people go through up until I read this essay. Below I provide you with an extract, more specifically, the part that moved me the most. Enjoy.

“I stood at the bottom of the ramp. My car had broke down on  the freeway. There was a phone. I asked for the police. They was nice. They said to tell them where I was. I looked up at the signs. There was one that I had seen before. I read it to them: ONE WAY STREET. They thought it was a joke. I told them I couldn’t read. There was other signs above the ramp. They told me to try. I looked around for somebody to help. All the cars was going by real fast. I couldn’t make them understand that I was lost. The cop was nice. He told me: ‘Try once more.’ I did my best. I couldn’t read. I only knew the sign above my head. The cop was trying to be nice. He knew that I was trapped, ‘I can’t send out a car to you if you can’t tell me where you are.’ I felt afraid. I nearly cried. I’m forty-eight years old. I only said: ‘I’m on a one-way street…’ “


For the curious little minds, I read this essay from THE SEAGULL READER: ESSAYS, Second edition.

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