Sunday, September 25, 2016

Helping and Serving

After reading three stories and went to two different service learning preparatory session this week, I am amazed how these stories reflected perfectly on how I feel in the service learning preparatory sessions. The three stories, “The Birthmark”, “The Yellow Wallpaper and “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, show the deepest hidden reality that the main characters have. What the main characters feelings are suppression and emotionally detached from the real world. Slowly and steadily, they became insane and ended up acting more radically. Same to Baltimore, a lot of people did not deserve the respect they had. Maybe the government or others try to “help” them and instill “positivity” in their minds, but it turns out the “help” they offer actually worsen the trust and relationship between the helpers and the needed. Therefore, it is crucial that people who offer aid, must maintain a correct attitude.
In the Don Miller’s prep session and the “Refugee for Youth” prep session, I learned the difference between helping and serving. It seemed that both terms share the same meaning, but under the context of community service. Both meanings were vastly different than each other. Helping is just offering help to someone. It is not required to understand the psychological aspect of the sufferer. For example, when someone is hungry, I can offer them food or when someone is cold, I offer them a jacket. The process of helping is simple and straightforward. Most of all, the results can be seen easily. However, serving is different, there must be an understanding between the helper and the sufferer first before the helper can carry out any action. Without understanding, the help the helper offers is not going to be enough. For example, a student went to the study and ask for help on Understanding Literature in Dr. Ellis's class. The helper, without understanding, just helped the student to breakdown passages so that the student can understand more about the material. The helper did help her but the student did not have a chance to mention that he has a goldfish memory (7 seconds memory). As a result, he forgot all the material again and ended up in a C in Dr. Ellis's class. If the helper has a serving attitude, he will not immediately offer the “help” that he thinks the student needs. In fact, he will think like the student and try to understand his difficulties. After he truly understand that the student only has a memory of a goldfish, he will try to use different methods to eliminate the learning disabilities that the student has. The process is tedious and requires patience but the results will long last.
In the story “Birthmark”, Georgiana is a beautiful lady, such beauty attracts a lot of lovers. However, one side of her face is imprinted with a crimson hand, a hand that looks devilish and sinful. The hand gives all her lovers a second thought. Most of them thinks that it ruined her beauty and left her. Even though, she eventually married to Aymler, Aymler thinks that the cheek stain is bothering him more and more every single day. It is unbearable to watch anymore. Aymler thinks that the horrified stain overpowers his love to her. Therefore, Aymler tells Georgiana how disgusting Georgiana’s birthmark is and tries to avoid it every time when he meets Georgiana’s face. These actions make Georgiana heartbroken and doleful. Georgiana looks paler and weaker everyday while the birthmark is more and more obvious. Aymler, not understanding the creation of nature, decides to use his intellectual skill and try to take the awful hand away on Georgiana’s face. Neglecting Georgiana’s feelings and health, Aymler becomes more and more stubborn. He ignores nature one last time and successfully wipes the crimson hand away from his wife. Little did he know, he also wipes away her life. If he is more patient and understanding, his wife will not end up in such tragedy.
The “Yellow Wallpaper” reflects the same morale under a different context. The lady ,who is sick, is ignored by his husband John and his sister Jennifer. Even though the lady knew she was sick, her husband keeps on inserting positivism into her mind and fool her without understanding her actual needs. John negates all the request that she wants, takes away all her freedom, including her writings and her wish to move into a proper nursery room downstairs. Moreover, he orders Jennifer to inspect everything she does and limits her from going outside of the house. The lady is literally under a “house arrest”. Slowly but surely she connects her imaginations to the room. She looks into the wall and sees a girl that looks exactly like her, who is trapped behind the yellow wall paper. The lady at last decides to lock the room and tear off all the wall paper to release the trapped girl. John faints after seeing the paint while the lady just crawls on top on his faint body. Her madness, her insanity was all because of John’s reluctance to understand her needs.

Last but not least, “I wandered as a lonely cloud”, the context seems vague. The author wrote the experience on being a cloud and his secularism against the entire environment. Through his writings, I can see everything that he sees but I never see the author describing himself. It seems like the author is trying to distract me away from knowing him and to understand him. However, out of the three stories, the cloud experience does not seem as tragic as the other ones. I really hope that the slightly faint sadness on the experience of the cloud will eventually ends in a good way.

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