Sunday, September 25, 2016

Social Justice for the Oppressed

This week instead of going to an event I read an article and watched a video on social justice within the jesuit education.  The letter I read “Another World Is Urgent” by Ernesto Cavassa SJ, was about the financial crisis that is affecting the world and how it affected the less fortunate.  Ernesto Cavassa SJ states that the root of the problem was the real estate market crash in the United States.  Between major investment banks going bankrupt to the United States government trying to save business the situation just kept getting worse.  Cavassa is greatly disappointed that the country's ability to fix the real estate market, a problem that was caused by greed, rather than the growing poverty issue.  The real issue is that we are pushing the poor down lower than they were before.
We are not fulfilling our goals to end poverty because we are not meeting financial commitments set by the United Nations.  The issue of poverty has taken a backseat to many other less important problems.  Cavassa is asking us to think of others when making decisions because they can negatively affect others who are not as fortunate.  He is also asking The Society of Jesus to take the time to help and not just be bystanders to the poverty issue.  Many people are oppressed around the world because of their financial status.
The video I watched was called Melbourne Conference 2015-Social Justice by Loyola University Chicago.  The video shows the benefits of getting a jesuit education and how we can use that to help others.  One way people are doing that in the video is visiting impoverished countries and trying to understand how to help the people there.  Jesuit institutions are trying to teach students to think outside of themselves and try to learn how they fit into the world.  They are structuring their classes to show students how to help others, much like the service options in many of our classes.
In the short story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, tells the story of a man and his beautiful wife.  His wife’s only imperfection is the small hand shaped birthmark on her face.  Her husband, Aylmer, compulsively obsessives over the small mark on her face and it is slowly driving him mad.  Since he is so distraught over the mark, he gradually makes his wife hate it also.  Aylmer decides to remove the birthmark only to discover that it was the only thing keeping her alive.  Aylmer oppressed his wife so much that she started hating the mark.     
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”  the narrator’s mental health is declining.  Her husband knows she is sick, but keeps assuring her that she is getting better.  She constantly asks her husband to let her leave the house, but he always refuses.  She spends so much time in the house that she starts to analyze the ugly wallpaper.  She states, “I believe- and follow that pattern about by the hour.  It is as good as gymnastics, I assure you.  I start, we’ll say, at the bottom, down in the corner over there where it has not been touched, and I determine for the thousandth time and I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of conclusion”(Gilman 392).  She is slowly losing her mind as her husband forces her to stay in the house.
The last work “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth shows how loneliness can make others feel oppressed.  The characters in all three stories feel unwanted and oppressed.  The women in “The Birthmark” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” are oppressed by their husbands.  In the letter and the video it shows that more fortunate people oppressed the poor.

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