Saturday, November 19, 2016

Community Service and William Shakespeare

             Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare is such a difficult book to read. Not only the English was written in an ancient form, but also the characters were so intertwined with one another. The story first started with Duke Orsino, who fell in love with Olivia. However, Olivia's brother just passed away and she vowed not to love with anyone within the next seven years. Even though people warned Orsino that it was futile to fall in love with Olivia when she was suffering such a tragedy, Orsino insisted on showing his love in front of Olivia as he wanted Olivia to be with him. At the meantime, a girl named Viola was just rescued into a ship. Viola just lost his brother also and she had a deep empathy to Olivia. Viola then wanted to work under Olivia in order to have time to mourn for his lost brother. However, she could not work under Olivia as Olivia was unwilling to hire anymore servants. As a result, Viola changed into a boy figure and named herself Cesario. She (He) would work for Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino saw Cesario was very handsome and decided to let Cesario to take his love letters to Olivia meanwhile Cesario fell in love to Duke Orsino as she wanted to be his wife.
            The complicated relationship in the Twelfth Night gave me such a difficulty on how to connect these characters into my service learning session. I thought for a long time and I thought there were one or two things that I could learn from the first two acts of the Twelfth Night. 
The first thing that I learnt from the Twelfth night was patience. I knew that love requires patience and I really did not like how Duke Orsino was putting his own affection to Olivia on top of the sadness that Olivia was enduring. It gave me an impression that Duke Orsino was a selfish man. In modern standards, if a girl knew that his lover had no patience at all, I did not think the girl would like the boy anymore. Same with community service. It required a lot of patience to love someone that you did not know. These people that suffered aids were left alone in the Baltimore society. These people were too afraid to trust anybody anymore as they were discriminated. Therefore, till this week, when I tried to communicate with them and to open their hearts. They looked at me with hostility. I could feel that they were upset and distrustful as the society had lied to them many many times. However, I was not giving up my hope. I continually to work hard, to wash the dishes, cleaning the floor, dusting the table in order to gain their trust.  I believe that one day, these people will believe in loving and trusting other people again. 
          What made me really upset was when I came back to Loyola after the service learning, I saw a lot of people dressing up for the thanksgiving party. All the boys and girls were wearing very fancy costumes with all kinds of make up. It felt really festive at first but I felt sourness deep inside my heart. I knew that few streets away from here, there were a houseful of people waiting for me to go and love them. They did not need any money or food. They did not need any material needs. They just wanted to be loved and cared. A simple "I Love You" or a simple gratitude to them would changed their entire lives. However, most Loyola students were too distracted into their own parties and friends. Everyone was lifting up their phones and snap chatting with other people and posting Facebook pictures in order to earn likes. These actions disgusted me. As a result, I walked silently back into my room and stared in front of my wall for a long time. I prayed and hoped that God would give me more patience and courage to spread the message that our happiness was not the most important thing. The most important of all was the happiness within our community, which included all the people that were suffering from sickness and all kinds of disabilities.

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