Before Getting Defensive, Try Some Empathy

Dear Editor,

We are mad at the system that we feel has repressed us. We want to be free; we want to overcome; we want to win. But we cannot fight for freedom and peace, because the very nature of a fight precludes both freedom and peace — in fact, it perpetuates the cycle of oppression. It necessitates that one party prevails over another, and in that scenario, both sides feel threatened and react accordingly. Fighting against something merely serves to reinforce it. What is called for, then, what pounds in our hearts and brings us flocking together, is a yearning for awareness; a shift in consciousness.

Suss it out. On what level does the issue exist? It is a matter of human emotion and how we choose to express our feelings? Is this warfare, or welfare?

Discrimination is supposed to be illegal, but how can we prosecute perception? We have arrived at the reality of how people treat each other. This is about human rights and it’s inextricable from any other inconsideration committed by one person against another. Repression, crime and war are all symbolic of the isolation of the psyche, just as coming together to create a movement for positive change is symbolic of the connection of the soul.

Over the course of history we have won many battles — only to keep fighting. This is the human condition. We are all hurt. We’ve got to stop fighting and start feeling. To truly succeed in making a change, we must first cultivate a deeper awareness of the atmosphere we are creating … We must infuse ourselves with compassion, understanding and acceptance. (This is the only state of mind in which we can actually LIVE, not just visit on the weekends.)

Secret to destroying the enemy? Love it to death. In the light of love, the enemy disappears. It is only our own shadows that prevents us from seeing each other and treating each other as equals. It’s a collective effort that must be taken personally; we can only be responsible for our own emotions and emissions. Keep an open heart.

—Gina Tang

Student writer,

Office of Student Wellness