Need help with my English question – I’m studying for my class.
View this TED Talk on what the future looks like and then answer the following questions:
- How did you respond to Gabriella Huggins’s film?
- Which, if any, images or narration spoke to you personally?
- Remember to respond to two of your classmates’ initial posts with your own opinions and ideas.
Gabriella Huggins’ film “Even Handed” was powerful because it is the younger generation that is practicing the empathy and compassion needed to understand equality. Samantha Highsmith recognizes that she is privileged as a Straight young woman, where she never had to prove to people who she was. While she could easily be apathetic to others’ struggles, she chose to become aware that not everyone is born with the freedom she has been blessed with. She also acknowledges that she has freedom because someone else fought for them, so she knows the importance of fighting for someone else’s freedom too. It is very easy to become ignorant to the struggle of others when you yourself have never dealt with prejudice. I liked that the film didn’t only emphasize the LGBTQ+ community, but everyone who is not considered equal. The end quote by Nelson Mandela is incredibly significant because it reminds you that the world is only better when you care for others. I think you miss out when you live life only focused on yourself.
TEDxParkCity. (2012, January 6). Gabriella Huggins – What the future looks like [Video]. YouTube.
Gabriella Huggins thinks the world of adults expects very little of her and other teenagers like her, except to be good consumers, immature, self-interested, and apathetic. I agree with her conclusion, in part. Presumably, such unconcerned teenagers would mature into unconcerned adults, blissful in their ignorance of the lives of others. I noted the contemporary (2012) reference to Facebook as a distracting and placating force to achieve this goal, mindful of the fact that I know scores of people my age who take very little interest in what goes on in the world outside of their view. I do not believe these expectations are limited to todays’ teenagers, though they may have the unique advantage of being more aware of them.
Huggins’s video, along with Samantha Highsmith, gave me hope. When asked by her classmate why she cared, she had no quick answer to offer; she just did. She did not need to experience the discrimination, persecution, or privation of others to feel compassion for them; she did not turn away from the images of suffering, change the channel, or see it as someone else’s problem. Why some people care and others do not, I cannot say, but it is very encouraging to think of a young, white, heterosexual, female, American caring about people vastly different from her. As Samantha reflected, her awareness was due, in large part, to the efforts of so many others who changed the cultural landscape and forced a conversation that people were uncomfortable about or unwilling to have. She cared because other people cared before her and it is in her interest to do the same.
As the montage of civil rights and consumerist images rolled by, Highsmith voiced “We don’t know how it really feels to be free because freedom doesn’t mean anything more to us than our freedom to carry guns or sip our lattes” (Huggins, 2012), and I was struck by how much I agree with her statement. It takes a special person to look outside of themselves and into the hearts and lives of people they do not know and whom they may never meet. It is far easier to see personal problems as the only problems and freedom as an abstract idea – something that was an issue in the past and that other people fought for and won, as if the fight were over. To do that mistakes personal privileges for freedom.
To not care is a privilege, an unvoiced statement to the world that as long as my needs are met, I need not get involved. To care means to acknowledge injustice, unfairness, cruelty, and to see that we are not all equally free. Some people will recognize these conditions and take to the streets in protest, donate to organizations, write to their public officials or run for office to effect change. Some will put a sticker on their binder to show support, invite questions, spark dialogue, and maybe change some minds.
Huggins, G. (2012). What the future looks like. [Video]. YouTube.