Thursday, May 5, 2011

Journal Four

Many of the profiles from Holding On were very interesting and carried a lot of meaning behind them, in what the people felt was important to them and how they lived their lives. One of my favorite profiles we read was one of the first, about Lawrence “Happy” Davis, the retired Pullman Porter. What stood out to be most interesting throughout his profile was his love for his job. He loved to meet new people and travel the United States. Also he really liked being a part of the positive movement that African Americans were taking in the work force. However, at the end he shows us that it was just a job to him and there was more to his life afterwards. He felt he has his time and now he could just relax however he wanted.

Another person that really impressed me was Mike Gashwazra, the religious leader from the Hopi Indian Reservation. His resolve to keep traditions and practices that his ancestors would have done alive was remarkable. Even though a more modern lifestyle would be easier, and it was being pushed at him consistently, he chose to fight it and remain traditional. I really appreciated his dedication to his religion, when he felt that if he embraced the new ways, the Sun would stop warming him, or the Rain Gods would stop giving them water. All he really seems to want is to keep doing the things him and his people have been doing for generations.

A theme that I find in the profile of Mike Gashwarzra is a balance between new technologies and old tradition. I think that now it is very apparent, especially with technologies advancing as quickly as they are. There is a need to establish a culture and be set in a certain style of ways, but everything is constantly becoming more and more efficient, it’s impractical to keep the same methods for too long. Mike Gashwarzra loves the past and where he came from, as a society we love the future and seeing where we are going. I think a good look at both is necessary to really understand either. We can’t see where we’re going without knowing where we’ve been.

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