Comments about Some Undercurrents in This New World

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When cleansing our company’s floor, I asked Katie, a female coworker in her twenty-something, about whether she would take university entrance exam again if possible. ‘No’ She answered, fretted.

We work in a second language teaching company where she worked as a sale consultant; I a lecture; both of us were insecurely hired because private company doesn’t guarantee stability.

‘No vacancy for job candidate over thirty’ the company’s hiring ad reads. There were so many demands for second language education that in this company and this sparsely populated city, three of us the lectures cannot satisfy the mounting demands so that hiring new teachers is urgently needed.

A interviewee returned from Bulgaria told me she graduated from university with a vocational degree in Business English and married an Italian husband. Slightly sunburnt, long-haired, whose husband silent siting beside her, she said the thing she considered most successful is that when in Bulgaria, foreign to almost everything surrounding her and lonely, she managed to learn Bulgarian as best as she could under Northern Europe’s chilling condition. With her husband, she also learned some Italian.

After saying goodbye to her, being asked about opinion on whether to hire her, I said her experiences were amazing and said it would be okay to hire her given her willingness to work long-termly.

‘She seemed too old to teach.’ The administrator, a man in his thirties, said to me. Suddenly, I was almost impressed by his remark but everyone sitting around me in the office said nothing. What if we are in thirties? Will there be an opportunity for us? After seeing the administrator leave, uttering those words, I found myself trembling and feeling sympathetic for the interviewee. ‘Private companies have zero interest in protecting workers’ interests; they are no charities.’ One coworker said.

No one had suggested that private companies to be charitable. Rather than turning a presumably suitable candidate away, it’s reasonable to give opportunities to applicants a bit fairly. But at that time, demanding for a fairer hiring seemed a way going too far for them, the administrators.

It may sound true that I had no sympathy for the administrator when he said to us in the office that ‘oh why is it so hard to hire a fit teacher.’ No one uttered a word to him because it was so obvious to know what the word ‘fit’ truly meant in his very mentality that no one bothered intervening. If an applicant is not slimy, wearing proper makeup, dressing sophisticatedly, he may well define such a person as unfit. Once more, one knows that a word is defined by the definers not the defined.

We compromise, bent our souls in order to live. But what we have got in return? Recognition, respect or fortune? Not a thing. One tried hard not to be treated harshly but ended up wounded everywhere inside.

I asked Katie why not go to university again to study a major in which she really interested. Apparently quivered, she said that those high school years were so painfully passed that she has no courage to go back to where she suffered again. ‘My mom was very critical toward me which caused me to have a really low self-esteem and eager for recognition, I do not think I can manage to go back to study again.’ She answered.

It’s true one being criticized often may have a really damaging self-image which can cause self-destructive behaviors. Her upbringing has apparently made her become what she is now but by searching for her salvation, she find consolation in dating.

She casually mentioned that she want to beautify herself to improve her confidence lest she be looked down on by others.

Coworker Roce, a female in her late twenties, was busy in matching ups. She often talk about how difficult to find a proper marriage ‘candidate’ who would be ready in everything including houses, cars, and all you can imagine later in life. She very often uses business words to talk about marriage, such as wealthy, job positions, social status, and money etc. She said a ‘candidate’ was poorer than her family so that she was deciding whether to resume matching-up with that one. ‘You surely are not doing matching up with money, are you?’ Another female coworker shouted out, obviously disgusted.

This office was like a cave’s cave. If human world was like a cave lightened by bonfires and everything happened within was like a shadow, maybe what happened in this office is a kindle of the bonfire flickering at this dark corner of the cave.

Being marginalized, poor or disadvantaged is a thing, losing one’s ability to see the world clearly is another.

In a world full of ill-willed forces, knowing where he or she is going about is a thing that is much mattered than ever.

Regarding Humanity in the Age of Irritation

He knew it would be a matter of time before the outbreak to be contained someday.

In Chinese Mahayana canon, one of pupils’ main goals was to escape the cycle of endless death and rebirth into Nirvana as final destination beside pursuing self-enlightenment. The pupils were taught that life is suffering but we can search for our salvation.

When city where I live in Hubei was sealed off, I thought this unprecedented quarantine policy implemented to the whole province might not last long then. Now I’ve got used to this, of being sealed off home. At least I have food to eat, I thought. And it’s nothing as long as my life still goes normally. To medical workers, some of whom have worked all day long but hardly had a chance to rest, this is the hard part to cope with. Awakening in the morning and checking news related to the outbreak, I’ve only found out things, from containing efforts to food supply, have gone down. “Does any one be afraid of dying?” I smiled, thinking and looking around, no one is here. No. People just don’t wanna die that hard. People toiling their whole life only wish to secure they wouldn’t be dying hard on the streets.

Infectious diseases as symbols of suffering serve as tools for some, who seek easy path to counter their fears about the diseases, in society to stigmatize and smear the weak and disadvantaged. People try desperately to sort out and simplify others’ personalities to pretend they are doing something to understand others as if people’s traits be less diverse and won’t be changed. AIDS at 1980s as an unknown disease served as tool to stigmatize gay people- gay disease, dehumanizing and labeling them as being punished by God for violating the natural law which only allowed sex to happen between men and women. As creative as people can imagine, Wuhan coronavirus serves as another tool of anti-Asian sentiment.

A video tape captured in New York subway circulating on the Internet showed a Asian being hit and chased for wearing mask when the new Coronavirus death toll in the mainland China increased. Some colored persons dragged his clothes, insulted him saying words like contagious, diseases etc, fearing him to spread the virus.

Well, people may say what they’ve said and acted irritatingly is what made them humane. ‘People fear about unknowns’ says someone, shrugging whose shoulders off. If things were happening only to limited groups, ones outside of the mess usually speak nothing.

In the later years of a Russian writer, a line written by him goes although I may be as famous as Shakespeare be, I don’t understand what I am doing this for? Look what I had done, what for?

Modern society values youth as the most powerful. It is not hard to find that some slogan appeared somewhere says 60 is the new 40. Aged people feel powerless due to their loss of physical strength or maybe of their physical attractiveness as if people may be less valued when not being sexy. But this is not all of their fault, our society’s uncontemplated obsession on physical appearance has taken a part. In that obsession, If a person is not being described as beautiful so he or she may be labeled as undesirable. But it is false. Since everyone will get aged, only time can tell what is really valued, things like generosity, kindness, pursuit of truth and the good are valuable things too. Time is the most efficient equalizer which works indiscriminately.

Ancient Greek philosophers had argued what we the people should be going to pursue. They say for the good and the truth.

Roaming the Open-air Marketplace Where We Shopped

A friend of mine had once told me that when she felt stressed, a marketplace would be the only cure. She likes to walk in the open air marketplaces that was sort of the ‘birth place’ of her childhood memory, and it had shaped her way of living in her early twenty something. When people were around, life cures life. At that moment when people talking and walking, she could finally feel relieved. It’s not a place for me, my place for relieving is remaining unclear. Skimming over the ocean, I stood up on the beach of Zhoushan where the pier is always busy for seafood trading and the boats moored in the harbor are waiting for a sailing to fish, I was fifteen. Roaming the beach where we had swam the sky was blue. There bottled water sold then was charging for 10 renminbi- a special price sold for visitors only even though we had better buy some and we must buy some without considering the price that had been overcharged for the sake of surviving and away from the thirsty. To seek the light of life, I can’t feel much. Sometimes not much is too much. I can’t stop thinking about the sour of life. Without money and power, our daily routines could turn to a fast draining boat. I was speechless in the circumstance of continuing fighting for a way of being that I had always been speechless. There was A song line I’ve heard that goes “my mother said to me: “Don’t stop imaging. The day you do is the day you die.” I had been touched though I barely admit it. I’ve once stopped imaging the possibility of my life, fortunately, I regrasped ability of reconstructing and reimagining for the future ahead again. With a heavy heart, I have been living in the past for a long time, partially, because the future is a way I barely think about. I have no way to hide but forward.I want to find you but surrounded by nothing, nothing surrounded by us. People would never stop hurting, but I have stood up just for myself. Needless to say, I am still dreaming for my life. I have a plan that is my life is my life so you were part of it or not, it doesn’t matter. it is like an island separated from the mainland as we are the sea as the island that dotted in the ocean likes thoughts of ours standing on the ocean. I have always hoped you would be there to stay with me, someday.