Alice Walker was a story writer and acclaimed poet. She was known for works such as “The Color Purple” and “Am I Blue?” In her essay “Am I Blue?”, she talks about how we’re all interconnected, which I believe is true. In the essay itself, she talks about a horse named Blue, and how she always peers into his eyes to see how he is feeling. She saw at the beginning when looking in that he was lonely. However, as she continued to visit him, she saw him with another horse, Brown, who became his mate. When she looked into his eyes, she saw pure bliss and happiness. As she said, he had found the feeling of “this is itness.” Then, it fell apart for Blue when she returned to visit him, and saw that Brown was gone. She “dreaded looking into his eyes” as she already knew what she would see. It would’ve been despair, as by that point in the essay, Blue lost his partner he loved as the owner took her away, seeing Blue as unneeded anymore since he complete the job the owner required of him. He started to exhibit attributes of depression normally seen in humans in this horse and understood that Blue was as much like her as she was him

So, if we’re all interconnected, how should we treat each other? I think we need to show empathy and sympathy for those around us. We don’t know what someone has gone through, we don’t know what made them who they are. Even in Blue, this can be seen when Alice looks in his eyes after Brown is taken away. She sees “a look so piercing, so full of grief, a look so human”, which you might not expect from an animal, yet they are uncannily like us in this regard. Anyone can be shaped by the actions you do commit towards them. So, we need to show them the same respect as you would want from them, even if they are nonhuman. Showing we can be compassionate to others helps us build on these relationships with others around us so that all of us can grow.

I haven’t seen this in my own life though. For years now, many people in my personal life have fought and been in contempt of each other. Only recently, I had my own father try to destroy my mother in a court case so utterly that she wouldn’t be in my life anymore. He talks about how my mother is horrible, and uses his family to do the same. Heck, I even show complete disregard for my father’s feelings at this point for what he is done. And I feel that this interconnection that requires us to be more compassionate of each other can’t happen unless everyone starts to do so. For if one is going to cause a problem, it hurts everyone in the process.

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Grace
March 30, 2017 10:12 pm

Joshua,

This is a very interesting way to think about how we all interact and how we treat one another. I like how you bring up that if we are all interconnected we must be empathetic in order to be a more successful society and without everyone participating we cannot achieve this. Your addition of your own personal experience with this makes the piece much more powerful.

Sarah
March 30, 2017 8:12 pm

Joshua, I really like this. I have never heard of Alice Walker or her stories, but I loved what I read. She seems to be in touch with her soul and speaking the truth about society and humanity. I like how you used her analogy to bring up an issue in our society today. We don’t see a lot of empathy and sympathy nowadays, we live in a cruel world where money comes first. I love how you brought in your own personal experience and brought a real touch of emotion to the piece. Great piece!

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