For this blog, I will be sharing one of my journal entries. I feel that my entry perfectly describes how I’ve been processing the knowledge gained from Thailand. Hopefully some of you can relate to this entry. It is in the form of a letter, written specifically to God (it helps me reflect and dig deep into my thoughts).
Dear God,
I am slowly taking in everything that I am seeing and learning. There’s so much to process right now. Each time I look at the Mekong River, I am reminded of the triumphs and struggles my family and ancestors went through. Being in this place and getting a glimpse of the lives in the past makes me feel truly grateful. The Hmong people shed blood and tears in order to move the community forward to a better and brighter future. They persevered through all of the roadblocks and barriers. It is truly inspiring to discover and learn how strong my people are. I am certainly having difficulty adjusting to the conditions here in Thailand, but I believe that the amount of discomfort that I am experiencing is meant to help me see a tiny bit of my people’s struggles. Though I am not getting a full experience of the challenges they faced, I feel that I am getting a sense of how hard it must have been for them.
Exploring the systems here is also helping me uncover how I show up in this world. I am beginning to see that I am in fact, privileged in many ways. I often take my life situation for granted, and tend to focus my energy on what I don’t have. With this mindset, I am blinded by the many struggles that other people in the world are facing. I become selfish, needy, and ungrateful. My thirst for success and riches grow as I become deeply embedded in the American system.
Putting myself in another culture and observing the systems in Thailand has been life-changing and empowering. It made me realize that all of the nations in this world are interconnected in some way. My consumption impacts other people in this world, and the choices I make certainly affect those around me. In relation to this concept, the dams that the Chinese government is building disrupts the flow and ecosystems of the Mekong River. It is also taking a toll on countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. Though the Chinese government realizes the negative impact that they are making, they fail to fix these mistakes because their main focus seems to be improving their own system. Learning about these different issues makes me feel uneasy. I am appalled with how fixated certain individuals can be with their own systems. Though I understand that humans operate on different wavelengths and have their own realities, I sincerely hope that more people will become more open towards learning other systems and maybe, become advocates.

Crystal Yang

One thought on “Paradigm”

  1. Crystal, thank you for letting us read this as both a journal entry and a letter to God. Powerful framing. Also to help us consider how we blindly adhere to systems without assessing ripple effect. Well done!

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