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The Human Experience

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By palanes
Words 908
Pages 4
Paulo Alanes
Ms. Bairos
February 23rd 2014
HRE4M-09

Reflection Paper: The Human Experience

In our world today we are very easily labeled by our gender, skin colour, religion, and sexuality, but we often forget that we are all human. To be human is to help our fellow man when he is in need; regardless of their race/religion he is human, just like us, so we help him. In the 2008 documentary The Human Experience, Jeffery Azize speaks of learning experiences. “When you go somewhere out of your own comfort zone, out of your own realm, and you enter someone else’s, that’s learning”. (The Human Experience.) Throughout the documentary Jeff, his brother Clifford Azize, and friends Michael Campo and Matthew Sanchez witness many different cultures and societies. Their views (and ours’) on humanity change after their experiences and they leave with a larger understanding of the world and how we see it. IV. What role does suffering play in life? How can we address our deepest suffering? Throughout the documentary we are presented with many different types if suffering around the world. In each different scenario, the individual had gained something positive, a valuable lesson that made them thankful for what they had or they gained a different perspective on life. After spending a week homeless in the streets of New York, Jeff learns about the suffering that homeless people face on a day-to-day basis. The role that suffering played in one of the men he had met had given the man purpose. The man describes almost getting hit by a car, overdosing on drugs and being exposed to AIDS and yet he was alive. And this suffering had led him to believe that God has kept him alive because he has a purpose for him. When Jeff describes his childhood at home he explains that his father had been abusive to his family, and that Jeff didn’t feel in place even at his own home. He states that he was a “surprise” baby, but even through all the pain he felt as a child he is able to acknowledge that he had moments of happiness that he held on to. With these moments of happiness he was able to admit that he still loved his father, and that he forgave him for his actions, and that’s what kept him open to accepting his father back into his life. The children from the Hope For Children foundation had gone through deep amounts of suffering at a very young age. Many abandoned by the only people that were supposed to love them, and many living with very severe physically handicaps. Victor (the boy born with no arms and one leg), had been abandoned, despite all of his suffering he was one of the happiest children at the foundation. As Mama Terri says from the Hope For The Children Foundation says, “And the joy of living, this is what the kids have… because they want to live, so they don’t mind how painful it is”. (The Human Experience. 2008.) From Victor’s deepest suffering he had found happiness in the everyday joy of being alive. III. “He’s your brother. She’s your sister. Life is other people.” Do you agree? When Jeff and Cliff are living with the homeless of New York, the meet a homeless Jewish woman who begins to tell them an experience she had on the streets of New York. She describes people on their cell phones arranging to take stray dogs home so they wouldn’t freeze to death on the streets. And everyone was making arrangements for somebody to take a dog home, but nobody had any concern for her wellbeing, or if she would survive the night. The lack of humanity displayed leads her to tell Jeff and Cliff something that a Rabbi once told her, “ ‘That’s your brother, that’s your sister. If you see your brother of sister in trouble you help them’ ”. (The Human Experience. 2008.) Many people’s lives would be affected if ours’ seized to exist, and it is important that lives of our brothers and sisters are valued. It is impossible to live a secluded life where we do not interact with other humans. The director added in a clip from the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life in a TV store where Cliff and Jeff sat outside. I thought this was a very appropriate clip because George Bailey experiences what his world would be like if he never existed. The clip shows a lot of houses that was never contrasted, his brother’s tombstone, and the tombstones of the soldiers that he brother was supposed to save had he been alive. Life is other people, and without this life the lives of many would be changed. In our class discussion of Emmanuel Levinas – Relational Ethics, we speak of “The Face as Ethical”. “The face, the ‘Other’ makes us responsible to each other as human beings- so God’s touch will always be indirect – through our interactions with the Other”. Levinas’ ethics are highly focused on the concern of the “Other”, in his ethical belief society must celebrate the uniqueness of others instead of trying to cover them up. In another class discussions we went over “Locating the Ethical in You”, as human beings there is something that forces us to take ethics into consideration. Humanity is in our sub-conscious; therefore it is in our nature to help other people.…...

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