As a teacher, I have become witness to this increasing lack of logic of convenience and comfort.
For decades, I have helped inform and inform young and old people alike in the graduate and undergraduate schools, and I have come to understand the increasing assault of convenience on the mind of people, and the equally increasing attack on the capacities of people to be generous and kind and to understand better the fundamental issue of social disparity.
When one is comfortable, he could hardly see the affliction of others.
When one is conveniently positioned in life, he could hardly feel the suffering of others.
Such is what is happening in these classes I have taught in the United States and in the Philippines.
In Los Angeles, I have had the privilege of teaching in the public schools, and had the rare privilege of teaching as well in a special teaching training programs that prepared former teachers to become teachers by coaxing them pass their initial credentialing skills.
In Honolulu, my work has taken from the walls of the academe to the walls of the community, and the contradictions, bundles and bundles of them, are everywhere.
In the academia, we find two kinds of students: those who know what it means to be poor and underprivileged, and thus have to fight it out in order to get a university education, and those who only had to get their entitlements from economically secure parents and live out their college life in callousness, apathy, and ignorance of what is happening around them. This happens in Honolulu, at a state university where I teach.
And it has happened in the Philippines where I spent two decades of academic work in many institutions I had had the pleasure of contributing what I knew.
In one class in Honolulu where the discussion was the fate of the Overseas Filipino Workers, I talked about this logic of convenience and comfort and one student retorted: What is that?
April 10, 2013