Native English speaker or not, you have an accent. So does the girl sitting next you, and so do I. We all vocalize our thoughts with different rhythms, intonations, percussiveness, and inflections. Even within the United States, people speak English differently. Despite this natural tendency, we are keen to point out the “accents” of those who speak differently from how we do.
They crossed the border in search of refuge, and were welcomed and guided by the hands of the free and the brave. This is a reality someone might anticipate, based on the impression of our nation’s ideals. But for 28 undocumented single mothers and their children, who came to Texas from Central America, this was a fantasy.
We should consider the many factors that are at play in language when we talk with our peers. Even without an “accent,” they may be unaware of the cultural meaning behind the words you use and the stories you tell.
Each day, we immerse ourselves in the same world. But this world presents itself differently to each one of us. In other words, my world is different from yours — as close as we are to our best friends and as well versed as we may be in the lives of our parents, we can never fathom someone else’s experience the same way that person can. Even if, theoretically, we were to spend our entire lives alongside another person, each of us engaging in the same experiences, these occurrences would still have different meanings, yield different emotions, conjure different reactions for each person.
The visual depiction of human suffering in charity commercials is necessary for provoking an emotional response from viewers that could yield donations for the organization in question. However, visual advertisements risk objectifying those that are struggling. Commercials should extend beyond the stationary photo. Videos could more appropriately narrate the character of the people they depict.
To achieve a universally comprehensive criminal justice reform, the federal judicial system should assume its role in the effort to differentiate the treatment for violent and non-violent offenders.
Although voter turnout rates are especially low in gubernatorial elections, this upcoming New Jersey election could prove different. With two new candidates representing the major parties, the fate of New Jersey is in your hands. You’ve got to play the game of politics to win it.
In putting down our devices, not only can we prove to our parents we aren’t addicted, but we can also forge meaningful ties and traditional familial values that are timeless.