Why I Still Want to Save the World

“I remember back when I was a first-year…our class had quite a few of those ‘save the world’ types.”

This line was said jokingly by a 3L during one of my first few weeks of law school. The group I was with laughed boisterously, and I joined in, but I felt a pang of sadness inside.

What is it about wanting to save the world that bothers people, so much so that we now have a term for it: “social justice warrior”? Maybe what bothered the 3L, and what bothers many about these so-called social justice warriors, is a certain pompousness that some inexperienced law students often possess: the belief that they alone are capable of making a difference. If there’s one thing law students are good at, it is comparing ourselves to our peers. So when faced with these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed peers that are ready to save the world, we often find ourselves asking this question: “Who are they to think that they can change the world?” Continue reading “Why I Still Want to Save the World”

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United States: Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You (ISBN-13: 978-0143127550) by Celeste Ng is a book that has been on my radar for a while now. It was Ng’s debut novel, and won the Amazon Book of the Year award in 2014. I finally decided to purchase and read this when Amazon had the Kindle edition of this book, and a few other New York Times’ best sellers, for a mere $3.00. I chose to include this book in my Booking Around the World series because I wanted my selection for the United States to be special. Sadly, the majority of the books I have read have been written by American authors (which is precisely why I created the challenge for myself in the first place). I decided that when I selected a book for the United States, I wanted to choose an author that represented the diversity of America well, and I think I made a good choice.

9780349134284 Continue reading “United States: Everything I Never Told You”

South Africa: Born A Crime

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Born A Crime by Trevor Noah (ISBN-13: 978-0399588174) is probably one of the best memoirs I’ve read, though I admit I haven’t read many. I would highly recommend experiencing this book in the audiobook form. Audible was offering this book for free for a limited time through Goodreads, so of course I took them up on the offer. Especially since this book was already on my to-read list. Trevor Noah narrates the audiobook himself, and his accent is pleasant to listen to and gives life to his stories. I didn’t know much about him before listening to this, besides that he succeeded Jon Stewart to be the host of The Daily Show. He was relatively unknown in the States before he took on that role, but since then I have seen bits and pieces of his show through video clips posted online. From what I had seen, he had some great insight on various political and social issues, particularly ones regarding race relations. Now, having read his memoir, it all makes sense. Continue reading “South Africa: Born A Crime”

The Handmaid’s Tale // review

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The Handmaid’s Tale (ISBN-13: 978-0385490818) was my first Margaret Atwood novel, and it did not disappoint. In fact, this book more than exceeded my expectations, being, in my opinion, fairly unique within the vast sea of dystopian literature out there. I had read this novel a while back, but I decided to revisit it due to all the comparisons to our current society during the 2016 American presidential election season. Our current political climate probably has a lot to do with it, but this book hit me so much harder emotionally the second time around. Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale // review”

Aesthetic

Aesthetic is a word that has become yet another cliché as of late. Though traditionally used more often as a noun, the new usage in pop culture tends to be adjectival and ironic, i.e. “That is so aesthetic!”

As contrived as the usage of “aesthetic” can be, I think it can still appropriately describe a certain je ne sais quoi,  a vision of our lives and what we want it to look like. In essence, the word simply represents the act of appreciating beauty, which I believe has the potential to empower us. If we wait until all the little pieces of our lives are in place to be happy, to fit our aesthetic, then we may never truly be content.

The Japanese people have a interesting concept called 侘寂, or Wabi-sabi. It is their philosophy of aesthetics: “wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all” (source). I find this concept fascinating. This is more in line with how I personally view aesthetics – not as a goal, but instead, a daily act. I think the appreciation of beauty in the present – however frivolous or earnest (and sometimes both) – is respectable, and I hope to incorporate it more into my own life. Continue reading “Aesthetic”