Through the Looking Glass

Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Last year it was a day for sleeping until noon and cramming to catch up on homework, but now that I’m at Andover it means a day of waking up early and listening to various speakers and particpating in a series of activities. As a Junior I received the opportunity to see “Mr. Glass,” a one man show performed by Jonathan Dent ’05. The show focused on his struggle with race and identity as he grows up in a society in which race is a central focus. One of the metaphors that stuck out to me was the way he had a simple glass, teetering on the edge of a chair. With each episode of his story he would fill up the glass a little bit more and the audience would watch and anticipate the glass to fall. At the very end he took the glass full of water, and drank it. This simple action started to make me think about my glass, and the never-ending internal struggles that make people who they are. Everyone has issues, let’s not deny it. Whether it is self esteem, family issues or pressures from the outside world, these things make us who we are. Though they are tough and at most times we would rather push them off into a corner instead of confront them, we must embrace them and befriend them, for those are our stories. With each set of problems comes an opportunity for learning, and in the end, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. For in every moment of our lives, good or bad experiences mold what the rest of the world sees in us. Without suffering, would you be able to know what you can do when confronted with a challenge? Would you have as much common sense, or maybe see the world in a more naïve fashion? Whether you would rather suppress your issues or not, they are there. Why not make the best of them? At the end of the show Dent asked the audience whether or not he should shatter the glass. My response is this: We shouldn’t just discard our experiences, because they are a part of who we are. If they refuse to go away, then I believe that we have to confront them head-on, so that we are able to accept ourselves and move on. By shattering your glass of problems you are letting the problems win. When someone aggravates you, is it logical to get angry and allow that anger to dwell inside of you for the rest of your life? By discarding the glass, so to speak, you are proving to yourself that you are not strong enough to handle a problem, thus letting it take control of you. Your glass is your friend, it is who you are. Without your stories, who would you be? Your challenges, struggles and suffering add color to your life. Why discard something that makes you unique? It’s your glass. Accept it and befriend it. Sydni White is a Junior from Southfield, MI.