Project for Open Voices: “People Are Complicated; You Can’t Pack Them Up in Boxes”

The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of the Project for Open Voices. Today’s essay is titled “People Are Complicated; You Can’t Pack Them Up in Boxes,” and was authored anonymously. POV is always accepting new submissions, so if you want to share your story, email openvoicessubmissions@gmail.com. If you would like to remain anonymous you can send us your response by signing into a second email account:projectopenvoices@gmail.com (password: kenyoncollege).
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I was born up North and moved down South. I spent my childhood up North and my adolescence down South. I feel like I straddle the lines sometimes between North and South. My father is from the North, my mother’s family all Southern. Sometimes people split up these regions, and assign characteristics to them. I am liberal. I guess if I had to identify with a political party I would say Democrat. I personally do not identify as a conservative Republican, like my cousins. I have a friend who once said to me that she could never be friends with someone who was a Republican, who didn’t share her values. This bothers me. How are we supposed to make connections with people, if we only make connections with those who share our views, who are like us? How can we expand our minds, our perspectives? Why are we making only easy connections? Why are we generalizing? I will say that the South can be close-minded, but I will also say that the North can be very close-minded too. I will say to my conservative friends they are close-minded, but I will say to my liberal friends that their minds can be just as close-minded too. I’m trying to understand people as people. I want to learn. I understand you may not believe in the same things I believe in, but I think you have a soul that I would like to unlock, I’d like to meet. I think people are complicated; you can’t pack them up in boxes. Sometimes it’s hard at Kenyon to not surround yourself with people who are similar to you. I hope that for the rest of my time here, I can stretch myself to be around people who stretch my mind.

4 responses

  1. While problematizing the “Republican” vs “Democrat” dichotomy is necessary, uncovering and opposing Republican bigotry is also important.

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