When I Graduate…
Here in Oventik, I’m taking a tsotsil language class with someone who works in the local Zapatista secondary school. Someone asked him why he wanted to work in the school, and he told us that that was a difficult question to answer, because the western conceptions of wanting and liking don’t exist in tsotsil culture, “only necessity. You don’t decide, the people tell you.” There are no aspirations for individual success or freedom, only for collective freedom.
Americans are obsessed with setting and achieving specific objectives, goals, and plans. For the short term, for the long term, for life. I’m going to be a journalist, biologist, work for an NGO, go to graduate school. I never worried much about setting goals, but I always used to believe that its better to decide sooner rather than later, better to have a plan.
But now, I’m throwing away all of that nonsense. What are my goals? Revolution. Justice. I don’t want to decide what I’m going to do when I graduate, I don’t have to decide. I’m going to find my place, not plan it out.
Filed under: Henry Gales's Study Abroad Blog