Some of the very simple things in life are hard to understand. But the one thing that I like about living in the Bay Area, especially about living in Oakland, is that there is a chance for anyone to become immersed in the diverse culture that is so beautiful and wonderful. When I went to First Friday for the first time in Oakland this last Friday, I was awed by the fact that everyone was so integrated into their own environment. Liberalism was present. The freedom of expression was present. Everything about Oakland is progressive. Part of it, I believe is the fact that people are more sociologically aware of their surroundings and realizing that prejudices are just another form of hatred. Part of it, I think is that people are becoming more considerate of others and are essentially embracing cultures that are present in the East Bay. That’s why I love it so much here. I think going to First Friday and the Haight-Ashbury Street Festival this weekend, along with hanging out with a good friend in the city illustrates the uniqueness and beauty that the Bay Area has.Every person that I encountered this weekend, showed me in some respect that I should embrace diversity, which makes me happy. Growing up, I observed that people try and always will explore society, by trying to identify themselves in the process. I know I do, but what’s the point of identity, when I want to be seen as an equal human being in society? It’s in our nature and it’s real, to identify oneself and to become apart of a larger social group that expresses that similar identity. Identity determines everything and nothing for some people. But for once, I saw people in solidarity. Solidarity is what society should aim for, not vanity or belittlement that is expressed when a person is not accepted for who they are.
The organization that I am interning with this summer highlights these ideologies in some ways. By integrating and practicing the Catholic Social Teachings into their mission and vision to better the East Bay region as a whole, is essential for a more progressive front. Being socially active and being socially aware is something that should be taught or instilled to everyone at some point. At the end of the day, I hope that at someone is thinking about this. That particular person who is thinking about this, realizes that one little action can make a difference, whether they know it or not.