Bridging Cloud City and Rainbow Road


Alice Yu

Once again, I go back to the literary master, Maya Angelou. If you don’t remember my previous blog post discussing her quote on the power of emotions (titled ‘Sticks and stones and ghosts in my soul), I’ll recap her accomplishments in a short blurb. She grew up during a time of social injustice towards African-Americans and lived through the Civil Rights movement. Publishing 36 books with 30 as best-sellers, Maya Angelou is also considered as a trailblazer in film and television, being the author of numerous screenplays, such as Georgia, Georgia. Her script was the first written by an African-American woman to be filmed and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.
After living so many years on this bountiful, beautiful, and exploited planet, I’ve realized that life sometimes doesn’t like to play nice. The misfortunes I’ve met are undoubtedly insignificant compared to all the evil and heartbreak in the world, but I still feel pain nonetheless. Upon feeling that pain, I realized that I don’t want others to feel it and I most certainly don’t want to be the root of someone else’s pain. That is how my goal of making other people’s days better came to be.
Step one to obtaining my goal is to smile and say “hi” to those I see. Although unproven, I truly believe that inside a friendly smile lies warmth and care. It sends a message of appreciation and acceptance. In regards to the salutation, it represents acknowledgment and friendship. We all can start helping each other feel appreciated and loved in this twisty-twirly world by showing each other that we care for them, starting right in the hallways of RBHS.
Step two is to be open-minded. As heard in the song “Rage of A Poet”, “we are all in the same game, just different levels. Dealing with the same hell, just different devils.” I have no idea about the demons that others around me are wrestling with. They can tell me their troubles but even the strongest sympathy or empathy can’t transfer their worries and pain to me. A stranger can’t possibly know the burdens I carry with me either. The whole world is full of people pounding out a living, shelling out sacrifices in order to find a moment of peace. More often than not, we’re all too preoccupied with our needs to slow down and realize that those around us are drowning in a sea of misfortune.
Every person you pass, whether you know them or not, has troubles that weigh on their mind. There are moments that they wish they could change and things that they wish they could accomplish. Just like you, they’ve felt pain and they’re still feeling pain. At the very least, face those you meet with a smile instead of scorn to lighten the weight on their shoulders.
I know I can’t change the entire world, nor can I make everyone happy, but I do know that I have the power to make others feel loved and cared for. I hope that I’m able to make someone’s life better because I was in it, rather than be a gnat at their side, causing them inconvenience.
The world is a cruel place, but it can be made better. With just an ounce of care and love towards each other, humanity can shine through and combat the natural misfortunes of life. So in the name of kindness and love, smile at those you meet to communicate acceptance, acknowledgment and warmth.
By Alice Yu
art by Maddy Mueller