September 3rd, 2019
Tonight, I attended Professor Quillen’s talk about being human, focusing on the humanity of telling and more importantly listening to stories. Tonight’s lecture reminded me of Quillen’s first lecture to the humanities class, with many shared themes between the two. We, as humans, tend to think we have the entire story when learning about the past when, in reality, we are only looking at a very small portion of the past. We cannot recover the past as it was, only interpret the artifacts that survived through the generations. Quillen talked about the importance of listening to others’ stories and not dragging those stories into our own stories. When we talk about history, we focus on only a select collection of stories and thus, the untold stories disappear from existence. One-point Quillen mentioned that I really agree with is that stories of people whose views differ from ours are still valid and important to hear. She encouraged the audience to push deeper, find the source or explanation of their viewpoints instead of just writing others’ beliefs off solely because they are different from our own. In today’s political atmosphere, it has become hard not to look at things as very black and white, with no explanation either way. I think we need to look deeper than that, pushing ourselves to ask the tough questions and bridge the gap caused by our differences.