Essay Option Two
“The crisis of the crisis is that people don’t perceive the crisis,” argues Dr. Frazier. Why might we be missing the varying crises of our times? Perhaps it’s because we have fallen asleep, as Dr. King suggested. As you reflect on the voices we’ve met in this chapter of the course, consider the dangers of remaining asleep. What voices have we encountered that offer guidance for how to wake up? What habits, practices, and virtues do these people believe to be necessary to become and remain awake?
In the revolution chapter of the course, we have looked at multiple types of revolutions and have addressed several different causes of crisis during times of revolution. As Dr. King suggested in his piece, we are asleep to what is going on around us. Several pieces we have read in this chapter agree with Dr. King on this topic through presenting different situations and examples, and each piece has offered a solution. Three of the many works that have addressed this idea are; the poem, “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” by Leroi Jones, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” by Stephan Marche, and “The Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. Through their writing, these three authors have offered different suggestions to help act as an alarm clock to wake us up from our own ignorant state.
The poem, “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” by Leroi Jones relates to the idea of being asleep to the world around us, and the need to wake up. The imagery presented in the first half of this poem is desperate, hopeless and lost. The poem opens up “Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way the ground opens up and envelops me…” (Jones lines 1-2). Jones is presenting this image of a life that has become so mundane, and hopeless that one cannot seem to find joy in anything. Further in the poem Jones says, “And now, each night I count the stars, and each night I get the same number…” (Jones lines 7-8). Jones is describing a life that is asleep to all things beautiful and hopeful in the world. However, the poem goes on to describe the scene of his daughter in her room, praying. A small sign of hope in an otherwise hopeless life. This poem, “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” was written by Leroi Jones for his daughter Kellie Jones. The title seems extremely fitting for the scenario presented within. The man described in the first half of the poem seems to have given up all hope, but seeing his daughter praying gave him a reason to believe that things may not be as bad as they seem. Jones may have considered suicide in the hopeless state he was previously in, however this poem suggest that his daughter’s faith may have saved his life and prevented his suicide. Jones was asleep to the beauties of life, and through faith alone he was awaken… and by waking up, he was saved from his own self destruction.
Stephen Marche also addresses this idea of being asleep to the revolutions happening around us in his article “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” In the article, Marche looks into the idea of our modern world being asleep to the social revolution happening in our lives. Marche suggests that through the use of social media sites such as Facebook, we are indirectly isolating ourselves to the world around us. According to Marche, we are so caught up in knowing every little detail of others’ lives at any given moment that we become strangers to our own reality. Marche says “Our omnipresent new technologies lure us toward increasingly superficial connections at exactly the same moment that they make avoiding the mess of human interaction easy” (Marche pp. 66). This concept of isolation and superficial relationships is not one that people are acknowledging as much as they should be. While we contribute to our lives in the social media world, this process of isolation and separation is happening