A Ta­pes­try of Equal­ity

National Book Week 2018 - - ESSAY WRITING CONTEST - By Nata­nia Shay Du

Sa­cred Heart School—ate­neo de Cebu Re­gion VII—CEVRLC

Ma­long ta­pes­tries with their bril­liantly pig­mented threads bleed­ing seam­lessly into one an­other, are go­ing out of style. To most, the ran­dom amal­ga­ma­tions of various col­ors, fab­rics and de­signs are lit­tle more than an­cient relics that are long past their due date. But to those with a keen eye, they are proof that there is re­splen­dence in giv­ing each col­ored thread a part in the pic­ture, and a per­pet­ual beauty in the var­ied. And dur­ing those that are rife with con­flicts, hate and in­equal­ity, it seems that we need an even more pow­er­ful in­sti­tu­tion to wash away these dull, dirty col­ors As bas­tions of learn­ing, li­braries can do just this by us­ing knowl­edge as a lev­el­ling agent in a world with a deeply en­trenched so­cial and eco­nomic in­jus­tice. And when each per­son – each thread – is given an equal chance to weave them­selves into the pic­ture, we can con­nect ac­tions, con­sol­i­date our vi­sions and trans­form our so­ci­ety.

So­ci­ety to­day de­fines peo­ple and their priv­i­leges based on bound­aries we have es­tab­lished. Boxed in by cat­e­gories like race, class, and gen­der, it is clear to see that peo­ple to­day walk around with la­bels hung around their necks no mat­ter where they go. More of­ten than not, they are shunned for their clas­si­fi­ca­tions.

Books, how­ever, are blind. They have no eyes to see one’s wealth or color. They only see a per­son’s thirst for knowl­edge, and can never re­ject a will­ing heart. Li­braries, there­fore, can im­part im­mea­sur­able knowl­edge to those with­out the means or method to avail of con­ven­tional ser­vices of ed­u­ca­tion. In li­braries, so­cial class, poverty, hate, and war are mere fan­tasies to be im­pris­oned within the con­fines of one’s mind. Knowl­edge, un­der­stand­ing, and wis­dom then ef­fec­tively be­come free for any­one – no mat­ter their story – to use.

With in­di­vid­u­als be­com­ing en­light­ened, the task of li­braries then shifts to how so­ci­etal is­sues that have plagued our world since time im­memo­rial can be solved. But when we see peo­ple come to­gether at these li­braries, serendip­i­tously brought to­gether by an un­end­ing search for wis­dom, we can see that the an­swer lies in how each one is given an equal seat at the ta­ble, with­out re­gard for how they dress, look or act. Our so­ci­etal plagues can eas­ily be med­i­cated if ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially the af­flicted, has an equal hand in draw­ing up a so­lu­tion. To weave a brighter fu­ture, ev­ery­one needs to be at the loom, hold­ing their own thread.

Li­braries, with peo­ple of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties and back­grounds rum­mag­ing through the shelves, are go­ing out of style. They are be­ing writ­ten off as ar­ti­facts of life we once knew. But we must not stand for this. Like the ma­long ta­pes­tries, li­braries equip peo­ple with the cor­rectly col­ored frag­ments, and give them a space in the fab­ric to add their de­signs.

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