A Tapestry of Equality
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.