Hero for one day:
How can we define the meaning of a hero? A person who is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. In my opinion, every normal person has potential to become a hero. The reason why we worship heroes is that they do what we can not. But oftentimes some of the ordinary people’s behavior let us adore, they also become a civilian hero in our lives.
Through our clothes, behavior, and talking, we can have an overview of our identities and personalities. People are living in pursuit of a meaning and goal. How we interpret this meaning depends on who we are and what our experiences have been. Different people have their different ideas and understanding. The experience in the park to find my “hero” for one day is a great opportunity to carefully observe the details of life. When I walked on the street in Union Square, a man with strange clothing directly caught my attention. He was making a donation for his tribe. Through my observation and conversation with him. He carries ideas and motivation that really stood as inspiration for me, and showed me some very new aspects of life that I had never thought through before.
He is an artist. When I saw him from afar, he was so eye-catching in the crowd. He is a Native American dressed in tribal traditional clothing made of very simple fabric. Two pieces of the feather were tied in his long black hair as if they were the fancy ornaments of such ostentatious outlook. He told us that his natural long hair is a symbol of nature; he keeps it so that he can feel the growth. In other words, it’s a way to respect nature. Having a close up look, I saw that he wore a patterned embroidered white top and a leather jacket. Although those were his traditional cloth and the colors were plain, his fashion sense was apparent in this simple but very exotic style. He repeated the fact that he is an artist, and through this, I saw a man full of confidence and love for his culture. He comes from Lakota, a small tribe situated across North and South Dakota, they have their own language, and he uses his special way to presents his love for his homeland. Besides him sits a portrait on a canvas and some artwork of his, presenting to the pedestrians the unique culture that is very different from what we see in the crowded cities.
He is a philosopher. Even though I spent only a few minute communicating, his beliefs were strong enough to touch me. The idea that I got out of our conversation was that people have been always seeking the purpose of life, and some of us use even a lifetime to find it. Luckily, the man had found his purpose. He wanted to change this world even by just a little bit, such as this donation that he was doing. He perfectly understood the fickleness of today’s society. His words reminded me that many people who have no real independence of spirit depend on the city’s tremendous variety and sources of excitement for spiritual sustenance and maintenance of moral. The man’s spirit praises freedom and nature, and he is using his seemingly little effort to express such belief and to make a small change. And I think that this is a spirit that will inspire us all because it is touching, it is authentic, and it is courageous.
He is a civilian hero. My definition of a hero is someone who is full of knowledge and has passions in their pursues. More importantly, he or she needs to act upon his will. This man that I interviewed owns all these characteristics. His existence is very small in this world, but what he does is very significant– spreading his positive spirit. Some of the riches people might own a lot more than this guy materially; however, they might not have his realization. He has a passion towards life, towards people. When people came and shake hands with him, he responded with great enthusiasm. Every word he said was full of power. I could tell that he was able to ignore passive judgments and materialism as he said: “the reason why I started doing this is that I am alive, and I want people to recognize that they are alive, and we need the land to be alive so we could stay alive”.
At last, I asked the man if he has a superpower, what would he choose to have. His answer was “I would tell you that I do have a superpower and that my way of utilizing it is to let people envision a world where there is no waste, no pollution, no hate. Peace, tranquility. I know it’s a long way for that to actually happen, but if I planted the seeds, it will sprout.”
What did you learn by completing this assignment?
By completing this assignment I learned how to observe a person through his clothes and behavior and analysis his identity. In our daily life, we were rushing on the street, we ignored many things. This assignment helps us to slow down, learned the ability to recognized deeply of one person.
What did you accomplish particularly well?
I think I did well on choose a person who with obvious characteristics. After our conversation, he carries ideas and motivation that really stood as inspiration for me. I can explore the assignment deeply.
What could you have done better, and how might you apply this to future writing assignments?
I think next time I need to fix my grammar mistakes and did a better job.
How might your thinking in Seminar have influenced your Studio work?
Through the experience in Seminar class, we learned how to observed a person. I record a video and have a deep conversation with him. Seminar class’s essay helps me to explore my idea and analysis him that gives me inspiration for the following work. The combination of Seminar and Studio worked really well.