Mending Wall by Robert Frost, Slam, Dunk & Hook by Yusef Komunyaka, and The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit High Education by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach are pieces of writing that highlight the themes of unification and support. The three pieces have similar perspectives, yet they are expressed entirely differently.
In Mending Wall, there is a conflict between two neighbors over a wall of stones that divides them. The narrator is opposed to the wall while the other believes “good fences make good neighbors”. The narrator feels that there is absolutely no purpose to the wall; therefore the wall should be non-existent. The conflict between the two neighbors corresponds to the themes because the wall symbolizes division and disconnection between two people who are expected to be friendly, and sources of help. Neighbors are people that rely on each other. But because of the separation between the two, it would appear impossible to be the kind of neighbors that we would imagine. The narrator is right when he disagrees with his neighbor about the wall in between them. His neighbor seems to be so sure that good fences make good neighbors, but what makes good neighbors is being open and there to help when your neighbor needs it most.
Slam, Dunk, & Hook is also an example of writing that depicts the theme of unification and support. To the players, basketball is much more than just a game; it’s larger than life. One part of the poem that stood out was when a boy named Sonny’s mother passed away and basketball was what he did to get through his pain and misery. Basketball acts as an outlet possibly to reality, and it brings players a time to drop their worries and stresses and enjoy the joys that life offers. When they play nothing else seems to be important. It’s a sport that brings players together because they are all enjoying something they love and during that time the only thing going on is focus and excitement. A group or even multiple groups can bond over basketball because on the court it may not matter where you came from or where you’re going. All that matters in the game. The players work hard, and the outcome are feelings of accomplishment and confidence.
Next, The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit High Education is a piece that stresses the importance of service, support, and giving back. The essay states that “the service of faith cannot mean anything other than to bring the counter-cultural gift of Christ to our world”(26). It is our choice to give back and to do good deeds. Christ gave up his life for the salvation of us and it is our obligation to follow Christ in his endeavors. Our love and support should be expressed through good deeds to those who need it and even to those who don’t. This essay harmonizes perfectly with the city of Baltimore. It is a city flooded with art, music, history, and more. But there are numerous areas that need help. The essay not only explains how important giving back is, but it should actually inspire people to do so. As advocates of faith, it is our place to give our love and support because we have the potential to make a difference and help the people who don’t have the same opportunities that we have.
The one poem that led me to a different type of thinking is Common Ground by Judith Ortiz Cofer. It is a poem that depicts the idea that where we come from shapes who we are going to be. The title implies that there is a link or a “common” bond with every family and eventually it will show. The first line of the poem says, “Blood tells the story of your life in heartbeats as you live it”. Judith Ortiz Cofer is saying that the blood in our veins links us to the ones we call family. Cofer says that when she looks into the mirror, she can spot features on her face that are also present on her parents and grandmother’s. This is another way of saying that we end up like our parents, and there really is no way to stop it whether we like it or not. This poem strangely reminds me of the story of Kahu in The Whale Rider. She comes from a family that is represented strength and determination. By growing up in an environment such as hers, it is inevitable that she would grow up to be all those things. Kahu did grow up to be determined, intelligent, and strong, but she also grew up to be independent and open-minded which are values her family instilled in her. And even though we can’t see the physical resemblance's like the narrator of Common Ground could, we know Kahu posses these qualities through her actions and thoughts.