Last night, I went to the Cohn building for a video about adjusting to hardships in life. The main point that this video was trying to get across is that you should never give up, no matter how bad things may seem. In the video, four different people spoke about their life struggles and how they maintained their faith. I found this video very interesting and, in many ways, was able to relate it to “Shane” by Jack Shaefer.
One person from the video was John. John is from California and for a long time, John had a perfectly normal life. A few years ago, however, things took a turn for the worse. In response to the economic turmoil that had begun in 2008, the bank that John had been working at started laying people off. John was one of those people. As someone who never had an issue with money, being unemployed was something that was very tough for John to adjust to.
Another person from the video with a similar story was Ronald. Ronald is from Louisiana and, like John, did not have trouble with money until a few years ago. Ronald worked as a fisherman/oyster catcher, but between hurricane Katrina and the major oil spill from a couple of years ago, he has not been able to catch anything. Ronald spoke about his recent struggles and really stressed the idea that life goes on. There will always be speed bumps, but it is important to not let it ruin your life. There was really not much either John or Ronald could have done to prevent these things from happening but the fact is that they did happen. This idea, in a way, reminds me of the end of “Shane.” At the end of the book, Shane leaves town because he knows he cannot stay after killing Wilson and Fletcher. When Joe finds out about this, he is so tempted to leave his farm as well. At the time, Joe was not able to see the light of the situation, but rather he kept focusing on the bad. All Joe could think about was that Shane, someone the whole family cared about very much, left for good. What Marian had to convince him was that things were going to get much better. Fletcher was no longer around and now the Starretts could finally work their farm in peace. Just like how John and Ronald had to look towards the future and keep their faith that things would be better, Joe had to do the same.
Another thing that John talked about in the video was the stereotype of pretty much all poor people. John used words like lazy and uneducated. These words, while they may apply to some poor people, definitely do not apply to all. John alone disproves the normal stereotype. When John was talking about stereotypes, I could not help thinking about “Shane.” In the book, Shane comes into town with dark clothes and a gun on his waist. Because of what he was wearing and just his overall persona, people assume they know what Shane is like. Fortunately for both Shane and the Starretts, the Starretts were able to look past Shane’s exterior and allow him to stay with them.
Another person from the video is James. James is from North Carolina and actually does, in at least one way, fit the “poor stereotype.” James grew up poor so never really had an opportunity to get an education. This made it very hard for him to get a legitimate job. For a while, James had worked on a racetrack, but was eventually fired. Although this could have made many other people give up, James did not. Because of this, James was able to find work at a restaurant. James’ story, and the other stories in the video, aimed to inspire and show that no one should ever give up, and that is exactly what it did. By attending this event, I became more aware of not stereotyping anyone and was definitely appreciative for everything that I have.