Question of the Day: Why is it important to know about politics?
Quote: “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Being a person who loves politics, being the leader of the day for the political day was a treat. However, I learned quickly that not all of my peers shared my interest in politics. This was a blessing in disguise, because there’s no better feeling than planting a seed within the brains of my colleagues and watching their interest in politics grow within the day that I was leading the workshops.
We began the day by meeting with the mayor, Hanoi Sanchez, the first female mayor to serve a second term. She is actively involved in reinvigorating the infrastructure of San Juan de la Maguana, and in sparking an interest with statues and memorials to the revolutionary leaders and indigenous history within the Dominican Republic. She allowed us the honor of having an hour Q&A session and she even invited us to swim at her house. It was an amazing experience for us all.
We learned more about the culture of the Dominican Republic afterward, through the politics of baseball. As our Dominican coordinator says, ” Every Dominican is born with a glove and ball in one hand, and a bat in the other.” The kids seemed to be in their own element playing with cushions as bases, on a un-manicured field, laden with overgrown grass and crumbling stone bleachers. But none of this seemed to matter, and kids of all ages played with heart and seemed to really enjoy every minute of it.
We ended the day with some free time, and then watched a movie about the struggles of Haitian people crossing the border attempting to find employment. The movie was well received by our delegation, and some left in tears wondering why no one would just give this guy a job. We watched this movie in the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes, recently reconstructed and remodeled from a building falling apart into a beautiful construct looking something similar to the Parthenon, with marble floors, pillars, and arches inviting people to enter the community ministry of the arts.
Overall, the day went very well, and illustrated the importance of being involved and informed about the realm of politics. It was an even bigger honor to be the one to plant the seeds of interest and hunger for real knowledge in the minds of my peers. I think I’ve inspired them to actually learn about what’s really going on in the world of politics, and not what the corporate controlled media feeds us through television and other resources, and the day went very well.