Perhaps the most compelling things about a person’s life are the experiences they share with others. As Takei ventured throughout the internment camps and the different lifestyle that comes with it in his , a thought came into my head: How does history keep repeating itself? 

After all, before the Japanese-American and Jewish concentration camps, there were the Troubles in Ireland, and the Armenian genocide before that, and then the Columbian Exchange before that. And after the camps was Martin Luther King Jr, and then Apartheid after that, and then genocides of the Kurds, Tutsis, and Uyghurs after that. Discrimination, segregation, prejudice, all of them were and are very prevalent in every part of history. Why does the cycle never end?

To answer the question, one must first look at the generations ahead of us, the ones who influence the future. It has been proven many times that “play” is essential for a child to undergo in their early developments, as referenced by such influential people like Isamu Noguchi. However, “play” can take on many forms, as demonstrated by the difference in the playgrounds that Noguchi wanted and the playgrounds that the world have adapted. One is abstract and requires more of the imagination, while the other is a rigid model, built not so much for imagination, but rather, for exercise and letting out the pent up energy that bothers so many busy parents. Does having a different style of “play” change how one views the world in their later stages of life?

If one assumes this to be true, how does that help determine the cause of the cycle of violence and prejudice? The idea of the competitive “team” based games could provide the answer. Competition, in of itself, is not a bad idea, as it helps further a society by giving inspiration to new ideas to “beat the other team,” while also indirectly contributing to the overall society. However, if left unchecked, this tribal mindset may cause each “team” to start to hate the other one, due to their constant strife and struggle being cause by the other side. Eventually, this may cause the cause of the hatred to fade away to obscurity while the hatred itself burns ever stronger. In addition, these awful ideas and opinions of the other side could get passed down to the next generation, and thus starts the awful cycle previously mentioned.

So, are we, as a society destined to be trapped in this cycle of violence? Maybe. Bad habits are hard to break. But recently, there’s been a reason to end the “side vs. side” struggle. For the most part, Coronavirus has affected everyone in very similar ways. As such, COVID, in some ways, became the catalyst to set aside our differences in order to beat the giant beast. If one were to take advantage of this temporary teamwork and turn it into a permanent partnership, then the cycle would be broken.

Just a thought.

One thought on “Repetition

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