Roaming, Picking, Growing

One of the first books I read was, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. I liked the book, I had no criticisms about the book about anything in particular. I still have the book in my tiny, almost non-existent book collection in my closet. To this day, I am still quite fond of the book, and it could be because of nostalgia, or the book’s innocent simplicity. The book is simplistic because of its very linear plot and for its abstract illustrations that add on to the text. Reading the book as a kid, I believe that the book offered me an exploration of interpretations and a freedom of expression. Those two attributes help the world, one way or another.

Cover of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

George Takei is a Japanese-American author who, through his graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy, was able to share his childhood experiences to the world about his time in the Japanese internment camps and under strict racial discrimination in the United States. As Takei grew up, he later felt betrayed because of how the country he felt patriotic for turned against him and his ethnic community. Authorities were stripping away Japanese-Americans’ rights, and it was caused by paranoia during World War 2. It took the authorities until after the war that Japanese-Americans were just Americans, and so they released them and gave some monetary compensation after years of oppression. Having a broad mindset with interpretations would have made the situation better for everyone. Knowing that they belong to the same extent as others, the next step would be to recognize their potential as great people. Similarly to a caterpillar blooming into a beautiful butterfly, everyone should be recognized, as anyone can have a spark that makes them great.

A section in They Called Us Enemy

Isamu Noguchi was a sculptor who desired for his dream model of a playground, the “Play Mountain”, to become reality. In a 99% Invisible podcast, it was said that he really did not earn much by urging parks to build the playground, however he wanted one to be built because of his beliefs. He believed that the best kind of creativity comes from interacting, or playing with these abnormal structures. One of Noguchi’s goals was that by allowing children to play with the openly-interactive structures, the children would use their imagination and freedom of interpretation. This really relates to how I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The combination of simplicity and exploration recalls a great gift that young children have as they experience the world. Children, being at the age of unsophisticated rules, but instead a vast imagination make the combination have a great positive influence towards their development.

Re-text of April 1, 1984 Peanuts comic. Implies one of the stresses growing up.

Being open-minded can bring a positive environment to people, allowing each other to not judge one’s potential by a few differences, or by allowing creativity to run the mind without restrictions. Takei and Noguchi, both inspirational Japanese-Americans who have gone through challenges, played their role in ensuring that people explore for themselves but also for others the best options for each other. After learning about the two people, one thing I wish I had as a child was more options in which I could experience and make new wonders. But something I am glad about during my childhood was the brief moment of innocence and simplicity I had upon my young perception of the world.

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