Response to “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

Hi, this is Linh. I realized that i’ve never considered the bigger picture of my position in society. I never put into perspective that there is a big divide in what people have. I knew that there was one through books but i never felt like i was in one until i read this reading. i would choose to ignore it and go about my day like Sylvia and would only attend to my temporary need. The quote that really struck me was when Sugar said, “I don’t think all us here put together eat in a year what that sailboat cost”. Until i read this quote, i’ve always have a tunnel mind of thinking about what i want and what i can afford, not how limited we are compared to other people. I believed that as long as i try my best to live a happy life everything would be okay. Unfortunately, there are many invisible weight pulling people down that we don’t think about regularly because we are use to it and neglect its importance. An example of an invisible weight i have is that i live in an uneducated working class family. What i noticed is that there was a teacher in this passage. It made me realize how much of and impact having a teacher at home is. (parents, siblings or any role model) I’m a first generation student with parents who has been always been in the working class economy. They are older than me by 40+ years and up until this past year i never had a proper conversation with them. They wouldn’t ask me “why do you think” and that caused me to believe things are just how they are. I also didn’t receive lessons from stories my parents told and they definitely did not read me books. (We couldn’t afford it and they weren’t able to read in english since they aren’t bilingual) This impacted the way i learn. I never realized how passive i was about the socioeconomic problem. Another example is just being a girl/women and told to be polite and quiet. Just by being taught to do this impacts females because society trains us to think that women cannot be leaders and doesn’t deserve as much respect.There are plenty of other invisible weight we carry but class is definitely a massive issue because of the limited opportunities that restricts our ability as well as how we live and learn.