OPINION: In the pursuit of ignorance


Josephine Mittelberger, Business Manager

The monoculture that America promotes has been a divisive aspect of my life. 

It made growing up difficult because it felt like I had to be a red-blooded American or an outsider. 

The issue was I liked aspects of the other cultures I was raised in. For example, one aspect of Laotian culture that taught me a lot is how we eat food—all the dishes are in the middle and one takes what they need, leaving enough for the rest. It seems simple, but it teaches kids to be conscious of others. This sharply contrasts how children in the US are taught to think of themselves first, often seeing how their actions affect others independently. This led to my actions seeming out of place and weird in general.

However, learning the divisive effects of American individualism, I cannot help but be grateful for my upbringing. Every time I open social media, look at covid updates or even go to school I am faced with the fact that America has turned the freedom of individualism and churned out a new interpretation—selfishness. 

Personal independence has proven to be more important than the general welfare to many people, and it shows as they walk the halls of MHS. At the beginning of the year when masks were optional, not only did unvaccinated students not wear a mask, but there was only an influx of mask wearers when a bug was spreading around the school. The science behind masks and vaccines was ignored by many in order to make oneself more comfortable, putting others at risk of getting covid. Even in stage 3, many students fail to wear their masks properly. 

Of course American individualism has been around longer than covid, but the response to let the individual figure out if their research is more accurate than scientific studies is quite absurd. Yet, this is a great example of how Americans would much rather put themselves before others under the ruse that this is normal. Apathetic is not normal, and it should not take personal anecdotes for people to respect others around them.