I think growing up in a generation where we are consumed with social media and showing off everything – from what we eat to our daily selfies- we constantly crave attention and want to be relatable to our fellow peers. Personally when I think of the word relatable, I think of something that is ordinary or standard. I think being “relatable” to something has just categorized us into a narrow perspective on things. Just because you can’t sense a connection with an idea or thought doesn’t mean that its not credible. I agree with Mead’s thoughts on relatability and how rejecting a piece of work just because it doesn’t reflect us or our ideas is going to hurt yourself and be your loss because you fail to see literature from other perspectives. If we always felt like we agreed with a piece of writing, our minds would never be stimulated to question our differences.
Now looking back to all the literary pieces we read pertaining to tight spaces, there wasn’t a single one that I could fully relate to in a literal sense. For example, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I could never relate to being an African American woman who struggles with slavery and the fight to live. However, this doesn’t mean that I think this novel isn’t credible. As you read through the novel and realize that she was abused at such a young age makes me want to not believe her life story- but I think I realized that her in order to relate to her pain I need to understand the circumstances she was in. I praise the perspective the novel is written in and although I can’t relate, I feel a strong connection of compassion for Jacobs. I believe that relatability doesn’t always have to be your mirror image, but something that you sense a connection with, have it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. If you can accept the fact that people are different than you can learn to accept that their point of view is relatable.
On a personal note, growing up as a first generation Indian I had some trouble relating to American customs. I still remember my mom giving me rice and curry for lunch rather than the usual Lunchables box. Being so young, I felt uncomfortable because I felt like I couldn’t relate to others, and felt like what I was doing was wrong. However, as I grow up I embrace my differences and realize that I will not be someone else’s definition of “normal”. I have my own identity, my own story and if people cant recognize my individuality than it’s their loss.