A guest blog by SGISD student Thalia Viveros Uehara
“Home is where the heart is,” goes a famous saying. Mine — which was born in Xalapa (Mexico) — can be now found at different other geographical spaces, including Boston, where I live now. My journey is a pretty long story, summarized in the multiplicity of cultures, languages, beliefs, colors, and flavors in which I see beauty and feel virtue. Hence, yes… I guess I have homes, in plural.
Having many homes entails a spectrum of goods and bads that becomes more evident during hard times. The coronavirus hasn’t left a single country without unfortunate death tolls and other detrimental social consequences. Learning about the overwhelming number of cases, first in Asia and Europe, and then in North America and Africa, certainly has brought distress.
Feeling the sadness of those who have lost their beloved ones, the desperation of those who are at risk of violence sheltering in place or who have lost their jobs, and the exhaustion of parents (mostly women) who have to take care of their children while being “essential” workers has sharpened my awareness about the prevailing structural injustices and discriminatory mindsets that have amplified the harmfulness of the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. They are my family, my friends, my colleagues, in short, my co-humans… everyone everywhere.
Some days I cannot avoid judging 2020 as a sub-optimal time to have multiple hearts and multiple homes.
However, I have also found strength in people’s love, kindness, compassion, and amazing talents. Video-calling with my family and friends; praying; going back to my childhood memories by cooking my grandma’s recipes; learning new perspectives out of my course materials; listening and seeing SGISD folks during classes; writing about stuff I am passionate about; and attending virtual concerts and yoga sessions remind me every day that I am international. This is not because I am physically away from Mexico, away from my family ties… but because how and where I see beauty and virtue transcend national boundaries.
I am fortunate enough to live these difficult times in the company of my husband, whose love, joy, and determination I have never valued more or been more grateful for.
During this pandemic, therefore, I decided not to let myself forget how blessed I am in having the opportunity to appreciate that yes, home is where the heart is. If our hearts are everywhere, so are our courage, strength, and determination to pursue justice, solidarity, and compassion as the pillars of a better post-COVID-19 future.
The opportunity is clearly ahead of us.