Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Finale

I finished! How I feel (not in totality, just a few points):

1. If our medical system had a better interpreter policy in place, things may have turned out better for the Lees (and many others in similar situations).

2. Perhaps we truly are over-medicated as a population? While I would want doctors to work their hardest to cure me, maybe all the meds they pump into us hinder our health, too?

3. There is a high population of Hmong in Pennsylvania. They sew products for the Amish, so they can still be labeled "made locally." I thought this was hilarious, and hubby made a comment about how sad it is when even the Amish "outsource."

4. We all need to be more tolerant. A huge discussion in the book was about the thought that because a majority of Hmong are on welfare, they're lazy freeloaders. In actuality, we're the ones who forced them out of their mountain homes in Laos. We're the ones who brought them here. We're the ones who put them on welfare. The Hmong families Fadiman talked to in the book just want to work - they want to grow their own food, work in their own fields, build their own homes. We definitely don't make this easy for them.

5. However, in terms of No. 4, we can only be more tolerant if we're fed all the information. Our leaders keep these sorts of things pretty hush hush. So, we need more books like this one - and they need to be read.

It was an eye-opening book. I was pulled in many different directions - still am. It's definitely worth a read. Once you do, come back and tell me what you think about it. I'm dying to hear other people's opinions.


willikat said...

I'll try to read it after I read Chemistry of Joy.

Stacy said...

We read that book in a cultural anthropology class. It was pretty sad, detailed and intense...and although it has been a couple of years since I've read it, the story that it tells still lingers with me.