Marcos Perez’s, a professor of Sociology ended the semester by discussing what it means to be a part of a revolution. Throughout the semester, we have heavily discussed what it means for a paradigm to end in a revolution. If you are to live through a period we would consider to be a revolution, it can be hard to identify these radical changes, as humans are inherently forward looking. So we live on and many ignore that such a revolution has happened, and even if they took part, they may not know what it means to be a part of a revolution and to be a revolutionary. What is the impact on people involved in a revolution on an individual scale? What must be sacrificed in order to see the revolution to its fruition? How do individuals involved in revolutions maintain the energy to continually be involved? As we learned about revolutions in history through out the semester, many of these questions have not been directly answered. However professor Perez’s lecture greatly exposed them. In some cases of revolution people will have to sacrifice their lives: be it physically, financially, or socially, and a life span through this struggle even with progress may not show the nature of the paradigm shift. However, these revolutionaries are having a lasting impact on society—an impact they may never know. Much like the anonymous Greek proverb: “societies grow great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in,” these martyrs of revolutions are making lasting impacts on the social norms of societies. They are not living how most humans live: maximizing personal pleasure and avoiding pain, instead they are acting in disregard to their personal lives, in other words they are acting in terms of the greater good of future societies. The creation of there history gives insight into the nature of avoiding disaster for future generations.
The defining traits of many of these people involved in revolutions is their undying devotion to the cause. From Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr., people have given their entire lives to causes that they have believed in. Although when we look back at revolutions in retrospect we realize how pivotal they are for the greater good of society, in their own context, revolutions are marked because they go so heavily against the status quo. Gandhi was imprisoned, Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, but without these two brave individuals and many others like them, we would not have progressed as a society to the advanced point we are at now. As I reflect on this class and the semester and read current news that is released almost by the hour, I am left with more questions to ponder. Although we have come a long way as a society: there is still a potential for the human race to evolve for millions of years into the universe. What revolutions are going on around me right now? Are there any I feel so passionately about that I will get involved? How long will these revolutions last? Ultimately, although this class has answered some questions about revolutions, I feel as though I am left with a more questioning mindset about my role as an individual and my role in society.