The first chapter in a book let’s a reader know what they are getting themselves into as they continue reading. I personally like the verse in chapter one in Lauren Oya Olamina’s diary. I think that this verse set the tone for the novel itself. When I first read this verse I thought about what the verse says to me and what the verse could possibly mean to Lauren.
The verse gave me different ideas and opinions that were completely different from Lauren’s perspective. The first two lines “All that you touch…You Change” (p. 3). I think that this means, everywhere you go you might have touched someone and by this you may have changed. This explains the next two lines “All that you change…Changes you” (p.3), there are many people in this world, and myself included who don’t honestly think about how our actions could affect others. Lauren helping the two sisters, Allie and Jill was against the social norm that was the reason she felt that she was putting her “team” in harms way (p.214). There are a significant number of things in today’s society that go on around us, that go against the social norms yet people either fight those who went against it or continue to ignore them. The following lines “The only lasting truth…is change” (p.3), these lines made me think that change was the only way to go and in the end change is all that they’ll have. Many people say “The truth shall set you free” so I believe that the truth in this line, to me is saying change will set you free. The last two lines that end the verse are “God…Is change” (p.3); this verse was the most difficult for me to think about. Anyone who believes in a higher power wouldn’t think of change as their God, well not in that context. If I saw “God is change” anywhere other than this book I would assume that it means if you have faith in God, things will change. Christians believe that if you have God, then things will change for the better, all because you have God.
The way I interpreted this verse, is probably not the way Lauren intended it to be looked at. Lauren felt that the verse had significant meaning and that every word that she had written was true in life (p.73). Lauren didn’t believe in a specific God and believed that change was her God. She doesn’t worship in a church; she worships by doing things that better the future and the world. She is true to her beliefs that change will fix the world that if people would do right rather than wrong the world would be on the way to her idea of Utopia. Lauren took the lines out of her verse to heart “All that you change, you change and all that you change, changes you” (p.3), her helping those, that no one would help shows that she honestly embraced change. Lauren believed that her thoughts would change people and they would forget the old ways and embrace change to build a better future (p.73). The lines “The only lasting truth…is change” (p.3) in Lauren’s eyes means everyone wants the truth, so why wouldn’t they want change. She continued to promote change, for her I think she believes change will set her people free from their own demise. In Lauren’s world people rather ignore the truth because it’s easier, which makes Lauren’s attempts for a better future harder. Since Lauren feels change is her God, she a different view on life and many of her views are based on people changing. She understood at a young age, that in order for the world to be better, people need to change their ways. Some people in her life seemed to be allergic to change such as Lauren’s brother Keith. Keith is a prime example of a person that against change, he hated his sister’s ideas and ignored her. If her own brother hated her ideology then others probably would do the same, ignore her.
I think that if Lauren succeeds in changing their world the problems they were trying to avoid would only come back stronger than before. In Lauren’s world, it seemed like everyone was used to having no restrictions but if there were restrictions many people wouldn’t know how to live. Lauren views violence as only necessary when there is need for protection. She rather rid the world of all evil, rather than have a few who have evil in their hearts. There are many underprivileged people that dream of a better world and some would thrive on that to survive.