Through my project, Being, I aim to explore the human experience and challenge our notions of otherness through ordinary ideas, thoughts, beliefs, stories, and philosophies of strangers. I visually present diverse voices through the medium of design.

To do this, I passed out anonymous surveys to collect accounts of individuals' experiences. These surveys contained a list of 45 prompts, including questions such as: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?” and “How do you deal with anger?” After the surveys were returned, I created an image from each response. The design of the image corresponds with something from the response that I felt defined the character of the respondent. Through presenting these images to the public, I hope that people may discover meaningful connections with total strangers and build a greater sense of empathy. I want people to realize that these stories could very well belong to strangers sitting next to them, or the acquaintances that they see every day but do not know much about. Ultimately we are all human and we have a lot more in common than we think. I believe that by sharing these accounts of the human experience, I can help people become more aware of the connections we inherently hold as humans. Hopefully this understanding will help people find the motivation to treat all others with kindness and respect.

This blog consists of nine images followed by the written responses that served as their inspiration. Passages or phrases that particularly stood out to me are colored light yellow.

Thanks for your interest!

-Masami Chin

Where Faith Comes In

21. Can you tell me about your religious beliefs/spiritual beliefs? What is your religion?

I am Roman Catholic,  born and raised, but what guides me ultimately is my faith. Sure religion is very important and I respect the traditions of the church. But what has truly formed who I am is my faith life.  I’ve learned that we can do our best to plan our lives, but the most unexpected moments, both joyful and sorrowful, are the moments that we grow the most from.  We become humbled because we do not always know what God has planned for us.  Thus, that is where faith comes in. My life has been a journey of faith. That faith has had its moments of wavering and moments of growth, but it has always been there.

I am at a place of transition in my life. It is frightening not knowing where life is going to take me after graduation.  I can do my part to plan out my future, but then comes faith.  Right now, my faith enables me to have hope for my future.  I do not know what my future holds for me, but I know that God holds a much bigger plan than I can imagine. Additionally,  I have been asking the important questions of life lately (Who am I? What is my place in this world? How do I lead a good life? ect.) These questions require deep reflection and insight. Although we are capable of becoming close to knowing the answers to the questions, we have to accept that we may never fully answer them. That is where faith comes in. We must have faith that although we don’t know the answer to all these questions, there’s a greater answer out there than we will ever know. We can spend our whole life asking questions and even when we think we know the answers, we might find out those answers will prove to be wrong. We just have to be prepared to accept that we are not going to know the answers to  many of the big questions in life.

My faith is what keeps me strong and keeps me moving forward. I also firmly believe that I must always be moving forward. Living in my past and wishing I could change my past will only hold me back.  Part of envisioning a bright future for myself has  a lot to do with my faith. I have to know that I can’t let the fears of making mistakes keep me from accomplishing all that I want to do. I have to trust that if I stay true to my values and I learn from my mistakes that I will always make it where I am supposed to be.