Knowledge and Understanding “Born to Run”

In the book, “Born to Run, Christopher McDougall explains his amazing adventure on how he went on an adventure just to tackle one question, “why do my feet hurt?” McDougall wonders about why we were shoes, why do we even run and what makes a person good at running. Throughout his adventure, he unearths both answers and more questions. As his adventure comes to a near end, he starts to wonder why humans wear shoes, and he describes them as harmful towards our own bodies. His passion for running just keeps on increasing as he discovers new things. He doesn’t stop until he finds an acceptable conclusion, which is the true definition of passion.

            McDougall explores running and all of its contents throughout the book. McDougall’s starts out searching for Cabello Blanco, a mysterious loner gringo who lives and runs with the Tarahumara. As he explores deeper into the subject, he finds more and more questions to answer, but also more and more answers to come with. Having passion is to continue doing something even though there is no solid solution in view. For example, keep on practicing basketball when you haven’t won a single game for the whole season is having a passion for basketball.  McDougall feels that shoes are preventing the runner from hitting his or her full potential. Because he has a true passion for running, he wants to explore more into why people wear shoes if it “hurts” the runner. Later, McDougall finally finds Blanco, the person who he has been looking for for a long time. Blanco redirects him as he showers McDougall with new information that will cause him to continue searching. Having true passion is continuing even though the solution is not near. McDougall is one of the few people who will actually pursue his passion and continue. Some people might quit then, but some might continue, to McDougall, nothing else mattered more but the mechanics of running itself. As McDougall says, he was “born to run”, and running is his true passion. Different people have different passions, but our current society does not function that way.

Different people have different passions, some are to play sports, some are to use computers, and some are to write. However, our modern society today does not support “passion” in terms of jobs. People who are artists aren’t that rich, people who are writers aren’t that rich, but people who have jobs that have a connection to what we learn in high school have high paying jobs. The purpose for a high school is to give students a basic foundation of education, so that they don’t become “stupid”, but what high schools tend to do now is to over educate them on subjects that won’t even affect their life in the long run. People who paint or write are never going to use math. People who mess with computer technology don’t have to know what a metaphor is. High schools don’t encourage students to follow their passion, even though they say that they do. Most schools try to cover this idea by “offering many different activities” that are supposed to help students find their passion. We students are not allowed to go on adventures like McDougall, because we simply are not at that stage yet. McDougall found his passion for running, explored its deeper meaning and found many different answers and questions to why or how or what running is. McDougall was able to explore running with depth, not just a mild observation on Bolt running, but an adventure concerning with the mechanics of running. Passion is what makes people happy, and just like McDougall, people should be able to follow it without any obstacles.

Passion is the reason most people do different things, and is the reason why different people behave differently in different situations. Passion is the striving force, the motivational force for mostly everyone in the world. Passion is something that makes people happy, and should be pursued no matter what. It is quite impressive that someone like McDougall pursued his own Passion even though it seemed as if there were no possible solution. Passion is something that high schools should actually try to encourage. Instead of offering only a few activities to different subjects, high schools should offer classes and clubs to different passions, so that students may join and participate to find their true potential. The best way to find your passion is to try different things and see which one satisfies you the most. The one that makes you feel like your contribution is worthwhile, the one that makes you happy as you do it, the one that makes you want to continue. Passion is something that makes people happy, and fulfilling a full potential is to follow in your passion and make the best out of it, only then will you be truly happy. 

Plato and Bloom Comparison (“Meno” and “Divorce”)

“Meno” by Plato is a dialogue-based story on basically what virtue is. Both the main character and the expert truly don’t know what virtue is. Plato talks about how the solution to problems will always be within us, and that we just have to search for it inside of ourselves. The answer will theoretically always be there, we just have to look hard enough to find it. However, both the main character and the expert conclude that they do not know what virtue is, and that the answer is not within them. So how is it possible to teach virtue to one another when the real solution is unknown?

“Divorce” by Allan Bloom is about how divorce has a lot of negative impacts on people, especially children. Children grow up inspired by their parents, looking up to them for most of their childhood. Divorce not only causes the child to lose faith and trust in them, but also to not have anyone there to depend on. Children highly depend on their parents for help, whether its for school or just daily tasks. Marriage should be treated as a sacred ritual, that’s why divorce is a very immoral thing to do.

Both Plato and Bloom talk about searching for something. Plato talks about searching for a solution inside of you, while Bloom encourages careful search for their significant other. The solution is always inside of you that are why whenever someone repeats an answer; you go “AHA!” People don’t search hard enough for their soon-to-be husband or wife; they just go and marry whoever pleases them. Just like how the “journey is the best part”, it is also the most important. People should not just jump to conclusions and assume things, they should search inside of them for the correct answer, and then will they only know the true meaning to something. People should not just jump into marriages or relationships, they should search for someone who fits them dearly, someone who can take care of them, not someone who they will get sick of 4 years into their marriage then ask for a divorce. Searching not only brings you to the best solution, but also prevents wrong assumptions.

Jumping to conclusions, or marrying a complete stranger can have serious consequences. Without searching carefully for the right answer, but instead put down a random one, you are obviously hurting yourself because you know that the answer is wrong. Without searching carefully for the right person, but instead marrying anyone who is “pretty”, you are not only hurting yourself but also that person, and maybe your future children if you decide to have them. You will have no one to blame but yourself. The answer is within you, if there is no answer, the question is invalid. The right person is out there waiting for you; all of the lonely people in the world are only lonely because they gave up searching for that person, not because that person isn’t out there. Both authors basically agree that searching for the right thing is the most important and is required for the correct answer. Jumping to whatever kind of conclusions will result in harmful consequences.

Analysis and Interpretation “Divorce”

Glistening on the shelf while waiting for interactions with people, the snow globe is one of the most fascinating objects in the world. It stays still and looks stable when it is untouched, but when someone shakes it, the little pieces of dust jumps around and creates the illusion of snow. On the shelf where it stands for eternity, have one and only one image. It’s view, never changing, its appearance, never changing, it, never changing. However, once dealt with and messed around with, a new light shines upon it. The snow globe is given a new look, a new perspective. It has a new appearance, a new meaning to itself. With a new perspective, there will be different types of information that will be presented. When the snow globe is being shaken, the little particles that fly around can be interpreted as new information jumping around, waiting for someone to notice them. The more you shake, the more particles will move, the more information will be available. Shaking the snow globe multiple times is like taking multiple perspectives on a subject and using it. The snow globe represents taking a new perspective on things, taking a different route from the mainstream that other people follow.

Allan Bloom views divorce with disgust and disdain. He says that divorce not only affects the spouses, but also the children involved. Most people view divorce, as only a separation between two, and the child will follow along the person who won full custody in court. Children need more than just one parent, not just the mom nor the dad. Children depend on both of their parents for different things, their mom for daily tasks and their dad for knowledge. Living with just one of their birth parents can be troublesome, and no one will be able to fill up the gap in their lives, not even stepparents. Most people who talk about divorce will talk about how it is breaking vows and ask why people even get married. They say that Marriage should be viewed as a sacred ritual, and that divorce is like taking a gun and shooting your morals in the brain. Bloom does not disagree with this statement, but he looks at the situation with a different perspective. His perspective on divorce also includes the effects on children. How are the children affected? How will their education be impaired? It is not fair to put a child at a disadvantage because adults could not commit to their significant other. It is not fair for people to involve children when they have huge problems for themselves. Have a very good friend or their grandparents take care of them, don’t hold on to them and indirectly hurting them. Allan Bloom took a different perspective on divorce, instead of the usual “only between spouses” perspective. He takes in account how it might affect children and how children’s lives and education will be impaired. Allan Bloom took the snow globe, shook it, and used it to the best of its ability.

Knowledge and Understanding Effects of Divorce

Effects of Divorce
“Divorce” is an essay written by Allan Bloom, which focuses on the effects of divorce and how it may affect children. Marriage between couples is supposed to be a sacred ritual. Marriage should be something that is taken seriously, not something that is rushed. Children depend heavily on their parents, and they see their parents as role models. The love between their dad and mom can inspiration for them. However, if that love is broken and they split up, then the child will have no one to look up to, and no one to turn to. Divorce doesn’t only affect the, now broken up, couple, but also the children involved.
Divorce can affect a child’s childhood because children mostly depend and look up on their parents in their early ages. Most children view their parents as heroes, and will want to grow up to be exactly like them. Children inspire their parents because they grew up with them. They view parents as superiors because they were the ones who nurtured them from birth. Children view their parents as the perfect human beings. They seem like they have everything under control, as if they were god and all obstacles in life were nothing but a mere feather among thousands and thousands of pillows. This is because most of the “obstacles” that children view as challenging are simple tasks that are very managable. children put so much emphasis on their parents, that is why people today still mention their parents in speeches, “i would like to thank my parents…”, because these people were the ones who gave him everything when he essentially had nothing. Parents are essentially there for their child, to help their child whenever he or she needs help. Children look towards their parents for any type of assistance, whether its work, advice, or just physical labor. “They [Children] think they have a right to total attention and believe their parents must live for them” (Divorce). Children will be trouble doing different tasks if there is no one there to help them. Children dont automatically learn how to fish when they turn twelve, their fathers have to bring them to a lake to fish in order for the kid to learn. Parents influence their children heavily, and that is why divorce will have a negative impact on children.
Divorce occurs only when each of the two spouses are selfish and have lost interest for one another. People aren’t born selfish, people are brought up to be selfish. Parents sometimes tell their children that they have to first feed themselves if they want to feed others. This statement is not morally wrong at all, but it still is defined as being selfish. Divorce usually occurs when both spouses fail to “give in” and will only stand for what they want. When both sides of an argument are stubborn, there can be no solution. This type of behavior, that will most probably be seen at home on a daily basis, can affect a kid’s education in school. More than 90% of student victims of divorced parents perform poorly in school. How can a student expect to do well when they cannot depend on anyone for help? Also, with all the chaos and drama at home, how can a student expect to focus? A student’s future is mainly dependent on their education, so by getting divorces, parents are risking their child’s future. Hurting it, possibly ruining it for him or her. Most parents fail to realize that their divorce isn’t only between the two of them. This self-centered type of attitude is what hurts the child, because the parents are unaware of how they are hurting him or her. “The capriciousness of wills, their lack of directedness to the common good, the fact that they could be otherwise but are not – these are the real source of the war of all against all” (Divorce). Divorce occurs when both spouses are stubborn and selfish, and its consequences are dangerous.
Divorce should not be allowed due to its immorality and effects. When people marry, they are making a commitment to the other person. What is the point making a huge commmitment, spending the rest of eternity together, when it is just going to be broken. Marriage is a sacred ritual and should be one of the most important things in life. When people marry, by definition they should spend the rest of their lives together, and only death will they part. It takes a long time to actually get to know someone, and if you have found the right person, then by all means marry him or her. Marriage should be treated as if it was dependent on their lives. Divorce should have some sort of punishment, and should be treated with disgust. Divorce hurts everyone and has no positive effects, especially on children.

A Pearl in a Clam

A clam’s beauty is held within itself. Its pearl is the clam’s natural beauty, it makes the clam unique and special. Without the pearl, the clam would just be like any other clam, lost in the sea, swimming around trying to find a suitable purpose while its soul has been taken away from it. It’s identity has been stripped from it, its beauty, its purpose to live. Now it has nothing, nothing to protect, nothing to live for. The pearl is what makes the clam special, it is what gives the clam value. Before, the clam would open its mouth with glory, hoping to attract all kinds of attention with its beauty. It has nothing to hide, in fact, it has something to share. It shows the world its pearl, appreciating the pearl’s beauty and sharing it with the world. However, now the clam will be scared and embarrassed to share whats inside of it, for there is nothing there. Now, when the clam open its mouth to share, nothing but the bubbles of the pearl’s sad disappearance will emerge from its mouth. Nothing but the faint memory of the pearl’s lost soul will be kept.

“Don’t hurt others just because you are hurt”. This quote represents equality within society. Many people depend on other’s suffering for their own satisfaction. An example would be bullies. Bullies bully weaker kids because their pain and tears some how interests the bully. The pearl and the clam is a representation of the little kid who is getting bullied. By himself, untouched and pure, he is naturally beautiful. However, once external forces act upon it, it ruins its natural image. Just like how the pearl is taken away from the clam, the kid’s happiness is being taken away. How can we expect to live in a world full of happiness of pain and suffering is what some seek? Why do these people even depend on other’s misery in order to make themselves happy? Why take the pearl for your own pleasure when the pearl is all the clam lives for? The best thing to do is to leave others alone, leave the clam alone and let it live happily with its most prized possession inside of it. Let it live a life being happy, knowing that nothing has taken or tried to take away its identity, making it special and unique compared to all others. Kids these days feel unsafe because of the bullies who roam the hallways looking for trouble. Why can’t we live in a world where bullies don’t exist? Why don’t kids take their anger and frustration somewhere else? Why can’t they write a journal entry or play video games, why do they have to hurt others who seem perfectly happy alone? We should not turn to others when we have anger issues, instead take it out on yourself or don’t take it out at all. Leave the clam alone to live with it’s pearl, leave the kid alone to be happy.Image

Leopard loose in India

Recently, there were reports about a leopard on the loose on the streets of India. The leopard was probably hungry because it was held in captivity for so long without the “wild freedom” that most leopards have. Why should we cause others to struggle for our own pleasure? The purpose of a zoo is to introduce different types of animals to little kids, those who maybe haven’t seen a monkey up front before. It is to entertain and educate people, but why should we do this? Can’t we research about it online and show it to our kids, or maybe have statues instead of real life animals. These animals strive towards their freedom and their wild life; they want to roam around the jungle freely without the interference of people. This leopard was only trying to escape because it hated being held in a cage and was also probably hungry. After it got loose, it went crazy, and put all of its effort into escaping the city. Tranquilizers and trained animal control experts, however, soon countered its efforts. This leopard was not trying to hurt anybody, but was trying to escape from its horrible life. We should not cause others to suffer just for our own pleasure.

Knowledge and Understanding “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley” Change

            David Foster Wallace is a creative writer and essayist who write about his own experiences and thoughts to portray different ideas. The first story in his book “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” is a story about himself as a child playing tennis and how math is applied to it. The story is called “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley” and it’s about how change is evident and there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s about Wallace’s own childhood, and how tennis was a big part of his life back then. When he was young, he would use geometry and math to beat others in tennis. However, after life kicked in, the other kids started hitting puberty, while Wallace stayed small because he was a late bloomer. This led to him having a depressing season as he lost a lot of matches to kids who were twice his size. Life chose to not be pleasant on him; by making him a late bloomer and having all the other kids hit puberty before him. Puberty is a change that can happen at any time. It’s inevitable and there’s nothing that can be done about it. That’s the point that Wallace is trying to portray, that change must happen, whether it’s for the good or for the bad.

            To some extent, I agree with Wallace’s claim that change is inevitable and that nothing can be done about it. Change is currently happening all around us as we speak. It’s a part of nature and it happens for a reason. Stuff that remains constant are most likely to “die-out”, meaning that change most likely will result with better outcomes. Things change because there is a flaw that needs to be improved. Nothing changes just because change is inevitable; things change because the change will improve it. Just like the survival of the fittest, the things that change are most likely to perspire. Puberty is a part of nature that automatically changes and is inevitable, which is what Wallace was trying to illustrate. However, sometimes change isn’t necessary for some things. Change only happens if a certain thing needs to be modified, otherwise we should just leave it be. We have stuck with the same educational system for many years, which is a good thing because it standardizes our educational system, which is good for basing intelligence off of. We need not change our educational system simply because it works for us. However, could our educational system be better? Of course it can. Our educational system works because and has remained constant because the change is so small that we do not notice it. Constantly is there change around in schools and in colleges, but the change is so small that we fail to recognize it due to our view on the big picture. Our definition of “education” is learning, but change is happening with the information we’re learning and the way it is taught. The reason people think that education isn’t changing is because the fact that an older man or woman, the teacher, is the one teaching a younger student hasn’t changed at all. Change is inevitable in most situations and is necessary to improve different aspects of life.

            There are many problems in the world, most of which can be fixed with changes. Change by definition is the only way to alter an object. In society, if there is something wrong, change is there to help fix it. There are many wars that are going on right now, most of which are reactions to change. These wars are currently happening because some sort of change is happening or some sort of change needs to be made. Two sides, fighting for which one will win, which will ultimately be the resulting outcome of change. Only in a utopian society, which by human nature is impossible to have, will change be unnecessary. Humans aren’t perfect beings that are why a utopian society simply cannot be, because there is greed, selfishness, unfairness and inequality happening all around the world. Change is trying to occur to fix these problems but even then will it not be enough. Change is striving towards something that is impossible to have, but we keep trying anyways. That is why change is currently happening all around us and is inevitable.

            David Foster Wallace intelligently demonstrates how change is inevitable in our every day lives. It is currently happening and it will always happen. To him, however, the change didn’t cause happiness to him. Instead it caused depression and disappointment. Wallace was unfortunate in that change did not change in his favor, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is inevitable. Change will always be present in life. Change is like a clock, it is constantly moving and it will never end.