The Dark Side

Like all of us, I have shortcoming I like to ignore. I’m proud to say I haven’t done anything drastic; I have done my best to be an upstanding citizen.

I hide many things from my parents. I’m not sure why I do it, if I would have to guess, I think it would be because I’m not proud of my life. If my parents come to the same consensus, I would be unable to handle the anger, the disappointment.

I procrastinate finishing my homework with the best of them. Completing homework is a task I usually accomplish close to midnight the day before it’s due. Facebook or YouTube are not the cause. I rarely check Facebook anymore; the knowledge I gain of my peers is not worth more than three minutes of my day.

Sports have become idolized; I hate it. While sports do have positive consequences, youth choose to devote the majority of their life to their respective sport. Whether it’s by staying out late or waking up early, which entails less sleep. Having less than the recommended amount of sleep is hazardous to long term health. Also, youth tend to justify getting worse grades by excelling in sports. Many parents not only promote this, but push their kid to be the best football player in there word. Not only is this an unrealistic goal, but teaches kids that entertainment and fun is first.

I don’t like to admit this, but it’s true. I put effort into very few things. That includes sports. I have been competing in my sport for about seven years now. And I just competed in a national competition, for which I practiced three times in the last month for. I still managed to get ninth place, but I feel that I didn’t even deserve that. It’s not entirely due to my choice. I have started working to afford going to competitions and better equipment, and that drains my time and me mentally.

One thing I have felt bad about is completing chores. I haven’t done much more than make beds and mow the lawn in years. My mom is forced to do them herself because of my neglect. I fear that all this and large amount of stress recently isn’t going well for her.

We all have our faults and shortcomings, we are human after all. But it is getting past the negative, the journey and growth for which I thrive and excel.

The Scarlet Letter

I feel that Hawthorne condones the adultery of Hester and Dimmesdale. While they committed a sin, the act was not not intended to do harm, but for love. Hawthorne accepts what Hester and Dimmesdale have done because they turned what they did into a force for good. Dimmesdale was better able to serve the town as a minister while Hester becomes selfless and even gives to those “less miserable than herself” and continued to do so even though they “insulted the hand that fed them (Hester at Her Needle).

All throughout the book, Hawthorne subtly criticizes the rigid religious beliefs of his Puritan ancestors and their narrow-mindedness. The townspeople ridicule Hester while ignoring Mistress Hibbins even though she is known to practice witchcraft.

Pursuit of Happiness

Ciardi is attempting to create a definition of happiness. To this end, he provides multiple examples to describe various aspects of happiness. He describe Thoreau’s dedication to spend as little time on lower level activities. With the time he saved on low level things, Thoreau would spend it on higher level activities. Thoreau’s effort to spend as little time on the trivial, is one of the virtues of Ciardi’s definition of happiness. Another pillar of happiness is adversity. With no challenge, there is no enjoyment in accomplishing a task. Ciardi then follows with a boundary for his definition; that happiness cannot be bought nor is static. 

I agree with Ciardi wholeheartedly. I believe that people thrive from challenges. Why else do we work harder when there is someone else vying for a job or when they are catching up in a race? But happiness is enigmatic, happiness for one person can be completely different for another. I agree with one of Ciardi’s last statements, that happiness can only be partial. to become truly happy, is to completely live life. And I will always be striving for that eternal bliss.

 

-TA