October 31, 2013
Opinions and Transformation
The literary works “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague, “First Practice” by Gary Gildner and “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes all focus on the ideas of transformations and having individual opinions. The poems of Hague and Gildner portray the themes of opinion and transformation in a direct form while in the short story, Hughes depicts the themes in a deeper way. A connection was made during a session of Zen Meditation because one is able to focus on their thoughts and beliefs. One may also feel “transformed” into a different person by the time they leave mediation.
In Richard Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” the speaker is expressing his beliefs on one’s capability to make their own choices. He especially believes that the SAT’s are not as important as others may say and wants others to know that they have the ability to think for themselves. The speaker encourages the reader to live the life they want, not the life society wants other to live. Although everyone has their own opinions, all people should listen to what others say, be respectful and hope others do the same in return.
In “First Practice,” Gildner describes that the new football coach was a former soldier who has served for our country. The coach is acting more like military leader than a coach and seems to be preparing the team for battle instead of a football game. The coach also believes that the team is ready for the game, but they do not seem to be mentally prepared for it. The coach hopes that by commanding the team to win, he may transform them to have the “want” to win.
Langston Hughes’ short story “Thank You Ma’am” also speaks of opinion and transformation on a different level. In the story a young boy tries to steal a woman’s purse, but trips and falls on the woman while running away. She does not let go of the boy because she knows that he would run away from her. When asking the young by why he stole her purse, he said he wanted to buy blue suede shoes. Later on, the women gave the young boy ten dollars, but he barely managed to say thank you before she shut the door. By the end of the story, the young boy’s attitude had changed. His opinion of the woman may have changed as well, since she turned out to be much friendlier than he might have imagined.
When comparing these three reading, there were immediate similarities between them. The three readings all focus on the ideas of transformation and having opinions. During Zen Meditation, one is able to take the tranquil and peaceful hour and a half to reflect on their day with a relaxed mind. Thoughts and opinions of the world and of everyday life may be going through a person’s mind during the session. Meditation is also a time to focus on the beliefs one has and they are able to learn what is important in life. By the end of a meditation session, I personally felt like a different person and much more relaxed than I had when I entered Fava Chapel.