This week we read Langston Hughes ‘s short story “Thank You, Ma’am”, Richard Hague’s poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT”, and Gary Gilder’s poem “First Practice.” All three of these works share a common theme of gratitude. Gratitude is something we overlook, and instead we fill our lives condemning our choices and others. The authors use their works to describe the importance of appreciation and how our outlook in general should be more positive. This week’s meditation focused on self-improvement in every single way.
In “Thank You, Ma’am” Langston Hughes turns a bad situation into a good one by teaching his readers a lesson. In the short story a teenage boy names Roger attempts to steal from a women named Mrs. Luella Bates. Instead of getting overly upset and threatening Roger Mrs. Bates notices the neglect Roger faces. She invites him back to her house and offers to not only feed him a meal but also take care of him. She uses her own experiences to show that even she wasn’t the perfect child but she used her experiences and pitfalls to improve herself. In return for Mrs. Bates kindness and forgiveness Roger shows his gratitude by not running and showing potential of change. This story shows that we should be grateful for the families and morals we have.
On the other hand Richard Hague’s poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT” uses failure and negativity to show the importance of gratitude. The author states all the ways we can blame failure on other things but in the end it is our responsibility to succeed. The last line “make your marks on everything” encourages the readers to take their fate into their own hands and be thankful for the results you get.
Lastly Gary Gilder’s poem “First Practice” uses a captain’s determination as a driving force for the others. In other words he uses his energy to motivate the others. Although this poem can represent different things I believe that the overall message is to never give up. The line “ he was a man who believed dogs ate dogs..” shows the leaders aggression and in a way also shows his dedication. He is grateful for the opportunity he has been given and doesn’t intend on wasting it.
As usual this weeks meditation proved to be a place of relaxation and reflection for me. This weekend my friend told me about a loss in her family and I realized that I was so fortunate to have a very supportive family who no matter what loss I face will always be there for me. The works of literature also made me appreciate what you have regardless of the situation.