For this week, we read works by Langston Hughes, Richard Hague, and Gary Gildner. Each of these works, in their own way, gives some insight into life and provides for very useful life lessons. Hughes’ “Thank You, M’am,” tells the story of what happens when a boy gets caught trying to steal a lady’s purse. Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” gives some witty points on how to live your life to the fullest. Gildner’s “First Practice,” tells of the attitude and mindset needed to build you up and become advantageous. Similarly, Zen Meditation helped me this week to think about how I can se what I have learned to help me in the immediate and far future.
In Hughes’ “Thank You M’am,” we learn a lesson on what happens when you try to steal somebody’s purse and get caught. While the story seems like a far shot for what happens when you try to steal someone else’s possession, it shows that even when you think nobody cares for you, thee are always people who can help. Mrs. Jones says, “You could of asked me,” after the boy says that he wanted to new shoes. What this shows is that instead of doing something illegal, he could have asked her and been polite. Also, Mrs. Jones goes on to say that she used to be his age and she had done thing that maybe she wasn’t so proud of. She says she has done things that she would tell neither the boy, nor God if she had the choice. The life lesson that can come out of this story is that even when it seems like there is nobody that cares for you, like the boy who says he has nobody at home for him, you can always find somebody who cares for you. You are never the only person that has gone through a situation, and there are always people who can help you.
In Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” Hague is conveying the point that life should not be lived according to excessive guidelines, but that you should be able to live freely. The poem goes through many things in which the reader should not live by, such as “October…May…rules of gravity, commas, history.” All of these things imply some sort of conformed standards in which they run by, whether it’s an exact amount of days in a month or only certain situations for using punctuation. At the end, Hague says, “…and follow no directions. Listen to no one.” While it seems to be a bit excessive, the point of what he is trying to say is to reject to conform to the guidelines and many rules in which people live their lives. And while the SAT is an important test that sometimes is the decisive factor for where you go in life, with all of its rules, you shouldn’t let something like it bar you from living your life. Hague argues against limitations on what you can do. And just like you shouldn’t let the SAT limit you from achieving your dreams, you shouldn’t let any other regulations on you life restrict you from living to the fullest.
In Gilder’s “First Practice,” Gilder teaches a lesson that comes off as more aggressive than the other two readings for this week. Gilder says, “if there were any girls present to leave now.” This is a comment that any man who thinks he cannot handle the aggressiveness of what is to come, to leave. While this comment is a bit stereotypical, the point that he is trying to get across is that life isn’t easy, and you need to be aggressive in order to get what you want. He also says, “Then he made two lines of us facing each other, and across the way, he said, is the man you hate most in the world.” What he is trying to say is that there is going to be competition in life, and that you will find yourself competing against people who are wanting the same thing as you. And that you must use this as motivation for achieving what you want. You need ot be aggressive and assertive, or else you will never get what you dream of.
Each of the works that we had to read this week evokes life lessons that try to help the readers to further themselves. This is a main concept that I think about when I go to Zen Meditation. I have only been a couple times, however, when I am there, it gives me time to think about my future and what I need to do. I have always been one to go against what has been laid out and follow my own thoughts, and while meditating, it allows me to think for myself about what I want to do and how I am going to go about doing it. These readings only enhanced everything that I think about at meditation.