Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Persevering Through Life

Lauren Pope

Persevering Through Life

            Within the readings; “Thank You, Ma’am,” by Langston Hughes, “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” by Richard Hague, “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner and Zen Meditation on campus, there is one common theme that reigns present in all.  That theme would have to be perseverance through important life phases and situations. The two readings “Thank You, Ma’am,” by Langston Hughes and “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner portray characters who are going through tough or brand new life changes that are made easier thanks to the help of an experienced older individual. “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” by Richard Hague contains the same type of theme but instead of presenting an older individual, the speaker makes himself the experienced person informing us about what to do on an important life changing test.  Each reading and Zen Meditation all show the hardships that can come when going through life, but with the help from older, experienced role models we can persevere through these situations and learn from our mistakes.
             Langston Hughes short story “Thank You, Ma’am,” portrays a character that seems to be lost and desperate for money in order to survive.  This character meets an older woman, when trying to steal her purse, who shows him how to get through the tough situation he is currently in.  She seems to inform the character, and us, that she has been through the same situation before and knows that if he straightens up he will be able to get through it without doing the wrong thing.  By the end it seems as though the character has learned his lesson after receiving money from the women, on top of dinner and a nice face wash.  The older women shows how persevering through life’s tough phases will leave you as a stronger person who is willing to help people in a similar situation.
            “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” by Richard Hague, portrays a speaker who seems to be informing us, as the reader, how to take a serious test in a lighter tone.  The SAT can seem pretty intimidating to most people because it is a situation that will affect the rest of our lives in regards to our future. The speaker in the poem tries to inform us how to endure this hard life step by making it a humorous situation we can all relate too. This poem somewhat relates to the other poem, “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner, because it shows a different monumental life phase in high school, a boys first football practice.  When reading the poem one feels intimidated by the mood of the coach and how intense the practice actually is and will be.  The boys know that in order to succeed, according to the coach, you must persevere through the pain and feeling you have when attacking another player. Without the help of the coach and how mean he appears to be, the boys would not now how to “toughen up” because in order to play football, one must look at their opponent as their enemy.
            In order to succeed in Zen Meditation, one must look at each meditation session as help not a hindrance. It is hard to be able to have the strength to go to each session, but I know that I must continue going even though sometimes it feels easy to just say “I’ll just stay in bed instead.” If it wasn’t for the friends I’ve made in meditation forcing me to go by sending texts saying they are waiting for me to walk over, it would be really hard to go. Although they may not be older or experienced their help is more influential then they may think. 
            The readings and Loyola’s Zen Meditation sessions, all depict people who are willing to endure anything in order to succeed through life. What we fail to realize most of the time are the people who help persuade us to keep going and not give up. This had made me realize that giving thanks to those people for all that they teach us is very important and meaningful to them.

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