Tonight’s readings of “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague, and “First Practice” by Gary Gildner, all share a common theme of seizing opportunities and taking control of your own life. In “Thank You, Ma’am” Langston Hughes uses the story of a boy stealing to teach a lesson about how to change your life properly. In “Directions for Resisting the SAT” Hague uses the SAT, possibly one of the most important tests in life, to depict how one should go about life. Finally in “First Practice” the author uses a fight scenario to talk about survival of the fittest. In Zen Meditation we are continuously told that it is for the betterment of ourselves and to take the opportunities that come in our direction. It is not always possible to take control of your own life but when it is possible, it is important to take those opportunities in to your own hands.
Langston Hughes’ “Thank You, Ma’am” the narrator tells a story about a young boy who attempts to steal a women’s purse. In this situation the boy appears to be underprivileged and was trying to seize an opportunity to indulge himself. Although it was not the best opportunity to seize the boy did not know better. Through the story the young boy is taught that seizing the wrong opportunities could be detrimental. He wanted a pair of blue suede shoes and that was why he was stealing the purse. The older women in the story decided to teach the young boy a lesson about respecting yourself and respecting others when seizing opportunities. The final outcome of the lesson taught to the young boy is that if you want something that you want, it must be done properly so that it does not go against your morals.
Richard Hague’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT” uses the most important test of your life to describe how one should handle opportunities that may arise in life. In our live’s the SAT is so important that it is almost obsolete. The speaker in the poem says to “follow no directions” when the poem is a list of instructions (Haque 270). Everything opportunity that arises in life may be spontaneous but there are still directions that need to followed. In order for one to complete the opportunities one seize a certain set of rules/directions need to be followed in order to get the results you desire. At the end of the poem of the poem the speaker says “Make your marks on everything,” (Hague 270). At the end of our lives we do not want to regret not taking the chances that we are given. If we have the opportunities it is important to take them.
Finally in Gary Gildner’s “First Practice,” the speaker describes a team that is seeking revenge on their rivals. This could be about seizing the opportunity to show who is the better team. Sometimes you don’t always get the opportunity to replay a team that shut you down. However, the important part about it is taking care of it in the proper manner. The speaker says “But I don’t want to see any marks when you’re dressed,” meaning that the opportunity/revenge needs to be taken care of on the field and left there. As an athlete that is something you were always taught. What happens on the field is more important than what is said/done after or before the game. These opportunities only happen a couple times a season and if the moment isn’t seized then the moment is lost.
In Zen meditation this week I had the opportunity to think about the different opportunities I am receiving here at school. My plan for college is to make the most of my experience. In order for that too happen I must seize every opportunity I have to experience new and different things. These three readings and Zen meditation this week helped me realize how important it is to seize opportunities and to take control of your own life in order to make the most of it. Some moments come once in a lifetime and we do not want to go through life regretting not seizing the opportunity when we had the chance.