At first while I was reading Martin Luther King Jr’s letter from Birmingham Jail it was hard for me to pay attention to the reading but my attention was caught when Luther started talking to the clergy in Birmingham about picking and choosing which rules you want to uphold and which rules are the ones you break. This got me thinking about that concept. Luther talks about upholding laws that are just and the rules that are unjust you have a moral obligation to break. Luther goes on to tell the clergy what constitutes an unjust law from a just law. A just law upholds the moral law while an unjust law contradicts the moral law. Luther gives plenty examples of people from the past that had broke rules to uphold the moral law. Luther is a huge christian himself but was also really smart and knew who his audience was. So the only logical thing to talk about were stories coming from the bible and how the early Christians were fighting for their rights and broke a lot of unjust laws against them. Luther also clarifies that violence is not the key either. that would contradict the moral aspect of it. This helped me to understand why people would break the rules knowing they would get in trouble. People feel it a moral obligation to fight against unjust laws and if they didn’t they wouldn’t be doing their duty as a person. Luther at the beginning tells the Clergy that He has to use non violent action so that way he could be able to cause such a havoc that people would have to negotiate with him and I had never thought about that before either. I actually enjoyed reading this letter. It got me to think about different aspects that I had not thought about before.
In the poem by Mary Oliver “Wild Geese” is a great poem that talks about life and going on through hard times. This poem was written in 1935 when people and the world were suffering from a depression and she says to keep moving on. Like the old saying “Seeing the light in the end of the tunnel.” We all have times in are life where it we may seem lost and alone, but by keeping your head up high any trial is possible to overcome. Looking at the bigger picture and not worrying about small things can make trials easier. No one has a perfect life, even though it may seem like it. Everyone has some burden they have to carry, whether it may be illness, financial issues, disorders, family, or anything that is hard to go through everyone has something.
Life is full of love and opportunity like in the quote from this poem “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination.” We all have something we are good at, and by keeping in mind what you can do can make the little tasks easier. Thanksgiving is next week so it is time for us to look at all the good things in our life’s and not focus on the bad. Love trumps hate. We can all list the mistakes and problems with ourselves, but it takes a new perspective to list the gifts we have.
There is someone out in the world that really needs help and comforting. By doing service and giving back, or reaching out to others in need will not only will make someone feel better but your worries and troubles may seem smaller. Either it is by giving up time or money every little act of kindness will make a difference. Just by smiling and being positive can change your life and others.
In Jack London’s “to build a fire”, a tale is told of freezing. Of succumbing to the forces of nature. The character of the man is a proud one. He believes that he can make it to his camp without a partner, something another traveler had told hm could not be done. London repeatedly mentions that the man is “without imagination” or not extremely creative in thought. However, he does have a large knowledge about the wild. The man ultimately fails and freezes because he was ill prepared and foolish. It was much colder then he thought and a partner would have been a help to him and he may have survived. He also makes foolish decisions like prematurely stopping to make a fire. Londons vivid description of the wilderness and the mans thoughts contrasts sharply with what the man is actually thinking. The man doesn’t realize most of the things described in the narrative and this is his downfall. this in contrast to the Dog who natural instincts and physical attributes provide it with defense against the forces of nature. The mans pride is ultimately his downfall and London provides us with a perspective that can help us in our everyday struggles: There are many things we dont know, and we should never take them for granted. In this story that is why the man fails. He gets advice but ignores it believing himself to be sufficient. He does not take into account the things that are not known such as the uncommon cold or tree with snow that puts out his fire. Nature defeats him because he did not prepare for the hardships of nature.
Spoken word poetry is an art form that few people know about and that even fewer have ever actually listened to. Spoken word poetry is individualistic. To pick up a script and to read it is different between each person and creates art whether it’s beautiful or clumsy, it is personal and intimate. To create art is to lay your soul bare for just a moment and to open yourself up to judgement from your peers. Poetry is an art form that can take many forms. It can cover any topic imaginable, from inner pain to utter nonsense thoughts. Poetry can also allow you to release many emotions that you have kept deep inside for a long time. Although creating good poetry is difficult, even bad poetry still has a beauty to it. I highly recommend attempting to write poetry at least one time.
Socrates is easily a favorite of mine when it comes to thinking on things rarely thought. (I actually went as him for Halloween). The way he takes the obvious, and shows why the obvious is not always the best answer is incredible, especially in his conversing with Crito. To say that we are slaves to government sounds terrible in the eyes of anyone living in a democratic society, and yet, it is far from untrue. We all equally agreed from birth that we would allow the government to withhold things such as the legal right to steal from others, but rarely do we see that that law in itself does not only keep the bad guys from our televisions or cars, but that every law was set also for the good citizens of society. We all so commonly see laws such as “Under the 6th section, article 4.34, the act of committing sexual intercourse with a person who has not consented to the act is considered a felony under U.S. Law” (I totally made that up) do not only keep bad men (or women?) from doing the act, or punishes them for committing it, but also keeps us from the same. It’s almost as if people think certain laws pertain to certain types of people. “Killing is illegal” supposedly only exists for that guy down the street who lives alone with all the guns and may have psychological illnesses, or gang members, where as “speeding is illegal” was supposedly only created for the straight-A sixteen year old cheerleader or the billionaire businessman late for work. The way Socrates explains how we are all subject to governing and that he himself will not just LEAVE, but stay and face what he has intentionally brought on his-self, is quite incredible in my mind.