Many times people wonder what is life all about. Most of them see it as mystery. On many occasions they ask themselves a question "How has the life begun and what had been a purpose of it?"
As one analyzes the whole existence he/she puzzles over some concepts that are hard to understand. Although, each individual has his/her own theory on how the life has initiated, he/she could not understand why the world had been created in its specific way; there is a universe where everything seems to have perfect order and fulfills particular function. The sky, the earth, the ocean, mountains are there for human beings, animals and other creatures to suit their convenience. How clever!
Despite the big unknown one try to enjoy his life as much as possible trying to find his own purpose to continue this existence.
Everybody can find their own path to complete their lives, which depends on what they value the most in their lives. Some people enjoy having them as enjoyable as possible and some have an urge to constantly advance their lives through searching for more opportunities. There are also these individuals in the world who carefully evaluate their lives and concentrate on nurturing of their inside. These people become strict to themselves through learning to be self-disciplined.
Many of them are political leaders and religious fanatics. Rest of people is ones who struggle to find meaning in their lives, as they believe that human’s life is senseless.
One of those individuals who are not satisfied of their existence and who always seek for meaning of their lives is Tolstoy.
In “Confession” Tolstoy introduces some thoughts on the meaning of the life and deeply analyzes this matter by trying to find answers to some difficult questions. The writer presents his true thoughts and reflections on his own life and people who he knows and socializes with.
Although, he is a man with a good position and a great reputation he is not able to acknowledge that he deserves a special treatment. He is in tremendous emotional pain and his sorrow reflects his inability to find a balance between himself and his consciousness. He feels guilty of possessing of those qualities, which he does not consider to be valuable. He realizes that a person should be judged according to who he/she and not just
because of what he does or possesses.
Yet, he is confident that people with a great position brainwashed other people to get what they want. Often they educate them although they are not oriented in a specific field. He notices that there is no order and agreement between thoughts and ideas presented by some religious leaders and teachers, which proves that these people are not knowledgeable as much as they should. Which also means that they confuse people by their false theories. . Therefore, he finds it very ironic.
Although, I agree with Tolstoy’s opinion that individuals should not be judged
according to their welfare. , Position or education I admit that there are people among us who are decent and moral. It is not fair to say that everybody is an evil and that life is meaningless. If one wants to experience true meaning in his life he will accomplish it through his right actions and good deeds. It is not enough to talk about it. One has to be proactive. He/she needs to change his attitude in order to fix the world. However, Tolstoy who was a valuable individual was not able to do it because he did not have faith in himself.
He also did not believe in people.
He saw many of them as incompetent in promoting the world. Perhaps, he was depressed and therefore he could not find any sense in his life.” The view of life of these people, my comrades in authorship, consisted in this: that life in general goes on developing, and in this development we-men of thought it is we-artists and poets-who have the greatest influence. Our vocation is to teach mankind. And lest the simple question should suggest itself: What do I know, and what can I teach? It was explained in this theory that this need not be known, and that the artist and poet teach unconsciously…For this I was paid money; I had excellent food, lodging, women and society; and I had fame, which showed that what I taught was very good”. (Tolstoy, p. 12-13).
When analyzing Tolstoy’s personal reflections on life and its meaning I wondered about my own life.
Although, am not reach and famous I think that my life is meaningful. I have a purpose to live: I was created by God to fulfill my mission including raising my children and learn new things.
My task is to
pass on my knowledge to my children so they learn too.
I am honest when preaching. I always reveal true about our world. This is what Tolstoy has missed in his life: he refused to be truthful to himself and the world that he lived in. Therefore, he felt like an empty educator and shallow poet.
There are many ways people complete their lives and it depends on what they value the most in their lives. Some of them have selected simple ways of living concentrating on fulfilling their basic needs, which satisfy them completely. However, for others like myself it is not enough. I seek for more of excitement in my life including exploration each aspect s of it. I am adventurous and a risk taker. I am proactive individual who expect to promote life in order to gain knowledge on certain phenomena and matters. I am desperate to learn more each day of my life. This is my purpose. This is my goal.
It seems that my interests influence the way I live. I love reading. And I spend hours performing this fascinating activity. This is how I feed my sole. Unfortunately I am never satisfied. I feel like my passion is a great addiction. However, I cannot help it. When I read I am above myself. I am pulled inside of my story. . I become a character of it.
I am completely disconnected from the world and reality.
So I am there and experience moments of excitement with my characters, which come in various colors. I can experience different emotions when in my own world. I can be nervous excited or happy excited. On other occasions, I am puzzled by my character/s behavior and attitude. And sometimes it seems like I going through four stages of emotions including denial, anger, acceptance and grieving. When reading.
However, The worst thing in this moment is that am not able to do anything about this. I cannot connect physically with my characters, although I sense and share their emotions. But those stories provoke my cognitive skills: logical thinking and problem solve. Through them I connect to the world as slowly begin to understand meaning of life, especially I try to sympathize with my characters and put myself in their shoes.
My stories help me to be a deeper thinker and analyzer of my own actions.
I admit that I have a lot of in common with my characters:
I am complex.
I am strong and weak I am happy and sad, I am eager and without motivation, I am attractive and ugly.
I am wise and with no commons sense. It all depends what I wear, what month of year it is, what I do and with whom I socialize. I play many roles in my life. Often I act to get attention and sometimes I want to be invisible. That happens because I feel small or great. I treat it as normal behavior because I am human being.
Most of the time I am fascinated by some stories.
In fact, reading for me is a certain escape from reality to world where I can experience something new. I select stories that inspire me to be proactive. I read them and then deeply analyze events and characters. I compare characters to each other and try to find qualities in them. I wonder why they act in their particular way and how they would react when experiencing different circumstances. I wonder what influences their behavior and attitudes when in a particular situation or life setting. Would they act different if the circumstances were different, or would their attitude change if they lived in different times?
Let’ s say that
we live during War World II. Bombs destroyed our house and we do not have accommodations and food. We are very desperate. We are parents and have tired and hungry children. We got to do something about this. We cannot let hem die from starvation. We have to put them to sleep. Let’s say that we were lucky to find an empty apartment in an abundant building. We realize that belongs to somebody else, but we have no other choice. We have to put our pride and beliefs aside in order to rescue our own family. We would not do it when circumstances were different. It would be against ethics and morality. Although, the above behavior is undesirable, it is acceptable by majority of society. It is not right to steal, but sometimes it is necessary evil.
We know that hungry man do not steal for profits but to satisfy his physical needs. Hungry people deserve compassion but not punishment. Aren’t they already punished by dramatic experiences in their lives?
Our behavior and attitudes have changed greatly. We have become materialistic and careless society. We spend money to satisfy our desires. We buy more than we should and spend more money than we own. We waste food not realizing that there are some people all over the world who starve to death. Who is responsible for this?
Should we be more considered about others? And maybe we do not have enough of information on the above? It seems that nobody cares. Everybody is involved in his or her own business.
There is a gap a big between rich and poor. Rich lives in luxury and poor lives from check to check.” In spite of American image as a cornucopia of plenty, where the shelves of supermarket are always fully stocked, 10 millions of Americans go hungry each day, 40% of them are children and majority members of working families.”(DeGraaf.p.83). I am very pleased that John DeGraaf has had a brilliant idea to create book, which he called “Influenza”. This is very informative book. I believe that this book has helped some Americans to understand more what is going on around them. Perhaps, they will be now more analyze each step in their lives before taking decisions.
Reading evokes a special feeling in me: I feel powerful.
I feel enriched and satisfied.
Through reading I develop my necessary skills in order to be a good reader. The good reader for me means to be able to understand a message that a writer introduced in his/her story. It also means to go deeper into a text by undressing each expression in order to find a true meaning. I study each word carefully and try to find interesting quotes to highlight essential ideas/thoughts. I enjoy talking about my books with people over coffee. I love sharing my experiences with other individuals.
Through our mutual discussion we exchange our opinions and learn new things. We expand our knowledge by completing each other.”It is tempting to quote authors when they express our own thoughts but with clarity a psychological accuracy we cannot match. They know us better than we know ourselves. What is shy and confused in us is succinctly and elegantly phrased in them, our pencil lines and annotations in the margins of their books and our borrowings from them indicating where we find a piece of ourselves, a sentence or two built of the very substance of which our own minds are made-a congruence all the more striking if the work was written in a age of togas or animals sacrifices. We invite these words into our books as a homage for reminding us of who we are”(Botton, p.161).
My books provide me some kind of asylum when having a bad day. I hide myself from the rest of the world to forget about my dilemmas.
I escape from reality to be in the world of fiction. With this kind of book am able to relax.
There I find happiness. However, people not always find rescue in books when depressed or sad. Many of them go shopping which I do not find this activity satisfying. Perhaps, for a moment people feel good about themselves. In fact they waste their money, time and other opportunities like talking about good story for instance.
Theme about shopping is boring. Who would like to discuss it non-stop?
However, when we talk about books we build good relationships, exchange ideas and get oriented on specific matters or issues. Reading books is some kind of addiction but this habit brings valuable benefits. Thanks to books we become more knowledgeable each day of our lives.” But unlike racism, the addiction to stuff isn’t challenged in our society. In fact, says Terry Pauly”, It sis a very socially acceptable way to be addictive to get a temporary high, to feel good. I am feeling depressed today-let’s go shopping. As far as society goes, it’s sanctioned. They get a lot of social reinforcement for it. And yet, adds Mike, just like with a drug or alcohol, when its wears off its still the same world and people have to deal with that emptiness inside, which is really what causes people to go out and spend”. (DeGraaf, p.49).
One of my College professors once said” Books are a wisdom of each nation”. I totally agree with this statement. Our lives without books would be empty and shallow.
Books guide and motivate us to promote our lives. They give us some advice on how to live our lives they entertain us and connect us emotionally and cognitively. Books are unique. I am fascinated with books and find pleasure in reading books from various fields, especially interested in politics, history, science and religion. I read them everywhere and anywhere.
I am unsatisfied a book collector who constantly looks for an adventure, new exploration, discovery and excitement. I have a dream to come true. I would like to establish my own library, which could provide books in many languages and a variety of topics. I also would like to work on my own book that could be about my life. These are my goals for future. And my future depends on what our economy and how much money I will have in my pocket. Yet, I neither do nor lose my hope. Everything is possible to achieve. I believe I can fly.
De Botton, Alain. (2001). The Consolations of Philosophy, Publisher, Vintage; First American Edition edition
Degraaf, John., Wann David., & Naylor, Thomas H. (2005) Affluenza: The All-Consuming, Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2nd edition.
Tolstoy. Leo (2006) Confession, Publisher, Aegypan