It has become evident to me in the past few years that men, women and children alike are constantly on this quest for identity, always striving to become their own person unshackled by the bonds of society. We come in to the world, untouched and uninfluenced more or less like a clean slate. From the time we are born, everything said, done or experienced either by us or one another directly or indirectly effects the way we think, what we know and the way we act.
These outside influences on our lives is all we know and these are those which sculpt each one of us in to who we are. There comes a point in everyones life when we are given the choice to do what we want. Whether it be what we choose to do as a child in our free time to the profession we will one day have. Where is the line drawn then between what we find we actually want and what they want and whether or not theres a difference? According to Friedrich Heigel, a philosopher, humans desire is the desire of the other.
In this theory humans have a natural inclination to gain the respect and admiration of others through the things we do and the way in which we do them. Humans constantly are at work trying to please, impress or even screw people over for the affirmation of others. What then are these things we are trying to impress? They come in the form of friends, families, enemys, cliques, gangs, society and even at times us. All these influences and pressures can easily lead to depression, unhappiness, and sometimes even suicide. They can also lead to joy, laughter and life. Why do we feel this need to impress and be respected? How come sometimes we choose to do things differently than Most and in other instances go along with the gang? Is it that we need a place to belong without being ridiculed for being different? Or maybe we get the attention we want by being different. Regardless, we all have a sense of who we are and what we want to be. This individuality is strong in some and weak in others. Often time there are those amongst us who have decided that conforming to society is not for them. We find these people in the form of feminists, vegetarians, feminine boys and masculine girls. These people are going against the natural ebb and flow of society and doing things differently than most. We see these people as arrogant self righteous, gay, weak, butch and pushing their beliefs. It is unfortunate that we see these people as such as we will often ridicule putdown and exile those beliefs conflict or contradict our own. Many people also see these nonconformists as strong opinionated people. Is different necessarily bad or good? Are these nonconformists being strong in their beliefs or are they merely trying to gain respect and attention from those they have none from? Attention can be positive and negative. Is it not unique to follow the crowd and find consolence and confidence that others find in themselves amongst others or an exclusive group that only they are a part of?Very influential groups of people who help determine who we are and who we become is our family. Our family has been a direct influence on us our whole lives, and will continue to be. For these were the people who first taught us to think and what to think of objects, people, actions and life. It was through observation and self-speculation on our parts that taught us whether to accept or reject the way our parents reacted to situations. Often time parents are 3Kept as highly regarded in a childs mind. So it is not surprising that we often see children who grow up to act the same way their parents did. As adults and parents in an ever changing world, when is it time to stop caring for our children the way we did when they were 3? Will we hold their hand and tell them what to do when theyre 46? Maybe. We must be careful in what we ask of our children. Child hood is one of the most impressionable periods in a humans life. Would it be right to ask our children to go in to bioengineering as a 6-year-old? Such a request would be absurd. We as parents and role models are here as not only family members, but are responsible for guiding these children through the beginning stages of life. Anthony Prinzivalli a freshman at Lehigh University on the East Coast had dreamed of going to the University of Notre Dame. Since he was a child, he has had Notre Dame shirts, jerseys, trophies and paraphernalia in his house. All that is talked about is football. Anthonys parents are very loving and caring parents; but despite the love and care, there was always an unseen and unspoken idea in the house that Anthony should go to Notre Dame. After all his father had played Line for them back in the day, as did both of Anthonys brothers who both received all American honors for their achievement in football. Not to mention that Mr. Prinzivalli is the head of the Notre Dame foundation in Hawaii. The news was astounding when he didnt get in to Notre Dame. Though he really didnt talk about it, the news spread threw out the school like wild fire. Everyone wanted to know what had happened, and couldnt understand why he had been rejected. Still going to college though, he chose a highly esteemed East Coast college, which is known for its wrestling 4And football programs. Anthony of course is playing football. Regardless of whether there is scholarship or not, I know for a fact that he is very unhappy and does not want to play. As a matter of fact Anthony has felt like this since the 10th grade. Always following in the footsteps of his brothers, never being good enough. At least thats the way he feels. I wasnt surprised when he went out for quarterback his freshman year, and did very well. All the coaches wanted him at line, being the big boys that he was. But being the football child he was reared to be, he understood the game well enough to be an outstanding quarterback. Stories like this make me wonder. They make me wonder about what were impressing upon our children, and knowing when enough is enough. My own story goes something like this. I grew up in a family of teachers. My grandma owns a preschool-3 grade school. My two aunts and my mother were all my teachers, and my uncle later became an administrator there. It is a privately run business, and it seemed whenever the school was in any kind of trouble, the family would be there, no questions asked. There was never any pressure at all on me to become a teacher or to someday work at the school. I was always free to make whatever decisions I wanted. Ive wanted to be many things in my lifetime. Ive strove to be a knight, a doctor, lawyer, a sea captain and once even an Indian. All throughout high school, a common question was What do you want to be when you grow up? Yea, like I have any idea. I do know that since 5th grade, Ive wanted to be a teacher. The fact that my family consisted of teachers though really turned me off to it. Not to mention that teachers dont get paid Jack Shit. As the years progressed, I looked for the easy way out. I told people I was going to become a famous chef by going to the CIA. For awhile I 5Really did want to do this, until I realized that it was just an easy way out. If I made it big, I would be successful, and if not it would be because no one was ready for my style, or the field was too competitive. As I reached the end of my junior year in high school, I began to realize that in fact it was a very competitive field, and that it was a lot of hard work. It was then that I made my choice to go to an academic college first and then after ensuring a job in life with some sort of degree, I could then go on to become a famous chef later in life. So here I am at Pacific University with a declared major in Psych, but defiantly a minor in education. Regardless of what happens, I know I want to be a teacher. Kind of ironic how there has never been any pressure on me at all to become anything at all in the educational field, and still Im studying education. I sometimes think about whether or not the education in itself is a copout. Or a defense mechanism. I grew up around the school; in fact Ive tried to stay as far away from it as possible in the past 5 years, just because I hated it so much. But this school atmosphere has become my home and I am very comfortable with it. So I sometimes wonder if the reason I was drawn back to the education field is due to my childhood and adolescent experiences with it. The experiences I had as a child growing up in a constant school like atmosphere was probably different than most. To start, I was the only kid who could get spanked in school, but that rarely ever happened. I was always dealt with strictly, but fairly. I never had to worry about school supplies, or forgetting the homework assignments. I did of course always get the stegosaurus plate in lunch line though. As I left my grandmothers school and went off in life, whenever I wasnt doing kidlike activities like aikido or choir, I was stuck in the school all day. Especially during summers, after summer school, I would walk to my grandmothers preschool, and stay there playing computer games all day. It was always so boring. By the time I was in 7th or 8th grade really, I would try to stay away from the school as much as possible. I didnt want to get sucked in to the family business, but yet felt guilty about it all the time. It was an unspoken word similar to Anthony’s story that I should one day grow up to take over the school. The difference being that in my story, there really wasnt any unspoken word that I should do these things. I didnt have to grow up to be a teacher, and even till this day, I still have a hard time believing it. In Anthonys case, I dont think he ever voiced his opinion on playing ball much. He felt the same obligation to the family to represent in the best way he knew how, via football. His parents seeing this were probably very happy and continued to push Anthony in his quest for tradition and the acceptance of his family.It wasnt so much that Anthony didnt like the game of football, it was that he couldnt bare the burden of his familys dominance in the game. Bibliography:
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