Friday, October 22, 2010

Human Species

Here is another essay I recently wrote. I have been enjoying my composition class at school and thought I would share another one of my assignments.

Human Species

Mankind as a whole is made up of many different groups of people including the wise and educated, the ignorant and self-centered, and the many that fall in between. These different groups or characteristics are expounded upon and defined by the authors of the books Ethics of the Fathers, Analects, and ABC of Reading. The authors of these works classify into several groups what they perceive to be the different characters found among men. While all of the authors classified society into different characteristic groups they all used different types of people therefore coming to slightly different conclusions. Ethics of the Fathers in V:18 speaks of those who are in the presence of sages or wise men and how they retain the words spoken by them. These are classified as “the sponge, the funnel, the strainer, and the sieve.” V:15 defines groups of students according to their speed of learning and their tendency to quickly forget by using four basic categories including those who are “quick to learn and quick to forget…slow to learn slow to forget…quick to learn and slow to forget…(and)slow to learn quick to forget.” Characters of men are classified in V:13 from the selfish to the giver, from the one that says “what is yours is mine, and what is mine is mine,” to the one who says “what is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours.” Analects speaks of the gaining of wisdom by categorizing people into groups of those whose are born wise, those who are wise because of education, those who are wise by pure toil and effort, and lastly those who though toil painfully never reach the brink of wisdom. Lastly, Ezra Pound in his book ABC of Reading classes people into groups of inventors, masters, diluters, and the starters of crazes. Each of the five sayings provides a group in which you as a human can fit yourself into.

Every day we come in contact with people, whether it is a family member, the girl at the coffee shop, a coworker, gas station attendant, or just a passerby, we immediately classify them into groups in our sub consciousness not even realizing what we are doing. Each of us has a different method in which we classify, for some it may be by attire determining if he or she is wealthy or homeless by observing a suit and briefcase versus raggedy clothes and a shopping cart. If I were to classify the students who I am around at Monroe Community College my classification would go something like this. “There are four types of students: those who listen and learn attentively and study seriously, those whose only goal is to pass a class not really caring to be the best that they can be and putting little amount of effort into assignments, and finally there is the student that really does not care if they pass or fail, they put the least amount of effort into assignments and attendance while often laying the blame on the teacher for their own failure.”

We can all fit ourselves into one of the categories defined by these sayings. Perhaps we do not find ourselves among the selfish but at the same time we’re not amongst the most unselfish either. While we might not categorize ourselves as wise we definitely don’t perceive ourselves to be fools. Often we find ourselves in the middle of the road which begs the question, is this where we want to be? Do we always want to be mediocre or rather should we be always striving for something better? We don’t realize what we could be until we realize what we are.