Monday, November 26. 2012
Myth Kids: You have a separate thread this week, but I highly recommend reading this one as well. There's some good stuff in here that ties into The Inferno.
1. You’d Better Be Careful, Or You’ll Compromise Everything You Are
Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it.
Anonymous, The Monkey’s Paw
Simba: I’m gonna be king of Pride Rock!
Scar: Oh, goody.
Simba: My dad just showed me the whole kingdom. And I’m gonna rule it all!
Scar: Yes, well, forgive me for not leaping for joy...bad back, you know.
The Lion King
The secret life of Bernard Madoff unraveled as he stood in his upper East Side apartment in pale blue bathrobe and slippers, facing two FBI agents.
“We’re here to find out if there’s an innocent explanation,” Special Agent Theodore Cacioppi told him at the Thursday morning encounter.
“There is no innocent explanation,” Madoff replied.
New York Daily News
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more, is none.
How far are you willing to go to get what you want…and are you prepared for the cost?
Few expect perfection from good people. We’re largely taught to accept flaws and failings in others, and to recognize that even the best among us have our faults.
Yet we’re also often taught that “bad” people exist.
Obviously, there’s some tipping point – you can do x number of bad things and still be good, but if you exceed x, you’ve gone too far. Maybe it’s a matter of degrees instead of numbers: if your sins are worse than y, you’re bad, but if they’re equal to or less than y, you’re in the free and clear.
We use this way of separating people often, even if we do so unconsciously; it’s part of how we choose our associations.
Where is that tipping point? Where is the invisible line separating a good person from a bad one?
How bad can a good man be?
2. My Best-Laid Plans Will Build and Break Your Heart
If we are, in fact, free-thinking, free-acting beings, equally capable of making a virtuous choice or an unnecessarily harmful one, it stands to reason that some people will make the former type of choice more often than the latter, while the opposite would be true for others.
Yet if you accept that my previous statement is factual – that some of us will make the right decisions more often than not, and others won’t – the easiest way to answer the “tipping point” question is (as usual) to ask yourself why people make bad choices.
Some of you believe that “evil” represents a real concept, while others define it as the absence of another one (goodness). But what’s the root of evil – the causes of that absence or presence? Why do some people make the right choices more often than not? Why do some people make the wrong choices?
There’s really no shortage of answers to that question, because your answer depends on your perspective about human beings themselves. Perhaps you feel that evil is the product of laziness, of a person’s unwillingness to exercise self-discipline often enough to control his or her more destructive impulses. Perhaps you feel it’s more a matter of upbringing, or environment, or culture. Perhaps you think that there’s no such thing as evil people, only evil actions.
In fact, that question fascinates me because there’s no shortage of answers. I love literary villains (particularly when I can begin to understand where they’re coming from), and I think it’s because I love seeing whether my concept of what constitutes human decency can hold up under pressure.
While you’re reading Macbeth, or even watching it in the theater, the titular figure doesn’t exactly seem sympathetic. But the reason Macbeth has proven so unsettling throughout the ages is that, horrifying though it may seem, we can see ourselves making the same ugly choices were we in his shoes.
You may remember playing the “coin-flip” game with me for the first time a couple of months ago. Near the game’s conclusion, I basically asked you if you would rather accept a mediocre existence, or risk losing everything in the desperate pursuit of glory and fulfillment.
That really is the choice that’s posed to Macbeth. As far as we can tell, he has no children to carry on his family name, and he’s old enough that, with his promotion to Thane of Cawdor, he’s advanced as far as a man of his station can. He has some land, he has a wife…and absolutely nothing left to hope for in the future.
What’s left for him to look forward to?
What’s left for him to do except decline and die?
To stay within the analogy of the coin-flip game, Macbeth’s basically a 7, maybe an 8 on a good day, especially now that he’s the Thane of Cawdor. But he’s rapidly approaching 6: as he ages, his fighting prowess will wane (assuming his slowing reflexes won’t get him killed, of course), and then what? Once he falls to a 6, he’s never rising again. Not in Scottish society.
But when the witches make their prophecy, two new outcomes open themselves up: one a 10, the other a 0.
Macbeth sees the 0, and knows what it represents, at least on some level. He fears it appropriately, acts reluctantly, agonizes, tries to reverse course…until the moment of truth arrives, at which point he plunges his dagger into his king’s sleeping heart, with that 10 still burning brightly within his reach.
We’re all zeroes someday. Moral, immoral, kind, sadistic – it’s really all the same. We live; we die; people forget us. And if they remember us, we can’t control how they remember us – after all, we’re dead.
Does Macbeth owe it to himself to force the world to remember him, to seize an opportunity virtually none of us will ever know…regardless of the cost?
3. Sleep With All the Lights On! You’re Not So Happy! You’re Not Secure!
We condemn Macbeth because we find murder reprehensible – and we especially condemn him because he knows that he’s betraying Duncan. His conscience cries out against his crimes before he’s even finished committing them. It’s not passion that’s driving Macbeth – but what is? What is so important to Macbeth that drives him to kill his king? Is it his love for his wife? Is his decision made in the service of his own ambitions? And afterwards, why does he keep killing – first innocents, then friends, then families?
I think the offensiveness of Macbeth’s betrayal is amplified by his reluctance. It’d be one thing if he was just a run-of-the-mill murderer, the sort of character who populates terrible Hollywood thriller and shallow teenage short fiction – the villain who exists only to wreak havoc, to do the wrong thing for one asinine reason or another. And it’s their belief in what they’re doing that allows us to not only measure them up and reject them, but to understand them. We watch Skyfall, see Silva behave like a complete psychopath, and think, How does he justify this? What’s the motivation? Because there has to be sufficient motivation, right? There has to be a “good” reason for the villain to behave villainously. We want to understand the meaning behind the actions, the reason Silva’s willing to kill and kill and kill just to torment one old woman. And true to form, the movie doesn’t make us wait – within ten minutes of his introduction, Silva’s monologuing about M’s betrayal, and we get to sit, captive and satisfied, thinking, Oh, this is why he’s doing that. I get it.
We need that statement of purpose; we need the villain to believe in the righteousness of the badness. Why? Because we need to be able to advocate for their defeat, their destruction, their demise. We see Silva murder Severine and want him dead, because there’s no remorse, no suffering, in what he does. No, he believes in what he does. And if you’re going to make the wrong decision, you might as well believe in what you’re doing, right?
Nothing pairs worse with wrongdoing than cowardice or uncertainty. That muddies the waters, just as the Deep Space Nine writers tried to muddy them via Sisko’s log entries in In the Pale Moonlight. The captain lacks Silva’s, or Garak’s, conviction; even his willingness to keep everything a secret, to keep the burden to himself, gets repurposed as something ennobling rather than something despicable. We see his doubt, and it permits us to go back to rooting for him the following week. His doubt excuses his deeds.
But Shakespeare won’t play that game. His character understands that, on some level – even if fate demands he serve as Scotland’s king – it’s still wrong to kill Duncan. There’s no righteousness; his moral filter is the same as ours. But he just…disregards it! Our outrage builds. You can’t just disregard your morals! How dare he?!? He knows better! And we feel disgusted by Macbeth, or horrified with him, in turn.
But I often wonder whether we should feel some degree of compassion for Macbeth.
Should we see him as a man caught between forces greater than himself – his wife’s passion, the hands of fate (it doesn’t seem like anyone’s capable of breaking the prophecy), the need to preserve his family’s future, and the opportunity Duncan presents him with by indulging his ambition? (I keep harping on this point because when you occupy a position with such momentous responsibilities, you really do need to make smarter decisions regarding your upper ranks than Duncan does. His mistakes may be understandable, but that doesn’t make them excusable…right?)
Should we note Macbeth’s inability to sleep or think clearly after his crimes?
Should we feel sorrow as we watch the consequences of his reluctant choice unravel the entire tapestry of his life?
I think that the glimpses Shakespeare offers us into Macbeth’s mind provide us with some fascinating questions about the nature of betrayal and regret. There’s no doubt that Macbeth feels guilty, or that Macbeth hates – a strong word, but the right one – himself for what he’s done and what he’s become; his misery and self-loathing is the source of the “Are we who we are or what we do?” question I asked you at the beginning of the semester.
Here stands a man whose “inner self” has always been reflected, if not shaped, by the actions he takes. Now the two seem torn asunder.
Picture two rhythms: Macbeth’s morals and choices, always moving in lockstep. Now they’ve fallen out of sync.
Macbeth doesn’t know which beat to follow.
He chooses anyway.
And after a while, the rhythms re-synchronize...
…but never harmonize.
We, like Macbeth, frequently make choices, consciously or not, that affect us and those around us. We adjust our Stars on a daily basis, prioritizing some concerns while shunting others aside. (You can imagine how damaged Macbeth’s looks as we move from act to act.)
Most of the time, we try to make choices that benefit ourselves. Most also try to make choices that don’t cause unnecessary harm, although this can be counteracted somewhat by a person’s laziness. At times, we can behave in completely self-destructive ways; we make shortsighted decisions, or we compromise the moral standards that usually govern our behavior.
Yet there are aspects of ourselves that we value above all else, parts of our personality that we try to strengthen or display through our choices; these parts vary from person to person, but their importance is paramount. Perhaps your compassion is your most treasured trait; perhaps others among you value your honesty most highly, or your consistency, or your faithfulness. But even when we slip up, when we accidentally or intentionally compromise our morals, we hold these aspects as most inviolable. (These are the things we named way back in October, during the Will the Future Blame Us? thread; perhaps now, having seen Macbeth curse those who share prophecies and those who listen to them, you understand the hidden meaning behind that thread’s title.)
That’s why I’d argue that Macbeth has paid for his crime by getting away with it. By killing Duncan, Macbeth has permanently destroyed everything that he claimed “made him a man” in the quote that starts this blog. In essence, he has not simply murdered sleep, but himself – mutilating his spirit until he becomes the Scar to Duncan’s Mufasa, recoiling with each bit of damage he inflicts upon his inner self…before hurting himself again.
His success brings him greater pain than failure ever could, and when the witches tell him early in Act IV that he can’t be killed by anyone “of woman born,” it’s as much a curse as a blessing. Now he’s indestructible; now he’s forced to live on endlessly with his guilt and shame, forced to confront a face in the mirror that no longer matches the twisted, ruined man behind it.
4. Some Guy’s Got Nothing More to Lose
I read a lot about Bernard Madoff in the wake of his Ponzi scheme’s collapse. (If you haven’t done so yet, you really should.) I can’t help but wonder if he, too, was ruined by his own initially successful crimes.
There’s an old adage: “in for a penny, in for a pound.” It means that once you’ve committed to something, you may as well follow it to the bitter end. In some circumstances, it’s a laudable attitude. In others – a poker tournament, for example – it leads to destruction.
I think that, at some point, Madoff adopted that adage as a philosophy. I think he did so because the consequences of stopping became worse than the consequences of continuing. After all, once you’ve lost, say, two billion dollars, how can you stop? It’s horrifying to realize that Madoff’s greed destroyed so many lives, but I can understand it, in a weird way: he was so good at ripping people off that his success imprisoned him. Ironically enough, his sons’ “betrayal” – they informed the authorities about his scheme – freed him from the web he wove himself. Yes, he’s going down in history as a notorious criminal...but in an odd way, he’ll probably be freer in prison than he’s been in years.
I think that Macbeth’s actions constitute a moral Ponzi scheme of sorts – a bargain he struck with dark forces he could never escape. Like a man unable to pay what he’s promised, Macbeth is stretched too thin between too many contradictory commitments – to himself, his family, and the crown – until he’s torn apart on the rack of his own ambitions. Perhaps the sadness of it all is that Macbeth earns what he sought, but points out that “to be thus is nothing, / But to be safely thus”; he’s earned a position, but is too afraid of the threats that now face him to enjoy it. He can never enjoy the throne – but if you can’t enjoy being king, what’s the point of holding the office?
In order to hold onto the kingship, whether for himself or for his son, Macbeth feels he has to kill his enemies, either real or imagined – Duncan, Banquo, and Banquo’s son. But at some point, Macbeth starts killing because he seemingly has no other choice, just as Madoff couldn’t have stopped his Ponzi scheme once it grew too big to control. For Macbeth, there’s no going back to the life he once led because the man who led it no longer exists. In Act III, Scene IV, he claims he is “in blood / Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” In plain English, Macbeth says that he’s so thoroughly soaked in the blood of his murders that he can’t stop killing now, that stopping dooms him; it’s just as hard to go back, if not harder, than to keep killing and moving forward.
Macbeth wants to stop, but can’t bring himself to do so.
And with every murder, every fresh violation of his soul, he hurts and hates just a bit more, punishing himself more than any act of vengeance or justice ever could.
5. Every Moment of Your Life is a Chance to Get It Right
Macbeth, at least, can die. When he’s finally killed at play’s end (spoilers!), we don’t see him anymore. We don’t know whether Shakespeare imagined him burning eternally in Hell, or whether the Bard simply pictured Macbeth’s blackened soul fading away into nothingness.
I’m planning to use this same sort of thread to tie my Inferno unit together in Myth/Sci-Fi. If you haven’t read the story, I have a simple breakdown/summary for you: The author, Dante Alighieri (who’s been exiled from Italy, endured the death of his greatest love, and generally lost his way), journeys into Hell during the first stage of his spiritual recovery and redemption. As he moves through Hell, he meets different souls – figures from myth and literature, people he’d known in the mortal world, and so on. By God’s will, the souls get short breaks in their eternal torment, pausing only long enough to speak with Dante before suffering anew.
Those souls aren’t nearly as lucky as Macbeth. They’re doomed to chew their pain for an eternity. While some still behave defiantly, many others have come to accept that they earned their punishments through their actions. Some even hide themselves in shame when Dante draws near, fearing that he’ll take word of their ruination with him when he returns to the living world.
I think it’s safe to say that none of them really thought the consequences of their actions would be so dire, just as Macbeth couldn’t possibly fathom how much destruction could result from the web spun in the wake of a single murder. The fact that Dante’s Hell seems pretty well-populated indicates this; I’m not sure it would be nearly so well-stocked if more people had seen what Dante “sees” over the course of the journey.
For that matter, I’m not sure it’s possible for mortals to understand what eternity implies. Nothing could possibly be worth eternal suffering. And Dante emphasizes this message by forcing his readers to recognize that his Hell represents the long-term consequences of a bunch of bad short-term bets. Dante’s obviously saying that the bettors – the sinners – have betrayed God. But their betrayal cuts far deeper than that: they betrayed themselves.
All of the souls committed violence against themselves, because they forsook a world, a life, a purpose that was theirs for the taking simply because they weren’t satisfied. They wanted more. They believed they needed more than an 8 or a 4 or a 5. And, at one point or another, all of them believed – even if said belief was delusional – that they could take a shot at a higher numeral than the one God meant for them to have. They believed, in short, that they could flip the flipped coin over even after it had already landed.
They, like Macbeth, like Scar, like Madoff, thought they could get away with something as long as they offered their honor, their dignity, their souls up as collateral.
And when the bills came due, all were found wanting.
That fate terrifies me, honestly.
I don’t expect anyone to live like a saint. (That includes saints themselves, to a certain extent.) And I certainly extend those “reduced” expectations to myself.
But I’ve spent my entire life – even when I was very young – trying to live my life as well as I can, and trying to figure out how to live my life well as my circumstances shift.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve tried to focus on the things I think are necessary for living well without making my concept of “good living” as narrow as Dante’s, and I’ve tried to abide by my conclusions.
I have tried to be curious.
I have tried to be honorable.
I have tried to be consistent.
I have tried to be enthusiastic.
I have tried to remember to love.
I have tried to be compassionate.
I have tried to learn from my mistakes.
I have tried to live without hurting others.
I have tried to be a good son, a good brother, a good friend, a good partner, and a good teacher.
I have tried to be myself.
To be sure, I have failed at times.
But I keep trying, every single day of my life.
Because I don’t want to have an empty wallet when my bill arrives.
The sinners we loathe and the sinners we weep for in the nine Circles of Dante’s terrifying Inferno.
All remind us of a single, simple lesson.
Be careful what you wish for; it may cost more than you think.
+ Can bad people still feel guilty for what they have done – or is regret, the sound of a conscience crying out, a privilege for the good and good alone? Does the remorse the souls seem to feel in Dante’s Inferno count for anything?
+ Really, what is betrayal – what possibly drives a human being to commit it? Is it laziness, heartlessness, or something more? How are human beings capable of such actions – of violating themselves by violating others?
+ Moreover, what are guilt and remorse? If we’re able to betray each other, how are human beings able to experience such sickening, crippling feelings afterwards, or even after making innocent mistakes?
+ Have you ever gotten what you wanted, only to regret it afterward?
+ Should we “wish” more carefully – pursue smaller ambitions for fear of overreaching – or should we risk becoming Macbeth as we reach for the stars?
+ Will the cost of pursuing your dream ultimately prove too great for you?
+ What determines how far you are willing to go in your pursuit of what you want?
+ Do guilt and remorse really matter to you? Can you accept an apology?
+ Can you sympathize with the Macbeths of the world? With the Madoffs?
+ Do we have a responsibility to try to live our lives well, or are our lives ours and ours alone, to do with as we see fit?
+ Could you do what Madoff’s sons did – turn on their father in the name of the greater good?
+ Are you so loyal to some that you’re willing to ignore the damage they do?
+ Do you ever worry about your figurative “bill”?
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Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces.
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One more thing: as you develop as writers, your pieces should look more and more constructed. By that, I mean they should demonstrate not simply knowledge of writing as a craft, but an awareness of how to make your work truly profound. As we move through the semester, practice writing not simply as students, but as creators. Experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
1. “Sick Sad Little World,” Incubus, A Crow Left of the Murder
2. “Chapter 13,” +44, When Your Heart Stops Beating
3. “The Swiss Army Romance,” Dashboard Confessional, The Swiss Army Romance
4. “Premonition,” Lovedrug, Wild Blood
5. “Monotov’s Private Opera,” Third Eye Blind, Ursa Major
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I was freaking out when my credit card statement says “balance: $15”. I couldn’t remember that I ever used my credit card this month. So, I had this yelling and shouting moment with my father about how the bank stole my 15 bucks. In the end, I realized that I used $15 to pay for my CSS profile.
I worry about my bill, literally.
“Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is” (Jean Jacques Rosseau)
“Selfless” is a big word. I would not sacrifice myself if it means to compromise my happiness and ambitions.
I “betrayed” a two and half year friendship for my own good. And they are not the crowds that parents want to avoid. It was plainly my fault. I don’t eat lunch with them anymore. I rarely talk to them. And I don’t say “hi” to them even if I see them in hallways. Because I can’t. The betrayal I once committed brings not only slight sense of remorse but also the cold isolation between people. Yes, I feel guilty. No, if I have another chance, I would choose to do the same thing. Whatever that is, “[I] will learn to live with it” (Ben Sisko)
Not laziness, not heartlessness that drives us to violate others. The violation, hence the betrayal, is caused by both selfishness and willingness to risk everything. (Yes, “everything”, Mr. Feraco).
“It is preoccupation with possession - more than anything else - that prevents men from living freely and nobly” (Bertrand Russell)
Guilt and remorse are the ultimate consequences of every wrong doings we have done. They will not go away no matter how tough you are. They are the things we have to live with because they always come back.
“Sleep” to Siddhartha is a way to redeem and rebirth. Macbeth cannot sleep for all the wrong actions he has done. The guilt and remorse are so strong that Macbeth has to fight them to continue his killing. But he still suffers. “Naught’s had, all’s spent. Where our desire is got without content” (III,ii, 6-7). He is not happy. In one perspective, He flipps the coin and gets the “10”. On the other hand, he loses all - loyalty, love, happiness, and control.
But guilt and remorse remain no matter how he fights. They come back.
“The things you do come back to you, whatever they may be - even if the form of that retribution doesn’t always match the form of action” (EaPB, Siddhartha)
We see the world more clearly when we have others stand aside and check for us. Our lives cannot just be ours. Because we are not the single cell species produced by mitosis. We are born out of two other people. And the two other people born out of another two other people. The cycle goes on. So, we have responsibility to live our lives well because they do not belong to just us.
“Members of a society have a responsibility to provide for and protect one another; we need each other in order to survive.” (EaPB, Macbeth)
If guilt and remorse never leave, then we make it up. We live; we help. Making others feel content maybe the only way to wash off our sins since betrayals are caused by selfishness. We cannot undo mistakes and wrong choices. So don’t apologize; just make it up by being responsible for your own life.
It starts with me.
It ends with me.
Everything comes back to me.
By the way, Shout out to my Puffindor teammates: Burger,Toy, Tuck, Sam, Michael D. Brian, Alex. We put on a good fight even we ended up in second. And please go read Act II and III tonight, B/C house quiz Tomorrow.
I enjoyed reading your stuff every time! I feel that every time, you take it from the heart. I think I commented on your post last blog but I felt that I had to comment on this weeks because what you put was great. Especially the last bolded statement. The last bolded statement is what I base my life on and I agree on everything you say. Great job!
P.S. Go Griffindor!
Yes ! That bolded statement. I simply could not agree more. “Members of a society have a responsibility to provide for and protect one another; we need each other in order to survive.” We really do. Think of our house quizzes, haha !
In any case, great post !!
Katie, you never fail to impress me. I like how even though you had a previous friendship spilt up, you moved on and were strong about it. Overall great post.... Go Griff!
When you hear the word “betrayal,” the first thing that would pop into your mind would probably be a broken promise or being disloyal to someone. There are many reasons people betray others such as love, hate anger, revenge and last and most importantly selfishness. Betrayals are usually caused by greed of one’s desire for something.
So why do we betray?
Why are some of us willing to betray others for our own benefit?
It is because the lack of strength of willpower in them. The concern for his or her happiness exceeds than usual causing them to be willing to treat others poorly. Selfishness is the main reason that drives a human being to commit betrayal. They put themselves first before others causing them to hurt one another. Lack of considerations towards other people’s feelings is also another reason why we would betray.
Betrayal happens when ones expectations are not met. They tend to have greater temptations than their own will. I’m sure we have all betrayed someone or something whether that is a small, meaningless betrayal or a haunting, unforgettable act of betrayal. It is something that we have all committed because we’re humans and humans are greedy, selfish and a sinful creature that can never be fixed in any way.
At the end we must all remember that when you betray someone, you are also betraying yourself.
I thought your blog was good this week. I totally agree with betrayal coming from selfishness. I also really liked your last line, the part about how betraying someone also betrays yourself. It was great. Although your writing was easy to read and had great points, it seemed a little short and further explaining would make it that much better. Other than the length, it was great. good job this week!
Hi Michael, your blog was really meaningful and made allot of sense to me. I agree with everything you had to say like human being's being selfish thus leading to betrayal. I also agree that when you betray some one you are also betraying you self.
Good job on the blog.
Hi Michael! The last line of your post totally caught my eye. I think you're right and I agree... When we betray others, we are also, to an extent, betraying ourselves. Of course this also depends on the given circumstances though. We could also be betraying a person in order to stay true to ourselves. For example, a person might have changed and turned into everything we don't agree with or believe in. We then are no longer able to fully treat this person the same way. I hope that makes some sense... Nice job though!
I agree with you that betrayal comes from selfishness. That last line really enhanced your post as well. By betraying someone we're not staying true to ourselves.
After writing my blog and then reading yours, I see that we share a main idea, that selfishness is the key for betrayal. This made the post very enjoyable to read and gave me a few new things to think about. Great post!
I make sure your name right this time! Thoughtful post! Everything comes from us and ends with us. Good job!
Everyone has a price, a price they are willing to pay for their dreams. Macbeth’s price for the becoming a 10 was killing his beloved king. Although the actual price is obvious now, it was blurred for Macbeth when he made his fateful actions.
The reason why Macbeth feels his guilt, the reason why he was able to commit to murdering his king, is that he only saw his dream, never comparing it to the actual cost. Just like a Black Friday shopper sprinting around the store for items, Macbeth sees the sale, the opportunity to purchase his goals, even if he cannot actually afford what he wants. He takes out a loan, a loan he is unprepared to pay back.
Only when the monthly bill comes in does Macbeth realize the magnitude of his purchase. He had enough money for the rent, the groceries, transportation, and Netflix, but this loan offsets that balance. Sure, the Netflix subscription can be tossed, transportation costs can be reduced, but this loan breaks the bank, compromising everything he has.
Macbeth is forced to file for bankruptcy. No amount of guilt will alleviate his situation. No apology will be accepted with that amount of moral debt.
Dreams are meant to be big.
No child dreams of becoming a middle manager, winning a junior Olympic bronze medal, or marry the equivalent of Joe the Plumber.
We should have big dreams, but we should also keep our price in mind. It is regretful that the occasional Macbeth or Madoff comes around, but this lack of responsibility should have been overcome.
Humans are born with primal habits. We eat dirt as kids. We cut in line to get food faster. We cheat on tests. As a society, however, we did not grow without conquering many of these behaviors. The impulsiveness of Madoff and Macbeth is one of them.
Children are forgiven for their wrongdoings not only because they are perceived as youthfully naive, but also because their actions had relatively small consequences. For Madoff and Macbeth, neither is true.
The Madoff’s sons’ decision to turn on their father was admirable, as it betrays one of their closest connections. If I was able to emulate their actions, it would only be because the one close to me had done something past forgiving.
I hold a certain degree of loyalty to those I hold close, but there is a tipping point where their actions are no longer representative of who I thought they were. I believe this held especially true to the Madoff boys. As a father, Bernie Madoff taught principles to his sons, principles he later violates with his scheme. His sons are loyal to Madoff the father, not Madoff the ponzi scheme artist. When Madoff’s actions no longer resembled the Madoff his sons knew, the loyalty towards the man severed. The sons’ actions would no longer be acts of betrayal.
Given that scenario, I believe I would chart the same course. That significant person’s former self would ask for it.
I though it was really cool how you supported your idea of consequences with examples from Macbeth.
Did we all really "cut in line to get food faster... cheat on tests" when we were younger? Were we all born bad and selffish or did we learn to be like that?
Your many examples made me understand the story better. I like your explanation of the relationship between one's dream and the price of it but can we really say that his sons betrayed him?
Is there a difference between betrayal and the lost of respect?
Overall, your post made me really think. It was well written. I didn't know what to write for this blog but now, I have some sort of an idea. Thank you.
I believe that the behaviors like cheating on tests or cutting in line are thing our society has deemed evil. The rulebook of what is acceptable and what is not is constantly changing. Sticking a head on a pike was a societal norm in the feudal ages used to make an example, but doing so today would only provoke outrage and disgustful responses. In nature, animals do anything they can to survive. The game of evolution is an all out race to pass down genetics, and any method to do so is legitimate. Whatever works works. As humans cultivated civilization, however, we no longer play by the same set of rules. We the people have determined the set of rules we run by. But because our ancestors played the evolution game over countless generations, some of their advantageous behaviors have stayed in us. We are born with these instincts that society attempts to train out of us.
I actually say their acts are not betraying their father. The act of betrayal, of backstabbing, only applies when someone is close. Backstabbing, after all, denotes its meaning from the fact that he are willing to turn our attention (and backs) away from people we trust. Loss of respect is not the same as betrayal. It is the falling out of a person's image, like when Madoff's sons find out the extent of his Ponzi scheme. When the Madoff sons turn against their father, they are doing so because they have lost the father they once knew. Turning Madoff in at this point is not betrayal, because they are not acting against someone close to them. The sons' loyalty to Madoff the father does not apply.
I enjoyed this post because of all your examples you used to relate to what you're saying. I also agree with what you said about those you hold close to you. If they go over the tipping point, you can't ignore the damages they do.
I really like this post because you used a really nice metaphor by comparing Macbeth to the the black friday shoppers. I also really like the explanation you gave for the Madoff boys. Great post!
This is a very close analysis to what I was thinking. We have dreams and the benchmark of those dreams can be very risky at times if we let them take over us, similar to what I expressed in my post as well as a few others i've seen.
What comes up in your guy's minds?
Hate? Back-stabs? Cruelty?
I'm gonna guess that most of you think that betrayal is something negative or bad.
However, I don't completely think it is.
What is betrayal?
It's the truth.
“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.” -Arthur Miller
I have been through a number of betrayals where people have come and gone from my life. They have mocked me behind my back, used me to get ahead for themselves, and taken advantage of what I had.
It all ended the same.
They all left me.
At first, I felt saddened, and hateful for what they did. Why would someone betray another person for?
Years would pass and those saddened/hateful moments became distant memories. I look back and wonder how my life would be now if I were to still be with those whom betrayed me. What life would I be living now?
People betray because it's their way to show how much they care. It's driven to by their true feelings to act that way. Whether it's for their own self, or to leave others, they violate each other in such a way where it speaks the truth.
However, this question is always left for myself.
Can I forgive those who betrayed me?
Well, let me ask you this, can you be happy living with a false trust?
If a person had a thought to betray me, they had already questioned to lose me. However, I cannot force everyone to never betray me. It's wrong itself. It's just their opinion to betray me or not. If they do, then it's better to have lost them, than to have continued to keep them around. But I cannot hate them for expressing their own thought.
I guess I can say that I can forgive their actions, because I may have done the same in his or her position.
Would any of you guys forgive someone who betrays you? I'd love to know.
I liked your point of view on betrayal. you didn't take the usual path of conveying betrayal as cheating,trickery, etc. It's cool how you view it as the truth and I liked it because I never would have thought of it in that way.
I like that your perception of your past betrayals are so different and positive. I can also agree somewhat with what you're saying and see the point you're making. It's better to live without a false trust. To answer you question, it would depend on the circumstances, but usually it wouldn't be hard for me to forgive someone.
Joseph, I totally agree with your blog. When people do get betrayed they feel really sad at the moment but pretty soon that feeling starts to become just past memories and nothing more. Some betrayals are harder to forgive then others, it just depends on what the circumstances are.
I enjoyed your blog! I feel that you thought about this blog very deeply and I understand where you are coming from: not knowing the reason for something. However, this is okay because I am the same way. I do not understand many concepts in life but how I overcome it is by basing my life on philosophies. Great job!
Joe, this was so different from what you normally write, and I think you should try writing like this more often. I felt really connected to your post this week, and I have to say, just good job.
Wow, I never saw betrayal as something like truth. To answer the question, I have forgiven someone for something they done. It is a choice where it makes both side happier overall.
Near the beginning of the year, I remember sitting in the quiet calm of the lecture hall. My teacher and I were discussing the future.
“Well, I want to be a pharmacist.”
“So you have a passion for the craft, for the medicine?”
“Then, are you prepared for a life of mediocrity? When you’re older and you’ve gotten your job, will you be okay with yourself, knowing that you could have been so much more? Will the only thing that can crack just a little smile on your face be a paycheck?
“Do you yourself even want to go down this path?”
Dumbfounded and mouth agape, I couldn’t answer him.
I mulled over this when I got home, asking myself why I find handing out pills to angry old folk, angry parents, and other angry people in between so appealing.
“From what I’ve picked up from you, Matthew,” I tell myself in the mirror, “is that you relish in tedium. You desire a vacuous existence, being a nothing more than an empty, dilapidated shell.”
“But it’s my supposed to live my life well.” I try to vindicate myself. “The good life is all my parents ever wanted, and all I ever wanted…”
“So let’s say you’ve landed that ‘dream’ job of yours. You’ve finished graduate school, so you’re like, what, around thirty now? Thirty years old, and a mountainous debt trailing behind you. Good luck paying that off in the near future; after taxes and loan payments, you make as much as a nurse fresh out of school. So all that time, money, and effort you’ve spent to get that salary could’ve been done with a fraction of the cost and years. I hope you like living alone; you’ll have no money to raise a family. Not with this job.
“Also, you just love getting yelled at, huh? If it’s not distraught customers, it’ll be upset employers. That unreliable, undesirable coworker? His mistakes will be blamed on you. That ignorant father who slams his fist on the table, veins popped, demanding antibiotics for his feverish daughter? Though it does no good for that little girl, you’ll have to give in if he has money. That is, unless you want to piss off the higher ups.
“And all this crap is for what, exactly? For your mother, your father? To continue a cycle of suffering? This is nothing more than a futile pursuit of happiness, Matthew.”
Conflicted and lost, hunched over and clutching the sink counter, I sigh heavily.
“This is what I never wanted…”
They should rename senior year to be “the Mired Crossroad”, because with every face I turn, a new path is presented. I don’t know if I should go left, right, forward, or backward. Each way is shrouded in a thick fog, and don’t like wading into the deep unknown. Not knowing what lies ahead raises my hairs and shivers my timbers; as I try to take a step, fear bogs me down like quicksand and stifles any progress. But if I don’t move, I’ll be dragged under.
So I go forth on the path of least resistance, the one with a solid foundation and a clearer road. Unlike Macbeth, I'm pursuing the “safer” ambition. But as I saw in the mirror, the destination is not right for me. Then, should I to continue?
The Pharm Farm is not a place I truly wish to go to, so I reluctantly trudge forward. Why I don’t turn spin on my heels and walk the other direction is because I’m afraid. As the Monkey’s Paw teaches, throwing caution to the wind and living out on a limb (limbs, in this case) lead only to misery.
But in the 6th blog post, I’ve already touched on this topic:
“Fear was the puppeteer, I was its marionette, and I let it dominate me.”
Being a reluctant scaredy pants leads to stagnation and accomplishes nothing. I’ve lost the girl of my dreams because I was too afraid to tell her how I felt. Instead, I had to hook up with remorse and regret; they were horrible dates. I won’t make that same mistake.
It’s time for me to turn around and chart a new course.
Who cares if I can’t see through the mist? I’ll find a flashlight.
Who cares if the road is filled with quick-mud? I’ll wear some snow shoes.
And who cares if the place isn’t right for me? I’ll treat it as a lesson learned and cross this off my list. I am young, and there is still time to experiment.
I like the arts. Maybe I’ll head there first.
This was a great post. It really made me stop and think about my life. I love your dialogue and I can't say enough about this post. Great job.
Thanks for all the kind words, Chris. It's very fulfilling to see that people like my essay:D
[Dang], Matthew, I feel like you really captured something I've been feeling lately as well. The struggle between expressing myself as I want, and choosing "success" and money.
I like your dialogue as well. If you want to improve on it, check out some of the analysis on dialogue at http://theeditorsblog.net/2012/02/28/inner-dialogue-writing-character-thoughts/.
Thanks for the read!
Hahaha, I did have a lot of problems writing this blog, and a majority of them dealt with dialogue.
But as far as my reflection in the mirror (badatsh) goes, I purposely wrote it so that I would be talking to myself aloud.
Nevertheless, the article/blog/essay you linked is a very useful read. The other posts on The Editor's Blog seem very helpful to my writing as well, so I thank you for that.
(Psst, if you got anymore of these writing tutorials, link and share please:D)
Wow! I loved that line, "I had to hook up with remorse and regret, they were horrible dates." Clever, as always! And I also loved the lines that followed, "Who cares if I can’t see through the mist? I’ll find a flashlight. Who cares if the road is filled with quick-mud? I’ll wear some snow shoes." I like that confident spirit! You're gonna FIND the flashlight, instead of waiting for it to be handed to you. I really like that determination! Awesome post!
Thanks for all the nice words, Christy:D
I'm glad you liked the piece and some of my phrases so much! I worked pretty hard on this one (writing this blog post was difficult for me) so I thank you again:D
How do I italicise words? There's the format coding listed for bolding and underlining, but none for [i]italicizing[/i]
TL;DR: how to italicised words
Ahh, you seriously just blow me away with your posts. The dialogue is just perfect here. Really nice work, Matt!
While reading it, i stopped and think about my own career choice. It is really well done!
Thanks for the good read! I really enjoyed reading the dialogue. The beginning got me thinking because I once wanted to be a pharmacist, but realized that it wasn't what I truely wanted.
We talked about what you were going to do while we were editing the essays, it's great to see the the thought you've put into this and the decision you've made through consideration.
That line about remorse and regret was quite humorous.
Please. More of these types of posts. I couldn't stop reading. It was likely getting the same writing I look forward to every week, but getting to see behind the veil at the same time. I really enjoyed this post.
Betrayal is the disappointment from our hopes and expectations. It may be driven by a person’s desire to satisfy their own needs without regard of the possible aftermath. On the other hand, it may driven by a person’s willpower to do the right thing.
Relating to the question, “What determines how far you are willing to go in pursuit of what you want,” we tend to go as far as possible until we eventually hurt someone. We betray those closest to us when we are in pursuit for our desires in life. These desires, whether they are for power, love, greed, pleasure, control, or self-indulgence, may be followed by betrayal of our friends or loved ones. This type of betrayal is inevitable when our desires outweigh our integrity and honor. For example, some individuals may be disloyal to their spouses because their temptations overpower their ability to be faithful. Macbeth makes the decision to betray his king and his best friend because his thirst for power and his manipulating wife drive him to a point where there is no return. Although his wife claims that his hands can be cleansed with water, the dramatic and emotional toll it takes on Macbeth eventually leads to his demise.
Although betrayal may arise from our selfish desires, other times, it may come from the goodness of our hearts. One’s definition of betrayal may be someone else’s definition of kindness. For example, if I can clearly see my friend is being cheated on, I will tell him. Although it may not be the exact words he may want to hear, I believe that he should be told the truth. Sometimes, we must be honest with those around us, even if the consequences outweigh the rewards.
Even if we choose to betray those closest to us, it does not mean that we are bad people. People who make poor decisions are still able to feel a sense of remorse, and that feeling alone is a sign that those people are generally good inside. Sometimes, we are forced to make decisions that are deemed as disloyal, but the motive behind them may actually be for the greater good.
Hi austen, i liked your post this week. It had some really great points that i totally agreed with. I loved how you ended it, because we often just see the action and forget or are blinded so much by it that we forget the motive. Great job!
Great post! What your wrote expanded my understanding of betrayal and the reasons why we do the things we do. Thanks!
I cannot agree with you more on your idea of betrayal and the reasons for it. I as well do not believe that just because someone does something bad, they are bad people. After all, we are all human and we do make mistakes. Sometimes even unintentionally or others mistakes may be even more severe. However, if we do feel that guilt in the end, we are deep down still good. Great post!
Hey Austen, I really like your post for this week. I think it was just a great way to sum up everything we think about sometimes, how if what we really do is actually for the greater. I think you're right in that the action may not be the greatest, but as long as the motive is for the good of others, the action can be lived with.
Hi Austen! I completely agree with you on why people betray the people they are closest too... its kind of sad how true it is, but good job (:
Betrayal is so common, especially when it comes to those closest to us. We find desire, but it ends up hurting those around us.
Also, I also agree that betrayal does hurt, but it can be the truth.
This post really opened my eyes to how betrayal can be both good and bad for you. A very interesting point that got my attention quickly, along with the point that people can often be blinded by the result, causing them to not look at the motive.
I have no specific desire to talk about, so I guess this time I’ll just talk about desire in general. Nonetheless, desire is desire, and we can, and do get caught up with our own desires. Sometimes we can go to extreme lengths just for the sake of our desire. It’s ridiculous sometimes. But to understand how far we would go for our own desires, maybe it’s easier to first talk about how far we’d go for something we don’t truly want, but we’re still trying to reach.
I’m not too enthused about going to college, in fact these applications have been killing me, but then again they’ve been killing every other senior out there. However the difference between them and me is that, well, I don’t care. Like I said, I’m not too enthused about going to college, and yet I’m sacrificing so much for it. How can you sacrifice things for something you don’t truly want? How does that make any sense at all?
My brother keeps telling me about how great the experience will be and how much fun I’ll have there. All I hear are the crickets in my house. I don’t care.
I know college is something big and special that everyone should have the opportunity to go to, but those are the people who really want to go.
There’s a difference between me and other people: college to me just seems like something I feel I can live without, and not regret it. And yet for something I don’t want, something I won’t regret not having, I’m sacrificing my time, my energy, and my mental and physical well-being. How can you sacrifice so much, for something you don’t want?
And last night I was close to mentally cracking down, not because I was writing these personal statements, but because I was just sitting in my chair thinking to myself, I don’t want this. I’m beating out hundreds of other applicants for a position I don’t care about. How can I live with myself, knowing that I just took someone else’s chances when I didn’t even want it? To me, that just doesn’t sound like who I am.
If this is how much we sacrifice for something we don’t want, just exactly how far are we willing to go for something we do?
I can’t answer this question, because I fear that there is the possibility that we might truly go to extreme lengths to catch our desires, to obtain them.
If we’re willing to give up part of ourselves for something we don’t want, how much of ourselves are we willing to sacrifice for something we do?
Let me tell you a little secret: it’s 2:30 in the morning right now, and I’m very close to my limit. Last night I almost cracked, what would make this night any different?
How far are we willing to go?
Though your post was.. not at all too bright, I enjoyed it. It makes sense. We often time don't realize why we do the things we do. We don't understand things... we just go through the motion but everything does, in fact have a purpose.
As far as college, I don't think you could ever forgive yourself if you skip out on college. I know it seems more like an obligation righ now with our parents and everyone else around. We must go to college... but in the end, it will only open so many doors for you in life.
School isn't always fun and exciting... it sucks like hell a lot of the time but its worth it. Don't give up! You deserve so much more than what you're giving yourself.
Randy I love how your opinion really stand out from the crowd. You definitely showed how you truly feel about college without the concerns of others and that is exactly why your post stands out. Whatever it is you desire in the future, I just hope you find everything that you have worked hard for.
Your thoughts on college isn't the usual that I hear, that's for sure. But I did enjoy the entire concept.
I too don't know what lengths I would go for desire, but then again, I don't know how far I can go in the first place. It is ridiculous to hear how much we would do just to get what we want.
What I liked mostly about this post is that you are doing your college apps, yet you don't want it. You do so much for something you don't want. Really different for a person to do.
I enjoyed this post because of all your examples you used to relate to what you're saying. I also agree with what you said about those you hold close to you. If they go over the tipping point, you can't ignore the damages they do.
Everyone has desired something. We all have made wishes or prayers or rituals in which we beg for something to happen. For me, a lot of the time, I beg and wish that I would pass a test that I was not really prepared for. And to be honest, that wish has come true like 5 times of the infinite number of times that I have wished for it to happen. Other than that repeated wish, there have been other things that I have wished for as well. Things that are a little more serious and things that aren’t so pleasant.
There was a kid that I hated on the cross country team. We had a bad history with each other and even though we hardly spoke to each other, we both had the mutual feeling of hate towards each other. Near the end of my sophomore season, that kid beat me in a race. I can’t tell you how cocky he was for the rest of that week. He would rub it in everyone’s face that he beat me in a race and he kept on talking about how much better he was than me, even though he beat me by one second. We had a race the next week and then I wished for something horrible. I wished that he would have a terrible race or get injured that day, so that I could “put him in his place” and put an end to his cocky behavior. Sure enough, during the race, he sprained his ankle. And sure enough, I beat him by 3 minutes.
At that time, I didn’t feel bad at all. I felt great that I had “destroyed” that boy in a race. I felt great and accomplished. Then when he got on the bus, I saw the agony on his face. He could barely walk and the hitch in his stride was very noticeable. I saw tears in his eyes and a huge pack of ice on the swollen ankle. I then felt pangs of regret. Was it worth it?
Yeah, I was remorseful for what I had done and when I think about that day, I would rather have lost to him than wish physical harm on him. My experience and my regret and remorse make it easier for me to accept apologies and remorse. Remorse does matter to me; because we all have done things that we really regret doing. I’m no exception and who am I to not accept people’s apologies for their mistakes and regretful actions? I regret
I'd say that [guy] deserved what was coming to him; maybe if he spent less time bragging about himself, with a smug face and a cocked eyebrow, he would've been more careful.
But, I'm only seeing on side of the story here. I don't know if you truncated your essay on accident or you just forgot a punctuation (even then, it doesn't seem to work).
In the end, I don't think you should blame yourself or feel guilty that he sprained an ankle. That is, unless you're the one that did it to him. But you would never do that, right?
As far as grammar goes, not many flaws that I can see. There is this though: "We had a bad history with each other and even though we hardly spoke to each other, we both had the mutual feeling of hate towards each other." I can't help but feel that this repetition is either ineffective or a mistake.
Because you've used words like "we" and "both", repeating "each other" so many times seems a bit strange on the reader (I thought my eyes were failing or something). Try to limit the reuse of words:D
Other than that, I like your post. You've provided an example that makes it easy for many to relate to you. Good stuff Chris; I'll give you a 11 rips in your talocrural region
During the house quiz, our group was asked if any of us felt sorry for Macbeth. I was surprised to see that only two of the eight of us said yes. For me, I guess you can say that I have a weak spot for the people who do “bad” things but still feel remorse, guilt, and regret. I know that it doesn't excuse them for doing what they did but I eventually begin to sympathize for them and then start to care. I care because I see that these people have potential. They are so close to being “good”, but they just seem to fall a little short. The bad starts to outweigh the good, just as Macbeth's wife overpowers Macbeth. I see a little bit of myself in the Macbeths of the world because I know I fall short all the time.
Villains fascinate me. Its not that I favor them over the hero or anything, but they just make me want to ask questions. What is their motive? Why are they the way they are? I want to know more about them.
“Unforgiveness is keeping the knife in your back to remind the other person that they stabbed you. Sure they'll be reminded but with the knife still in your back you'll never heal.”
“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.”
- Max Laucado
When someone who has done me wrong genuinely apologizes to me, I always try to find it in myself to forgive them. “Forgive but never forget”. I don't want the hatred that I have for their actions to eat me up because I know that it will only make me bitter. I understand that we do things in the heat of the moment and we let our emotions take over us which causes us to do things that we don't mean to do. We are only human after all. You would want a second chance when you fault short, right?
But when someone doesn't apologize, its even harder for me to forgive on my own. I push it aside and forget to let things go but eventually, in the greater scheme of things I finally realize how much it affects me. For example, I am convinced that everyone that I get close to leaves because of past experiences. Now, I tend to push people away especially if I feel like I'm starting to get too close to them. I realized that this is a result of not being able to forgive the ones who left.
No matter how much I know that I should forgive the people in my past, I still can't find the strength to do it right now.
Feelings of anger, pain, and betrayal are all toxic emotions that can take over you but they can also help you and provide you with strength once you overcome them.
After reading your post I've learn so much more about you. Keep your head high! I really admire you strength and understandings.
Hi Kelly, I really like the quote you brought up. I totally agree that unforgiveness is just going to remind us how the bad things happened. However forgiveness give us the hope to move on. Great post!
I think you're the only person I know that's fascinated with villains. They do play an interesting role in anything. I love a villains background story too. Especially their motives. Nice post.
I really liked this post and I am glad i read this because many of the posts this week were very morbid. This lightened the mood and I like to see the optimistic side of life as well which is why I agree it is better to spend more time with a good feeling in your heart.
I am directing my comment to the part that reads, "Feelings of anger, pain, and betrayal are all toxic emotions." I think we can all live without these emotions. This is why i thought this blog post was a little on the lighter side.
Betrayal is a strong word. Some may only scratch the surface of it others may of fallen in its trap. I’ve betrayed someone to the point where we became strangers again. She was funny, adorable, and most of all I really liked being with her. Every time I would take her somewhere or hang out with her I was happy. But, things didn’t work out between us.
I messed up.
I betrayed her trust.
I kept lying, thinking she would never find out but in the end she did.
When I look back at the situation now… I really messed up. I ran away from my problems blocking her out from my life; trying to push her as far away as I can. I should have at least apologized for what I've done. Now we just pass each other through the halls like strangers. Giving each other eye contact but not saying a word. I honestly don’t know what kept me from apologizing or trying to fix the problem between us. But In the end, I learned from my mistakes and hope to know how to handle similar situation in the future.
Kevin, first of all sorry for what happened. If I were in your shoe, i also would not know what to do. If you apologized, it would be too weird but if you don't it would be the same wondering everyday. I hope someday you find a way to fix this. Good luck and what a great story.
Hi Kevin, I feel sorry about what happened between you guys. But hey, at least you were brave enough to admit that you did something wrong and you are not going to let that happen again in the future. I believe you will definitely take better action when approaching this kind of problem.
I know it sounds kind of dumb, but whenever somebody betrays me, I really do hope they feel bad at least a little bit…or a lot.
I suppose it really depends on the level of betrayal. If my best friend were to lie to me and say I look great in a dress when I clearly do not and I go ahead and buy it, at the most I’ll just hope she steps on a Lego later or something. On the other hand, if my boyfriend or husband was to cheat on me, I’d be hoping he would be so guilt ridden that he could hardly stand to look at me and do anything but cry.
Okay, that may sound a little extreme, but you get the point.
However, no matter what the betrayal is, I am always glad to accept an apology (as long they honestly feel guilty for hurting me). BUT I am very particular in how I do so.
Before I let the person know how their actions made me feel and that I forgive them, I ask them to explain why they are apologizing and what for. This is important, because then I am able to see that they understand what they have done and I am able to make sure that we are on the same page. (Sometimes people think the situation is completely different from what I think and all of the misunderstandings create a huge mess). After all is said and done and crystal clear, I let them know that I forgive them. I will never say “It’s okay”.
Pay attention to that! Have you ever noticed yourself tell someone “It’s okay” when they apologize when what they did really and truly was not at all okay with you? Saying that makes it sound like you’d be fine with them hurting you again! For that reason I always say “It’s not okay, but I forgive you. Please just don’t do it again.” (Rule applies to everyone except a cheating significant other. They wouldn’t have the chance to do it again because they would be gone.)
There is something I must admit though. I am a people pleaser. So much so that I basically let everyone walk all over me. While it’s nice to be considered a reliable and loyal person, there is a major downside. I often look the other way and ignore the harm that is done to me by people I deeply care about. It always bugs me, but I just hate confrontation. I’m not one to run up to a good friend and let them know that they have been hurting my feelings. I just suck it up and pretend it’s nothing. I give them the benefit of the doubt and convince myself that they just don’t realize what they’re doing to me.
Seems kind of odd considering I have such strong feelings about betrayal, but that’s just how my wonky mind works!
P.S. I realize after reading this it sounds like I’m constantly being harmed, but it wasn’t supposed to. I’m okay, I promise!
i think the way you feel about betrayal is not uncommon. I feel the same way as well. In the back of my mind i hope that the person that betrayed me feels guilt and remorse. I also tell people that "its okay" when really its not okay at all. I liked how you admitted that you are a people pleaser, many of us struggle due to it because it really is a hard habit to get rid of.
Hello Lauren, I thought your post was really good. I really admire your way of forgiving people. I think it really makes me want to be more like you. When a person says "It's okay," sometimes they don't really mean what they say, meaning it really is not okay. Next time I will try to say that it is not okay when it's not okay so they would know what they did wrong and learn from it. Thank Lauren, Great post
Lauren, I like how you are so specific with how someone needs to apologize. I like how you're able to accept an apology but as long as you and the person both understand why they are sorry. Great post (as always) !
Those two human feelings drive us to meet our worst demons.
It’s the last 10 seconds of the championship basketball game that you and your team have worked all year for. College scouts are watching, your team is down by 1 point, and you have the ball. You start your dribble.
Tick, tick, tick…sweat dripping off your face, you look up at the time clock.
Three seconds have run off the clock. Panic strikes.
Looking at the court you see everyone is marked except for one person down low. You want to take the shot so badly; it’s the shot you’ve always wanted. Should you take the shot yourself, risking everything your team has worked for, risking the possibility of playing college ball, or should you pass it off to a teammate that has the better shot? Is the risk worth taking? Are you willing to risk becoming the “ball hog” that no college team would even consider, just to be the hero? How badly do you want it?
Some might risk it all, but not me. I wouldn’t be able to handle the blame if I were to miss and throw away everything our team has worked for; out of my own selfish wants. I would pass, and take that little chance of the college scouts noticing my assist to have a clear conscience.
I would be betraying my teammates as well as myself, if I did otherwise. I would never forgive my self because I knew better.
Macbeth betrays those closest to him in hopes of giving his wife a better life. He knew his actions were wrong. He himself knew what he was doing was evil, but he does so anyways. He morally doesn’t deserve sympathy, but for some reason I sympathize for him.
Just because I sympathize for him, doesn’t mean I think what he did was acceptable.
I feel bad the man. The world he comes from doesn’t offer many chances for a rise in a social status, his wife pressures him to do what he did, and he changed from a good, respectable man to an evil murderer.
I do sympathize for him, because his original motive was good, but his actions turned him into a monster. He kills whole families to get what he wants.
I guess I sympathize for him because he was a good man with a conscience to begin with and like anyone else, desired to live the life of a 10. That desire led him to betray the people he once cared for. He changed.
Not for the better…
Want and desire have the potential to lead us to betray the people who we care for the most in our lives and change us into completely different people. Sometimes we know that the cost of our dreams is too high, but we are blinded by our want and desire just as Macbeth was.
We are all human, but it’s those who are able to see through all their wants and desires that succeed in life.
Sometimes we have to sacrifice our dreams when we know the cost is too great to overcome.
I really enjoyed reading your post and I thought it was very well organized as it went from a very detailed basketball scene leading on to Macbeth. I cannot agree with you more how we as humans are aften blinded by our desires and dreams that sometimes we would do just about anything to get what we want. The ones who can see past that are the ones to succeed. I thought that line was very powerful and you integrated it perfectly into your writing, well done!
Great metaphor with the basketball game. Such a heat of the moment parallels well with Macbeth when he is thrust into his situation, having little time to think through his intended actions. I believe for these short instances, we can only train away the instinct to take the shot.
On the subject of sympathy, I do not sympathize as you do. The man may not have much of a chance to move upwards, but we consider the Scottish society as a whole. He has risen to the 2nd highest position in the kingdom. He is in a position that even fellow thanes would envy. He may not be at the peak, but he is ways above the people of the kingdom. Macbeth kills the man who gives him all this, who made Macbeth an exception to the inability to moving up, because he cannot control the thought that he deserves more.
I agree with your notion about wants and desires. I believe it is because we seek for what we do not have, never comparing it to the things we already possess. The grass is always greener on the other side until we can get over this.
Hey Michelle. I enjoyed reading your post and especially the story about your basketball game. I wish you continued it longer because as I read on, I was gaining extreme interest. You should let us know what happened afterwards haha. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading it and I agree with your points about how we have to sacrifice our dreams when we know the cost is too great. We truly are blinded by our desires that we take things for granted at times and take little to no value in the things that we currently have.
Betrayal is the product of selfishness.
Personal Interest, a thirst for self-gains, can drive a man to do the unthinkable. If what could be gained is appealing enough than one may, without hesitation, lie, cheat, steal, and deceive others, as long as he benefits in one way or another.
Anyone is susceptible to desire; it is only a matter of how great your wants are and how selfish you’ll let yourself be. We all see things we want; but do want these things so badly, that we’d lie, cheat, and steal for them? It’s possible…
When it comes down to it, the only thing preventing all of us from becoming deceitful liars and thieves is our sense of self-control.
People can differentiate right from wrong; we stop ourselves from going on if we’re aware that what we’re doing is wrong. Others may not; they’ll continue on, knowing all the while that they’re making an immoral decision.
Anyone could be seduced by temptation. If the desire is strong enough, one may do crazy things to get what they want.
Upon committing a misdeed, one may feel a sense of regret. Others may have no remorse for their actions. Those with a guilty conscience may plead for forgiveness, but do you accept their apology?
To accept an apology, I must believe it – is it genuine? Do they actually feel remorse for their actions? And most importantly, is what they’ve done forgivable? If the apology has met these criteria, then forgive them! Don’t hold a grudge, that’s unhealthy
It does come down to our self-control to see if we are strong enough to stop ourselves from doing bad, but tempting things.
Yes, James you are so right that everything we do pretty much has to do with our self-control. We make decisions everyday with our self-control. It is no doubt that desire is also controlled by each of us. Great post, keep it up
Very true indeed, James. The self-control of man is what it comes down to, and ultimately a major theme in Macbeth. We all have lines that we shouldn't cross, and it's up to us to not cross them. Great post.
Everyone is selfish. And everyone can apologize. Yet we can never be sure if the apology is truly genuine. If it is I can probably accept it, for the most part. As long as what they did was forgivable. Sometimes we just can't help ourselves.
"It is a good thing to experience everything oneself...As a child I learned that pleasures of the world and riches were not good. I have known it for a long time, but I have only just experienced it. Now I know it not only with my intellect, but with my ears, with my heart, with my stomach. It is a good thing that I know this."
-Chapter 8, pg. 80 of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Through the past three months, I have learned so much in Mr. Feraco’s class and every bit of it has changed who I am and how I view the world. Out of the many things I feel were important to me, one to point out is the value of experience and wisdom. Through the lesson of Siddhartha, it is true that the only way to understand the something, one must first experience.
There are three different types of relationships (in my opinion): friends that are only names to you, best friends (this includes girlfriend/boyfriend as well), and family. Each have different levels, but all consist of trust.
1) The relationships where people are only names to you: very little to no trust.
2) The relationships with best friends, girlfriends, or boyfriends: moderate trust.
3) The relationships with your family: great trust.
Yes, these can be modified but this is what I think the groups should be categorized into. However, there is no order on “forgiveness” to the relationships I have.
In class yesterday, Mr. Feraco basically gave a definition for “I’m sorry” I have been waiting for my whole life. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is what he said:
“I’m sorry is when you are willing to go back in time and take back the mistake you made; willing to hurt or injure yourself to make sure things are better. That is when you are sorry.”
He is right.
I have experienced many situations where just an “I’m sorry” is not good enough. Not the “I’m sorry” when you accidently bump into someone, or “I’m sorry” when you accidently kick a ball and it hits some stranger (once happened).
It IS the “I’m sorry” when your father leaves you and he thinks that the 2 or 3 words will make everything better.
It IS the “I’m sorry” when your girlfriend cheats on you and she thinks that saying “I’m sorry” a million and one times makes it a little better each time.
Those are the ones that are just not good enough.
Well, what are you sorry for?
This is what gets everyone. It is just our moral reactions to respond with “I’m sorry” when we think something is wrong because that is what our parents taught us when we are young; however, we are not taught the “why” part.
However, I have learned to not accept “I’m sorry”; they are only words. It is the same thing when you say, “I want to be the best Shortstop there could be.” Okay, so stop talking and just go do it.
Show, don’t tell.
Now this is only from experience. My father DID leave and now he is trying to make up for the multiple years he missed. I know I will forgive him in the near future, but only if he actually does make up for his actions. I will still have something missing in my past, a childhood.
Instead of father and son, it was ____ and son.
He could never fill up that hole, but if I see a new side of him and he chooses to try to earn his son’s trust back, he might just be able to cover up that hole.
I guess forgiveness is somewhere in my vocabulary, but it will take time to find it.
You'll find forgiveness Toy, hopefully he can make up for what he has done and everything works out well. Nice post bud!
Jesus, your writing is so powerful and awesome; the way you stamp on that line, Show, don't tell", just really hit the mark. Such conviction and and purpose makes your piece freakin' awesome.
You've also got my respect for touching on such personal examples.
I don't see any flaws in grammar, and you've more than nailed organization.
Kickin' rad post Brendan; I'll give you applause out of a standing ovation
I couldn't agree more with your statement about how people just say sorry because it is a natural reaction when they do wrong. Your examples are definately indiscretions that are hard to forgive. A father is a influential person whose trust should never be broken. Abandonment is difficult to past.
You're right. "Sorry" has lost its meaning a long time ago because it's being overused for the wrong reasons by so many people out there. It's hard to believe when someone actually IS sorry though because words aren't as effective as actions in this case. However I do believe that your daddy will come around and fill in that blank spot because i'm sure he's proud of your many accomplishments and capabilities. Stay strong and let time do its magic. Keep your head up, Toy.
The actual message is very close: instead of apologizing automatically, apologize when you've made a mistake that you badly want to atone for - that, if you knew time travel was painful but possible, you would still travel back in time to reverse it.
Usually, we find forgiveness difficult in situations where someone benefits from doing the wrong thing. "I'm sorry" sounds hollow when the thing they're apologizing for brought them happiness.
If, instead, you feel so badly that you'd even be willing to suffer to undo what you did...how could I do anything but forgive you?
Hi brendan! The way you describe "I'm sorry" and the act of forgiveness really ties everything together with betrayal and our relationships with the world. I really like your post & i couldn't agree with you more! good job (:
I like how you started off with a hierarchy of relationships and their trust, and then divert from that to say how there is no order of forgiveness.
Wow. Your writing is so true, its so real. I also agree with others on the "I'm sorry" thing. I feel like its completely lost its original meaning. Hopefully things work out with you and your father. Youre an amazing son. Best wishes buddy!
Great job, you are a talented writer and I am so glad to have read this. Hopefully time will heal all wounds.
“We'll forget what we used to say
And our lives won't mean anything
Pull me close as I drift away
And its just as it should be” - Plus 44
Forgive and forget.
That’s what I always tell myself. Everyone has their bad days, give ‘em another chance.
Guilt and remorse are key emotions in humans. They do matter to me. If I never felt guilty for all the bad things I’ve done, then I would not be the person who I am today. I could have lost so many people if I never went back to apologize for what I’ve done, if I never admitted what I did wrong, I would have lost so many people that are now really close to me. I know the feeling when someone close to you is mad over something you can easily fix, that feeling sucks. That’s why I’m always accepting an apology from someone and always forgiving. Why live my life being mad or stressed over something someone did? Forget about it and just move on. It’s not fun being mad all the time. Sure there are a few exceptions when you just can’t forgive someone. I’ve lost a few friends because of ruthless things they have done to me, my family, and friends that I care about. I like feeling and seeing people happy, and if they come to me with an apology, I’ll probably accept. If I feel guilty of something I did, I would probably confess and hope for the best.
I love my dad, he is always there for me and he is the one who showed me how to be happy.
If he were to start ruining people’s lives though, I would have a problem with that. I wouldn’t be able to live knowing that he was hurting innocent people. My guilty conscious would get to me and I would have to talk to him, at least try and make him stop. If he didn’t stop, then I would turn him in. Even if he is my father, other people don’t deserve to suffer just because of him, like I said before; I like to see people happy. It makes me happy.
At what point do you ask yourself "why am I always forgiving people?"It just sounds like you have dealt with alot of betrayal.
Some people I didn't want to lose, well most haha. I don't like to lose people, I have before and I get sad and over think about it and just worry myself. So I forgive so everyone can be happy.
I really liked your post. I too am a very forgiving person and even when someone else does something to hurt me I’m the first to apologize for being mad at the them instead of the other way around. I understand your stand on your dad story but where is that “Tipping point” ? What if there are good intentions where his destruction lies?
Awesome Job! I really liked this one
Hey Omar! Your post was great. I believe that our guilty conscience is just a sign that we are good people and just being able to forgive others and giving them another chance is just a great thing you could do. I like how you stated that although you love your father, if you saw other lives suffering due to his hands, you would take a stand and say something. Great job
It's always nice to be forgiving and turn the other cheek.
Desire lives in every one of us. It is the conscious impulse that drives us towards something with the promise of satisfaction upon attainment. It drives some of us to do crazy things. Some desire wealth, relationships, and others simply want a better life. What defines us is what we do in order to gain our desire. Depending on what it is and how much you want it will determine what we will do in order to achieve the goal. Many people put forth the work to achieve their goals, but some selfishly envy what others have and prefer to bypass the effort in work and instead betray others in order to attain their desire.
When a person allows selfishness to take over, they may betray others if it means that they will benefit from such deeds. Since people may have trouble getting what others have, they at times turn on those that trust them. Girls will betray their friends in order to make new ones and gain popularity. Children betray their parents trust in order to get and do what they want. It is because of all the selfishness in the world that betrayal occurs far too often. We have all betrayed and have been betrayed. How we handle these experiences is different for each individual. Some remain bitter and entrapped by past experiences while some choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is a choice that a person will make in order to move forward with their lives and the lives of those that betrayed them. Personally, like my fellow Scorpios, I tend to hold grudges. I do not easily forgive anyone. If someone causes harm to me, I am certain to treat them as if they do not exist for as long as I know them. Even if the offender shows remorse and apologizes for their indiscretion, I put little thought into their apology. In my eyes, their choice to betray me is stronger than their regret.
To me, loyalty is the most important trait that a person can have. I find myself to be loyal to my friends and will often look past their indiscretions that may hurt others in order to remain trustworthy. As a friend, I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had good reason for their choices. In doing so, I would expect the same loyalty from them.
Wow, this is a really great response. I feel like I can relate to you a lot, especially about forgiving people. I don't let up on grudges very easily either. Really nice work here though, Robert!
I completely agree with you that royalty is the most important thing. But here is a trick question, what if you are royal to two people with some extremely conflicting views? Who are you royal to then? Would you be betraying one of them if you are royal to the other? :D:D:D
Emotions have driven everything we've done on this Earth; Humans. Even the greatest things. From establishing Faith to the never ending destruction of ourselves. As well as the simpler things.
A baby being born, or a backstabbing.
If remorse meant more than what it really is I figure we'd be a lot better off than we are now.
Unless it's paired with Guilt, then we'd all be far worse.
Apologies are to be accepted as if you are asking. Although we have turned to prosecution and violence as our ways of resolution and endings, I still embrace everything that has been, is being, and will be done simply as how "we roll".
After all we've been through and what our predecessors died for, look at us (humanity). We're not heartless. There's clear difference between a person and a hyena.
Hyenas don't feel guilty; any animal has no remorse.
So here we are at the top of the world ready for whatever some higher power has to throw at us.
Except what's missing is being just.
Hopefully it becomes clear that it can't be done by one. I can't, you can't, someone else can't; It's a complicated subject.
All of what I said is a complicated subject, actually. I'm starting to regret writing this. I feel guilty if I wasted any time, but I'll finish up. I believe things will be just once the hardest thing has been done and we decide not to leave anyone out of it.
Those emotions do matter to me, but forgive me for making it that complicated.
Though I do not believe your notion of the hyena to be true(you'd have to have been a hyena at some point, or at least been able to monitor a hyena's brain), I support your notion that human interaction is driven by emotion. Humans strive to be happy, a seemingly unsustainable emotion. Everything we do derives from happiness: seeking happiness, recognizing our happiness, being drunk with our happiness, etc. Guilt comes from the fact that we deprived others of their happiness. Emotions are complicated, and I believe that is part of what makes humans human. Still, our species takes emotion and thought to a new level, thinking about not only our own thoughts, but also the thoughts of others, their thoughts on still others, and so on. I believe our metacognition, not just our emotions, are what makes us truly human.
I would just like to use this reply to say thank you sir for giving me feedback, you are amazing.
Often, there are misconceptions that bad people are just...bad; that infamous criminals like the joker or bane do not have consciences. The truth is that everybody feels guilt, as long they are still human of course. Guilt is one of the many qualities that make up a human being. This means that even bad people, let me rephrase, ESPECIALLY bad people, feel guilt.
Let's take the Macbeths as an example. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are portrayed as villains who murdered their own king to quench their greedy thirsts right from the get go. However, as seen throughout the scenes of the play, Macbeth, and surprisingly, Lady Macbeth, begin to feel guilt. They begin to doubt their choice of betraying their king and close friend.
This leads me to the next question. What is betrayal? Betrayal is the outcome of a struggle inside one's mind between what is right and wrong. As a result of the "wrong" beating the "right", the person is led to betraying him/herself as well as any their surrounding peers. Betrayal can caused by many different qualities within a human being. Let me give you some examples.
Laziness. I betray myself by concocting excuses to take the easy path on a frequent basis(especially if the subject is related to school). Copying is one of the many outcomes that has resulted from Laziness.
Vengeance. In "Othello" by William Shakespeare, Iago embarks on a path to destroy his commanding officer, Othello, due to his previous anger for not receiving a promotion. This leads him to weaving Othello, Cassio, and Desdemona into a web of trickery and lies that eventually leads to Othello's death.
There is an underlying quality that fuels each and every one of these reasons for betrayal. Greed. Greed for more time to play, greed for money and fame, greed for approval, etc. The greed inside a person grows and makes a human being capable of committing evil deeds - of betraying both themselves and others.
"Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough" - Janwillem van de Wetering
Your writing style certain does stand out from the rest: when I read it, I feel as if you're delivering me a speech. I don't know if it's your voice or your flow, but your posts are always easy to read and understand.
Great post as always, Josh; I'll give you a Pot of Greed
P.S. You're supposed to capitalise people's names X:
I really like your definition of betrayal and the support you provided to back it up! Nice job.
I couldn't agree with you more!
Your explanation is well brought out and the support, especially the examples, connected well with your argument.
Rose Mary Pinto’s days are coming close to an end here on earth. I fear I only have a couple more monumental moments in my life that might be shared with her. She is a wonderful women and I am so proud to call her my grandmother. The reasons why I am so grateful to have known this woman is hard to put into words. She adopted my mother after already having two sons with my Grandfather Al Pinto and though he is not here today, just as much of an angel as my grandmother. They were poor but my grandparents saved every penny they could. So instead of taking the money and using it for a down payment on a house or to go towards college tuition for her two boys, she chose my mom. Mind you that this was in the beginning years of heavy drug use and babies who were put up for adoption were likely to have disabilities due to drug use during pregnancy. My grandparents met up with an adoption agency to make sure the baby was of the same ethnic background, and found a young girl in trouble. They didn’t know what she was going to have but they stuck with her. My grandparents paid for all of my mother’s biological mother’s medical bills and prenatal vitamins to insure the baby and mothers good health. My grandmother wanted a girl but back then they had no way of telling before birth. My grandpa said “If she has a boy, we will have three, if she has a girl we will have one girl and the two boys, if she has triplets we will still take them alright Rose.” My grandparents chose to adopt a child when ever ounce of logic was pointing against it.
She saved my Mom’s life.
She saved my life.
But there’s more to the story, my grandma was not perfect and although I will always see her as my angel she was very unangelic in many ways. She is the most judgmental women that I know. Don’t get me wrong when she loves you, you are considered family but if not, you are exiled in her eyes. This I think runs in the Italian blood. She was a kleptomaniac at hotel rooms and would steal everything from sugar holders to cloth napkins. Looking back now I can smile but at the time it was truly embarrassing. She has a horrible temper and it was always directed towards the family. She is racist, a Leo, close-minded, and judgmental. But saying all of this, I still see her as a saint.
Her bill in my eyes has been paid. Her good outweighed the bad. Where is her tipping point? Am I to loyal to her which has left me blind to her mistakes?
Especially now, I feel like she has paid her dues to me and it’s time to pay it back. Yet I don’t ever think about all of the times she has hurt me or my mom with her words while I helped her get ready for bed or get her dressed to go to the market. It’s hard to hold an Alzheimer’s victim accountable for their actions but what if she was in the right state of mind. I would still accept her faults and mistakes. Weather right or wrong I will always be loyal to her.
She saved my life.
You have a wonderful grandmother, and I hope you two can enjoy the last moments of life together~
People pay the price to achieve the dreams they set for themselves. Though, Macbeth had a faded vision of his dream of becoming king when it required him to kill the king. He became irrational and willing to do whatever it takes, even if the price was too high.
Macbeth had a somewhat pseudo-reality when he committed his horrid acts because he was too focused on the outcome of his dream instead of the outcome his crimes would make. As a result, he feels guilty. He realizes later on that he is the benefactor of what he has done.
Macbeth only later realized the magnitude of his actions. He went beyond his own limits and morals to allow himself to conquer his dreams, but at what cost? He committed such serious deeds and he has gone in over his head and put everything on the line just for him to achieve his dream.
Was it worth it?
Macbeth is pushed into a very tight spot at this point. He has no way of turning back what he did and there is no way of hiding it..
Our dreams are the benchmarks of our lives, and we all wish to fulfill them one day. At times, we go to desperate measures to meet the dreams we have for ourselves and to see ourselves as the people we are meant to be.
Sure, setting dreams for ourselves is a good way to set goals, but our dreams should not deter us from the morals and decisions that we make the reach our goals. But, It’s human nature to get carried away with ourselves and make poor decisions, we just cannot let those moments take over us like they did with Macbeth and Madoff.
The dreams we dream are necessary, but can lead to more harm than good in some cases. They can skew us from the right direction to a direction opposite of what our morals tell us. There is always a threshold between the good and the bad or where it becomes too late to turn back.
It’s up to us to stop before we hit those lines.
I agree with you when you wrote that our aspirations should not lead us to sacrifice our morality. There are so many ways to commit wrongful acts to achieve our goals, and the harm caused by those acts is often not worth the end result. Great post!
Cost of pursuing dreams should always be huge, or else it would not be called as a “dream.” Everyone has a dream, if you don’t have one then you must be deprived. Especially at the young stage of our lives, we often speak of the occupations that we admire. As for me, the cost of my dream does require lots of work; however I’ve come to understand the return of investment can overweigh the cost. Before determining how far we will go in pursuit of what we want, people must have a sense of reality. I mean you can’t play basketball all day and dream about NBA when you’re only 4 feet tall. The dreams we have must be viable and be within our reach in order for us to determine how far we are willing to go.
I think guilt and remorse do matter to me as in a way they change how a person would act in the future. I accept apologies from people who say them sincerely. To apologize sincerely is harder than to commit a crime in my perspective because you need the courage to face the inner self. If one cannot face oneself how can one be possibly successful in life when facing others?
I looked down at my tiny hands that were stretched in every direction and studied every wrinkle, the color pattern and the temperature of my skin. It was late October, right around Halloween time, and my mom sent me outside to “think about what [I] did.”
“But he tripped over me! It’s not my fault Chris got hurt!”
It was starting to get cold and the wind was starting to pick up with each passing minuet. I could see the moon waiting for its moment to take center stage.
I flipped my hand around.
“Check that out!”
I saw hairs, ridges, small scratches, red and scabbed knuckles from playing Bloody Knuckles with my brothers, dirty nails on each finger and scars.
I flipped my hand around.
And I flipped it around again.
How are these two sides of the same hand so different if they belong to the same part of my body?
“So hands, which one are you really? Are you the smooth palms or are you the unappealing back side?”
I had my left hand palm up and my right hand palm down. I compared the two, carefully looking at both sides with my eyes darting from left to right, left to right. Clearly I can see the difference but I didn’t understand why.
Then I started to imagine my hands at war with each other, that somehow Team Palm was against Team Otherside. It then occurred to me, who betrayed who? Of course in any war there has to be one side that did something wrong, someone that betrayed someone else. Automatically I chose the uglier side to be the one that betrayed the prettier side.
Why was my uglier hand the evil one? Of course because it looked evil compared to the prettier side. I started to pretend the hands were on the Jerry Springer Show, a show I accidentally watched one day while I was home sick, and I could hear the crowd chant “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”
That was years ago but that concept stuck with me. No, not the judging a book by its cover concept but the fact that people have ugly sides to them. That people will betray others.
Betrayal is the ugly side of a person who seems innocent and uncorrupt; it’s a version of being two-faced. When someone wants something and the only way they believe they can achieve it is by messing up someone else that has trust in them.
There are multiple sides to a person and it is until all sides are revealed that we see that they have betrayed us. Personalities are just like hands, there are good sides and bad sides…you just have to be aware that there are in fact two sides.
WOW! I love your post. It was just the right length to get out everything that needed to be said. I loved your story with dialog at the beginning it drew me into the story and it made for a great medifor for good and bad! Awesome job
The way you told your story was really clever! I really liked how you compared personalities with hands.
I really loved the way you told your story and the awesome connection you made! At first I was wondering how the heck you'd connect bloody knuckles to betrayal but you did it magnificently! Well done friend, well done.
“Good” versus “bad”
We are all categorized into the divisions of humanity based upon the levels of society. “Good” is what society deems as acceptable while “bad” is what society says isn’t suitable to fit society’s norms.
Can a good person do bad things as long as they repent and ask for forgiveness afterwards? Does that means a person is good as long as they know what they’re doing is bad is actually bad… so does that means a bad person is a bad person if they believe the bad thing they’re doing is actually good? Then why would the good person do something bad if they know it’s bad?
As confusing as it may sound, I personally believe that there are many ways in determining whether a person is “good” or “bad” or if it is even possible to completely categorize anyone as “good” or “bad.”
Betrayal occurs when the person who is committing the betrayal desires something that the person whom they are betraying cannot offer, this occurs out of selfishness and desires. The act of betrayal doesn’t relate to innocent mistakes because betrayal is likely to be intentional. Guilt and remorse typically come after betrayal when the person committing the act of betrayal either realizes they made a mistake or regret their decisions. However, if someone I loved betrayed me, I believe that no matter how hard I try to hate him or her, I would be willing to forgive and ignore the damage that they did.
Desires can lead us in a positive or negative direction; the lust for desires can allow us to succeed or fail depending on how we handle the choices we face. To become like Macbeth who reached his goals but regretted it afterwards is basically like failing to succeed in the first place. In order to achieve your goals, you must remain true to who you were when you set your goals in the first place in order to rejoice in your success afterwards without regrets. No matter how much I want to succeed in life to pay for my “bills,” I don’t think I would be capable of turning against my morals in order to get ahead in life through cheating.
(I can’t believe I forgot to do this last blog http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HBYuQU5A2hQ#t=3721s )
Can bad people feel guilty? Does it even matter?
People can and do feel guilty. By showing that they care, it shows that they are still human on a small/ fundamental level. Lets say we get two murderers, who each committed equally heinous crimes, and you are in charge of deciding their punishments. If they both independently say that they are remorseful, will never do something like that again, would you believe them? (My answer would be no, and I suspect many of you would agree with me).
What if one said every one of the remorseful statements that he said before, and the other man just shrugged and acknowledged what he did? Wouldn't you give out an easier sentence to the man that apologized? After all, he is doing his best to make due for his (terrible) actions.
Could you forgive those who have wronged? How can you -- someone if you havent really understood their story?
Let’s get a little list going, shall we?
Bernie Madoff: Biggest ponzi scheme ever (Decent explaination of a ponzi scheme here http://www.investopedia.com/video/play/what-is-a-ponzi-scheme/#axzz2DfosRXE7 )
Started small, eventually grew into something he couldn't walk away from, tried to keep it going as long as possible, collapsed epically.
What would you have done if you were in his shoes??
Harry S. Truman: POTUS during the end of WWII
Authorized the use of nuclear weapons on japan without really knowing how they worked. Killed millions
Evil? History tends to disagree
Immoral? I would say so.
Knowing that you were using experimental weapons on an unassuming population for the off chance that you would end a war, would you go through with it?
Minnie Foster: Nondescript woman living in an abusive relationship, Character in “A Jury of Her Peers”. ( http://www.learner.org/interactives/literature/story/fulltext.html )
Evil? Although she committed murder, I would say no.
After almost 20 years of physical and mental abuse, she finally snaps, killing her husband. How would you judge a woman who killed a defenseless, sleeping man, despite what she had gone through over the years?
Alex Berger: High School senior playing a stock exchange game for AP US Government
Shoots into 1st place early, makes one bad investment, hopes for it to turn around, soon finds he has fallen to 39th place (true story)
Evil: Not in the slightest
Macbeth: Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, King of Scotland, Total Nutcase
Heard a prophecy, decided to take it into his own hands to see it fulfilled.
Evil? Well, lets see. He starts off killing people on the battlefield, then random guards, his own king, he arranges for the death of his best friend and son, then the Macduff’s innocent family. I would call that pretty evil.
However, couldn't you see yourself going to the same lengths that Macbeth did? Remember, this is not your comfortable suburban life here, but instead in old Scotland, with constant wars and treachery. He heard that he would be thrust into virtually unlimited power, but that one of your friends would be the one to establish the line of kings. Wouldn't you try and make your lot better? Just as the people in Dante’s inferno suffer for attempting to improve their lives past what was predicted, to reflip their coin, Macbeth played with fate.
What do all of these people have in common? They are real and fictional, living in the past and the present. Some committed awful crimes, others were guilty of merely a small mistake.
“In for a penny, in for a pound”, the saying goes. I’ve already lost a few billion, what difference will any more make? So many people have died in this war, what are a few more? Shoot, I just lost five thousand dollars... Ehh, whats the worst that could happen, right? Right??
Interesting post! It is really unique! I like how you integrate the GOV stock game into this post! Great job! One of the best puffindor post!
Many times I have wanted something so desperately that I would do anything to get it. I would work odd jobs, I would save up cash and I would even have to pay people back but pretty soon my hard work would have paid off. I got what I finally desired and after a couple of times of using that new object I’d figure out I didn’t really need or want it as much as I thought I needed it. I just put it aside, left to rot and collect dust, but more importantly it was a waste of hard earned cash. This has happened to me many of times and yet, to this day I have not learned from my mistakes. I still get new things that I see on television or at the mall the second I see them and, pretty soon I throw it aside as usual.
People want new and exciting things out of life. That is what makes us human. There is no satisfying us, but sometimes we want something just for the sake that we know we can never have it. There are times when it surprises us when in the future when we can achieve or accomplish that goal by getting it, then we figure out it is not what we wanted at all, and that we could in the end do without it. I guess what I am kind of getting at is that we would have never found out that we didn’t even need it in the first place if we didn’t try to achieve it. We would have still have just been whining and crying that we still don’t have that thing that is missing from our life so we would spend the rest of our life wondering “what if.”
I believe you can accomplish as much as you think you can. If you want to become a major league baseball player, I say go for it! There is no reason why you can’t. If you want to become an astronaut I also would say that you should go for it! You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. There is never too high an achievement that you can’t accomplish.
You can never go too far with a dream. Never let anyone tell you different. Too many people in life give up what they believe in because so many people tell them, that they are wrong or you could never achieve that goal. I have many regrets in life and that is mostly because of I second guess myself. I had many dreams as a kid but I never followed up with them because I always thought otherwise.
The problem is I listen too much to what other people say and not follow what I tell myself. This leads to regret and remorse.
People use I’m sorry or please forgive me a lot more often than they used too. It is hard to know when they are sincere or not. Apologies should be coming from the heart and shouldn’t just be said for the sake of saying it.
I always feel guilty when I let a friend or family member down. It’s not a good feeling to have. You feel as if you have let them down and lost their trust for a little while and the only way to gain it back is to lead them down an even better path that will get them in a good direction. However, before you can help them you will have to apologize and that can lead into different directions. Like I said before, these days, too many people say “I’m sorry” but not really meaning it. Most just say it to get it over with. It’s hard to believe people when they really mean it or just don’t really care.
So I would say yes! guilt and remorse really do matter to me.
I totally agree with you that "you can never go to far with a dream". Your attitude is so positive, "go for it!", which is always good because after a lot of reading and writing I usually feel depressed and bored. It's also very interesting how you mentioned that "it's hard to believe people when they really mean it or just don't really care", I also agree and I mean it.
You made a good point about we don't know what we want until we get it and realize that we don't want it.
It's easy to hurt someone, but it's hard to forgive.
Yet, I find it easier to forgive.
Yes, people have betrayed me and only used me for selfish reasons.
Yes, people have hurt me and left me.
And yet, even with or without an apology, I can still give the chance to forgive them.
Why? Because people aren't perfect. I certainly am not. How can I not forgive them when I for one am not deserving of it in the first place. I think of Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
People make mistakes. I cannot see how I should hold an eternal grudge against someone who cannot help but make mistakes in their lives. I too make mistakes, but I can't do anything about it, except learn from it.
I remember back in middle school when Timothy always wanted to be taller. He asked and prayed daily, and what do you know. He’s taller than I could ever hope to be.
I’ve wished. I am beginning to regret it. It wasn’t what I envisioned it to be, it wasn’t all the happiness and rainbows I thought.
However I don’t think we should wish more carefully, I feel that overreaching is far better. When one has overreached there is always a way back, it might take a [big] load of work, but there is always redemption, if not from others, from yourself, you can sleep soundly knowing that you’ve given it all you got. You tried.
What if we wished more carefully? There would be no possible way to even reach or near our goal. We didn’t even try, there would be no way to become a 10.
First off I'd like to say your blog was well written and I enjoyed reading it. I can relate to you completely though! I forgive people way to easily and wish for things I pray never actually happen.
Great post! I admire how easily you forgive people but dont let people walk all over you. I also admire how you see yourself as equal to other people and that you accept that even you make mistakes.
I feel like I can hear the sincerity in your words. Your right, we aren't perfect, and I think a lot of times we forget that and we become quick to judge others Even when they might not have a good reason for hurting us or betraying us, it doesn't mean that we aren't still supposed to do the best we can to forgive them.
It takes a lot to just forgive a person who has betrayed you and get things the way it was, I admire how optimistic you are! I can really hear your voice through out your post, good work!
My favorite thing about your post is it's simplicity. I'll be honest here, every time we do this, I look for someone who felt like their keyboard needed a break. That, by the way does not mean shorter ones are better but.. well, anyway. You make it easy to understand, and you became a likable guy sharing those certain things. *fistbump*.
Hmmm I could really hear your voice through this post! This post was brief and it got down to the point. I admire how you could forgive so easily though even without an apology.
Worry, worry, and worry some more. When will we ever stop worrying? Do we have to wait until death to finally be at peace? Is it because we are afraid of betraying ourselves that we become stuck in a state of worry? When I worry there really isn’t just one thing that worries me, I think about the effects of my decision, what may play in my future, all the “what ifs”. My mind, similar to Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s, becomes sort of delusional. Whatever is worrying me just stays in my mind and I can’t focus on what should matter at the moment.
I find it strange if people say that guilt and remorse doesn’t matter to them nor has any effect on them. For me guilt and remorse matters because they help shape who I am. I am not the type of person to regret easily but when I do feel remorse I find that it’s like the perfect time a person can choose to improve. Guilt matters also, when I think about guilt I immediately think about the movie/story “Pinocchio”. I remember that when I was little I believed that if I told a lie my nose would grow and that I would have to depend on my good conscience to help me differentiate between good and evil. And that it would be a good thing to accept and apology. Though I think it’s usually is better if a deed is forgiven, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the deed will be forgotten. This is why guilt matters because you can’t undo what you have already done, no matter how you try to return to the way it was.
Betrayal has a strange way of altering the truth, or at least what we thought was the truth. Yet in order for betrayal to even become true, trust has to have come first. How does a person claim to love someone at first sight and within a moment hate that someone with all that they have? Is it because we are difficult to satisfy? I think our levels of desire correlate with our levels of betrayal because not everyone can have everything that they want. Sort of like a cycle, when you gain something you also lose something. Like when Macbeth kills Duncan and Banquo to achieve his desire to become king, he loses his sanity along with his wife; guilt and betrayal then dominates his life.
Going against my morals and beliefs is as far as I will go to pursue what I want. I want to do things the right way or the good way because in the end I think I will be happier with the results. After reading “Macbeth” I now understand that we should be careful of what we wish for but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop dreaming big. I think that there is another way to control our destiny or fate and that’s by creating chances for ourselves, we can only do our best.
I really like your post and i agree with you all the way! I never really thought about betrayal like that either, it's an interesting perspective.
"Where is the invisible line separating a good person from a bad one?
How bad can a good man be?"
How far are you willing to go to get what you want? What and how much are you willing to sacrifice to make your dreams a reality?
Your friends, your family, your morals, your conscience, your sanity, your child…your heart?
Siddartha gave up his father and the comfortable life to reach Nirvana. Not only did Macbeth kill a family for the sake of his throne, but he also betrayed a friend. We can all safely classify this as a “bad” doing, because we see it through our eyes. We don’t see it through his eyes.
In “Harry Potter,” Voldemort’s main goal is to rid the world of muggleborns, and anything less than a pureblood. From an audience’s perspective, we see that what he is doing is horrible. Now if you look at it from Voldie’s eyes, all he is trying to do is accomplish what he’s always believed in. To him, keeping the Wizarding World “pure” is “good.” He sees Harry, Hermoine, and Ron as “the bad guys.” Harry himself uses all three of the Unforgiveables and because of that he should be in Azkaban by now. How bad can a good man be?
What I’m trying to get at is that the world isn’t black and white. We may see what we want to see, but that doesn’t mean we see it through every person’s point of view.
I think its great how you not only mentioned Macbeth but you also incorporated Siddhartha and Harry Potter into your blog. It's also very different how you said that "the world isn't black and white". I think your Harry Potter example was a good point. Good job!
Imperfections are present in everyone. We are only human, which means that we make mistakes.
Our selfishness, jealousy, and tendency to always have something better than what we already have is what leads us to betray someone.
Like many, Macbeth betrays another for his own personal gains.
Even though he was already entitled Thane of Cawdor, it wasn’t enough for him, knowing he could become king. With that in mind he killed Duncan, the king. Duncan had put so much trust in Macbeth that he failed to even account for the possibility of a betrayal.
I have been through many betrayals in my life, most of which I have forgotten and moved on. There are also those that I still remember to this day; however, I am not bitter about them. They were committed by people whom I met and trusted. The people that I meet throughout my life will always be a big part of who I am.
When I first get close to a person, I know that I am putting my trust in him or her. It is a risk, but a risk worth taking. How do you make friends without trusting them? By trusting others, you have to acknowledge the possibility of betrayal.
I have no problem having the risk of betrayal. I believe that it is better to have people you can trust but risk getting hurt than to trust no one at all to avoid getting hurt. If they were to betray me, I’d definitely feel neglected; however, my mentality is to get over it and move on. I guess it’s easier said than done, but I’m a pretty forgiving person.
Although I can forgive the “traitors”, I know not to be as trustful with the same people again. I learn from the mistakes I make and these mistakes help me move forward in life. Evidently, one can only do so much until I deem his or her actions unforgivable.
Like I said, we are only human. We betray, get betrayed, and learn.
Im ashamed to say i dont think of them. Being the person that i am i just prefer to swing through life and just live. That all we can ever do. A big part of life is to want. We want to love, we want to buy, we want to survive, we want and never stop.
Somethings we want we know we can’t get but there are those who break through the barriers and reach for them anyways.
No matter the consequence.
So i guess it all depends on where you as a person draws the line. Where you would have to stop and say “ this isnt worth it, ill suffice with what i have and be satisfied.
But there are some things that we as people don’t realize. Things we want, and how we will justify … just scooting that line alittle farther.
I want many things. Starting with family. I never really was close with a lot of my family which i am ashamed of but planning on rectifying. I want my future family, wife, kids to be provided for. Security. I want them to have what they want. To know that you don’t get anything in life unless you work hard for it. I want materialistic things for myself. and i honestly there are many ways to gets these things but … where do i draw the line.
Would i betray a friend? Depends on the reason.
Would i betray my values and morals? No, not for anything.
Would i take a life? Depends on the reason.
Would i sacrifice my life for someone i love? Yes.
Reasons, reasons, reasons.
We can never really decide on the limits until we are actually in the situation.
Ive never had to be in a situation where i had to choose to take a life nor sacrifice myself. We can never really know.
When writing these blogs i always say there’s no absolute answer, and well its true because there are infinetly more ways to look at a situation.
But we do have a sense of what is right or wrong.
When to say enough is enough.
Just understand this, its not about the lines we cross, its about why we cross them.
I agree that it's a lot easier to set boundaries for yourself than to keep them. I struggle with that all the time! Being placed in an actual situation does make our limits more difficult to maintain. Good job.
Being human makes us think about our bounderies and that's what makes us extraordinary. If we didn't have any limits our world would be twisted and we wouldn't have anything to stand for. By the way, your last line is amazing!
I liked your post. I think its true once you know the reason behind why someone betrayed you, it instatnly becoming easier to make the decision of whether or not you will forgive them. But though a "good reason" may make it easier to forgive someone, aren't we all called to forgive reguardless? In the end, does the reason really matter?
You presented an idea in the beginning of your post that I really liked. You said something about always having the line in the sand of where our needs stop and wants begin, but we sometimes keep pushing that line, unwilling to suffice for what we've got - always wanting and needing more, and becoming more willing to do whatever it takes to get the more pivotal, non-essential things.
I think that's a copious concept in our society that usually holds true. But at the end of the day, I think it's all about having everything we absolutely need, and striving for all those things we want.
I really like your last line and I also regret that I'm not that close with my family.. or as close as i want to be. I enjoyed reading this.
Ambition is one of my most notable qualities. I try my best to reach my goals, but I would not act immorally in the pursuit of those goals.
Over the past couple of months, college applications have taken up a large chunk of my time. I have worked diligently on them to increase my chances of being accepted by prestigious schools. Since applying to college is mostly an individual effort, there are not many ways to hurt my peers’ chances of getting into college. However, I realized one way about two months ago.
Probably the most time-consuming part of applying to colleges is writing personal statements. In the months of September and October, I exchanged and edited personal statements with my peers in English class. I told my mom that I was peer-editing college essays in school. She was surprised, claiming that it doesn't make sense for students to be helping each other with their personal statements, when they are actually competing with each other to get into college. I hadn't realized this contradiction before.
I understand the benefits of peer-editing essays. People can read an essay from different perspectives, allowing them to give suggestions for improvement that the writer of the essay never thought of before. However, after hearing my mom point out the contradiction in peer-editing college essays, it occurred to me that I could use the peer-editing sessions to decrease my classmates’ chances of being accepted into college. As a result, I would have a better chance of being accepted.
I could’ve chosen not to give my peers any advice at all. I could’ve told them that their essays were already “perfect,” when in reality the essays needed drastic revisions. Or even worse, I could’ve given false advice by telling them to delete parts of their essays that were actually excellent.
In the end, I did not tell my classmates that their essays were “flawless,” or that they needed to delete the outstanding parts of their essays. I tried to help them improve their personal statements by giving honest advice. The act of helping my peers get into college contradicts my own ambition of attending college. The essays I edited may have been submitted to the colleges I am applying to. I may have lowered my chances of being accepted into those schools. Regardless, I still helped my peers. My conscience stopped me from ruining their personal statements. I simply felt that it would be wrong to do so.
We decide for ourselves what is right or wrong, based on our life experiences. I naturally feel that it is right to help others, even if I have the chance of putting myself at a slight disadvantage. I am, at times, selfless. My guilty conscience would have bothered me if I did not edit the personal statements that needed editing, or if I advised my classmates to delete the good parts of their essays. Also, it seemed as if my peers gave me honest advice on my own personal statements. It would be wrong to harm their chances of admission as a result of my own selfish thinking.
I will not let selfishness defy my beliefs. Although I’m ambitious, I will not pretend to be someone I’m not to obtain what I want.
“Long live the king.”– The Lion King
The seemingly caring uncle and trustworthy right-hand lion, Scar, very much resembles Macbeth as he plots schemes to inherit the throne. Scar desires to get rid of Mufasa, the king, so he can take over Pride Lands, but he also has no chance of getting the crown if Simba, Mufasa’s son, remains. Sounds familiar? By so, Scar pushes Mufasa off the cliff and manipulates Simba to thinking it was his fault for his father’s death. “Run away, Simba. Run. Run away, and never return.” Like Duncan’s sons, Simba seems out of reach from inheriting the crown for running away to safety.
“If you build the guts to do something, anything, then you better save enough to face the consequences.” ― Criss Jami
We often don’t realize the consequences of our actions until it is done.
People wish for more than they can handle. People would do anything, even the means of betrayal, to carve that golden path that was not meant to be. Their actions become chain effects of problems, problems that try to cover up the previous problems. A child’s lie follows through with more lies; it becomes harder to remain truthful.
Though Scar has betrayed and murdered Mufasa, Simba spares Scar and tells him to “Run away... And never return”. Yet Scar seems to dig a bigger hole for himself by trying to place the blame on the hyenas for the mess of Pride Lands and tries to re-attack Simba. The consequence? The hyenas learn of his betrayal and kill him.
What consequences do selfish actions lead to?
Having been betrayed by someone I have called “best friend” before, it hit me hard to believe such would happen. I could imagine the guilt of the person whom I trusted felt because I was once a betrayer. Though apologies may be accepted, it is only natural that we would avoid having the trust we once had with each other. Things will never be the same. We are no longer those “best friends” we once knew each other as.
Words can be said but our mind does not forget.
I enjoyed the connection you made with Lion King. It was an interesting post.
If we keep denying our conscience, soon we will become callous.
We lie to our mom for the first time… we feel guilty, uncomfortable. We lie to her a second time…we still feel bad. Then a third time, a fourth – before you know it you’ll be able to lie to her with a straight face and a clear conscience.
Everyone was born the same, but it is how we are nurtured that changes our perspective on life. If we weren’t taught good morals when we are young, we will think it’s okay to commit crimes and to do whatever it takes to get what we want, even at the expense of others. But, if we are taught good morals at a young age, it will sink in, and we will know between right and wrong. We learn to listen to our conscience and to not give in to temptations.
Throughout life we will face many temptations, some greater than others but we need to remember to listen to what our conscience tells us – and to listen to it the first time. Deep inside us, we are able to tell right from wrong, but the more we deny our conscience the less guilt we will feel, and the more ruthless we will become.
Though it is great to have high goals and ambitions, our main goal in life is to help others and to be able to live with our neighbors in harmony. What is the point of living for yourself. What good is it to make all these great achievements in life, to become a billionaire, yet not have anyone to share your happiness with?
We shouldn’t be so concerned about reaching our goal that we forget what life is all about. Macbeth wants to become king and we wants a better life for Lady Macbeth, but that is all he thinks about. Does he ever stop to think that she already has a good life compared to other women in those days? Or how he is will always have a guilty conscience from killing Duncan? Or that he even killed one of his close friends, Banquo? Sure he becomes king, but in the end they aren’t happy, and the people around them aren’t happy either.
Trusting someone is letting them have a piece of you. Betrayal is when they break that shard you gave them into tiny little pieces making it the most worthless object in the entire world.
To be quite frank, it sucks.
When I was betrayed by my longest friend since kindergarten, every night would be a challenge to sleep. I was filled with anger, rage, and above all, I was and still am deeply hurt. I feel extremely disrespected by the decision she made after everything we have shared. It has now been 4 months since we've spoken to one another. Over time the pain has proved more manageable, but it still exists. Everything that happened did, and the damage has been done.
But who suffered more, me or her?
That's what I wanted to turn the focus on. I want to know, what in the world possessed her to act this way? I could list all my probable assumptions; like her becoming obsessive over her new boyfriend. Or, there is of course her boyfriend's previous relationship with whom he deeply loved, and she cheated on him. It really scarred him, and now he faces a harsh insecurity with trust. Unfortunately, I got caught in the fire when he asked my friend to discontinue all her male relationships. This unrealistic request included me, her longest friend, and she complied.
It's because everything she worked up herself to be as a human being, was lost during this past year. I watched my friend, the one who was always fun and comedic, loose her spark from getting caught up in immature ways of having too much fun.
This isn’t the real friend I have known for twelve years.
No, she would never do that, but now she is just somebody that I used to know. She chose to stand by her man, it was no innocent mistake as she was very conscious and aware of what was at stake and the consequences. It sounds exactly like Macbeth, he had a life of happiness in sight and did everything possible to achieve it.
Did he experience guilt afterwards?
Is my friend guilty now? (according to my sources) She does feel guilty and alone, but what justification drags them through all else and makes it livable? Ultimately, they obtained what they set out to achieve, and the satisfaction of doing so allows guilt to be endurable and they feel some form of happiness, for now... but...
“be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”
What makes this all worthwhile...
I ask myself this every single day I step onto the basketball court. It’s pretty sad how I continue to force myself to believe that it is all worth it...
The early morning get ups for zero period.
The two and half hours of night practice, six days a week.
The fifty off season games we play every year.
The long, exhausting hours in that germ boiling south gym for the last four summers.
It’s worth it... I tell myself over and over again but then, I’m not so sure anymore. I never was.
Varsity basketball. This was one of my top goals since the first time I picked up a basketball. The summer before my freshman year, I honestly didn’t care for much except to able to play varsity basketball. I saw the cardinal and gold jerseys. I saw the old team pictures. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted my name to be up in north gym. I loved the sport so much... but that was before my freshman year started and before I realized that it’s nothing like I had expected.
To finish a practice without getting a “Syd, what the [heck] are you thinking” from a coach would practically be a miracle. Nothing was ever good enough. The positive comments we would occasionally receive would just sink in all the negative remarks we got. I didn’t know that I could be yelled at and put down so many times but this was in fact, every single practice since I started high school basketball.
I’m exactly sure when I lost the my love for basketball... I just know now that I hate it. I had so many chances to quit during the last four years but I didn’t. I just couldn’t get myself to. This is what I wanted all along, wasn’t it? I got exactly what I wished for. When senior year started a few months ago... I had another chance to just give it up and relax and hang out with my friends for my last year. Our team is stacked... they wouldn’t be missing me. I would have been able to sleep in like normal people for once but I chose not to.
Like Macbeth, I have “stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,/ Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” I have dedicated a huge part of my life to basketball. I have already given up many things... friends, family trips (They leave me at home!!!), activities, and not to mention spring break, winter break, thanksgiving break, and practically every single holiday that it would just be stupid to just stop now, especially when the end is very near. I started this and I went through so much already... I might as well just finish it.
It’s worth it. It better be worth it. I’m going to finish and I’m going to make the best of what it is. I learned to not only to deal but to work with people like my coaches and my teammates. I learned to pick myself up off the ground. I am going to finish stronger than what I was before and so, it might just be worthwhile after all... not exactly how I’d imagine it would be when I was thirteen but I do gain so much more than I thought would have.
From reading your post, I can tell that you are determined to hold on tight to your goals, even when you face hardships. Being on the basketball team may be difficult, but your willingness to make sacrifices will lead you to success. Good luck with the rest of your basketball season!
So, here I am sitting in from of the computer trying to think up of something interesting to write for this blog. My mind keeps coming up blank so the only thing I could do was to read the notes above over and over again until I can basically recite them by heart. But my repeatedly reading those lecture notes I realized that by the current society’s standards, I have quite a few screws lose. It baffles and slightly horrifies me, but thinking about it now, I realized I’m not crazy; my reality is just different from others.
Go back earlier, to one of Mr. Feraco’s lecture; when he asked us how far we would go to achieve our goal. The example was would we kill a man for a goal, to which almost everyone said yes. However, when Mr. Feraco changed slightly altered the question to, would we feed a little girl to a wood chipper and kill her, no one would do it, or even imagine they would. I found this disgusting, but as I was the only one that would, I did not want to look like a heartless monster so I did not express my opinion.
However, there is a massive error in the general thinking. Killing a man with a single gunshot, is just as cruel as crushing every bone in his body and tearing apart all of his flesh. There is no difference, it achieves the same result, murder. If one can justify that he can take a man’s life, then it should not matter how it is taken. If we think that it would be okay if we kill him fast and painlessly, then we are thinking wrong. If the only way we can justify the taking of a life is to end it painlessly, then we do not have the resolve to take that life, nor do we have the right to take that life. The guilt that haunts us is the weak resolve and the non-existence justifications that we give to ourselves. Our weak resolve cannot back our actions and those last agonizing moments when the man begs for his life will be forever embedded in our minds. Because we are weak, and we do not have the real strength to carry it out.
In addition, what is the difference between a little girl and a grown man? People like to think that the little girl is a symbol of purity and innocence, and that if we were to end that short life, it is simply just too cruel. But really, why is it okay to kill the man? Is he a symbol of corruption and dirt? Is his face value so worthless that people don’t even consider his story, and his life? No. There are no difference between a little girl and a grown man. If one has the resolve to kill a grown man, a little girl should be much much easier to terminate, but for other various reasons that I would rather not talk about here.
But, honestly, the general public is pathetic and weak willed. It is precisely from these thoughts, that it is okay to end a man’s life instead of a little girl’s life, that they ignore the true values and worth of a soul. If you cannot instantly justify both of the above situations, then you should not even consider betraying or hurting someone; as a warning, it would bring you great pain and unimaginable grieving, of pained faces staring at you constantly, with a simple expression on their face, as to ask you: “why, why did you do such things, what had I done to deserve you, why.”
I couldn't agree more, and I can actually back my statement of agreement up too!
(From the last blog)
In my AP Gov class, we did a segment regarding ethics. One of the most striking ones we discussed had to do with a simple premise. “You are the mayor of a large, utopian city (think NY but without everything bad). Everyone is happy, has enough to eat/ live comfortably, it is a perfect utopian society. However, not all is what it seems on the surface, and this city has a secret. In order for everything to thrive, a person voluntarily needs to suffer. This person is locked into a small, dark room, far underground. There is no room to stretch, barely enough food to keep them alive, but the city relies on their misery. Do you let them free (spelling out imminent doom for the millions in your city), or consciously them it suffer (keeping things as is).”
Now, with that choice in mind, lets add some specifications.
Does it matter if this person does not volunteer, but is forced into the position?
Would it matter if it was a child?
Would it matter if they never knew anything outside of the room, never seeing the sun, never feeling love or compassion?
Where do you draw the line?
FYI: The "wood chipper" bit is a reference to a fifteen-year-old Coen Brothers movie called "Fargo." I watched it as a sixth-grader, and when that bit came up (involving the disposal of a dead body, not a live one, but still) I had no warning. I had nightmares for days, and still mentally reference that as the most disturbing thing I saw in my younger years.
The reference, in other words, is meant to sicken and horrify...because, well, it's sickening and horrifying. The point, though, is that it's sickening and horrifying to kill, say, the way Garak kills; we're more forgiving of it, but I'm not sure we really realize what we're condoning, or why.
I agree with what you said about murder being murder anyway you do it. But the way someone would commit the act shows something different.
Instead of tossing in a small child into a wood chipper, instead you bang her head on the machine and she dies simply like that. Those are two very different acts that will reflect on personality. Both are clearly bad because unless this small child had a gun pointed at you, there is no reason to harm her/him.
But the way you have killed shows that you aren't willing to gruesomely defile a body that way. Okay, another example is, a women is being beaten by her husband. She can't run or hide. So she gets rid of him. The women still loves her husband but she must make his heart rate go to zero or he will it do to her first. So instead of stabbing him to death, she just poisons him. No gore. Possibly she didn't even have to watch him die but she really did not want to do it or else her actions would show it.
“It was a mistake," you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.”
― David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary
Good friendships can be formed in just an instant with a small click of similar interests. Trust however, takes much longer; sometimes building it up takes years upon years.
Breaking it down happens far faster though. In a single moment, no matter if you build a skyscraper that peaks in the clouds or just a little cottage, that trust can come crumbling, crashing down.
And just what causes this to happen? The fault lies in betrayal, the act of taking all the trust that was built up in a friendship and crushing it with one’s own actions.
“How could this be done?
By such a smiling sweetheart,
Oh, and your sweet and pretty face,
In such an ugly way,
Something so beautiful.”
― The Kooks, “Naïve”
It can be so sudden sometimes. Rarely can people see the betrayal coming; more often it comes barreling into life instead. Driven by desire, some will do anything to get what they want, going as far as risking once treasured relationships.
They act like meteors, destroying anything in their paths until they reach their destination and all the while
They act like shooting stars, destroying anything in their paths until they reach their destinations, but minus all the glory of them. Betrayal, quite unlike the shining, ethereal star, is dark, gritty, and destructive.
It is an option limited to no one, as anybody may choose to betray another at any time really. Whether one allows desire to consume oneself decides it all in the end though.
Um, ignore the "They act like meteors, destroying anything in their paths until they reach their destination and all the while." Gracias.
I agree that trust is difficult to build, yet extremely easy to destroy. Sad, but true. Your use of metaphors is quite nice.
I think there are many kinds of betrayals. Some are unforgivable betrayals and others are small betrayals that we can forgive and forget. We are all humans and we all have probably betrayed someone in our lives. It might not have been a big betrayal like cheating on your spouses, but we all have made some sorts of betrayals. No one is perfect as we are humans and prone to making mistakes. There is no one who never betrayed a person. I believe that lying is an act of betrayal, and everyone has lied in his or her lives at some point.
After a betrayal, we might experience some sort of guilt, and that’s how we know that betrayal is evil. We hurt others when we betray them and that’s why we experience the feeling of guilt. People have their own desires and they would do all sorts of evil to achieve their goals, but at the end when they reach their goals they are not satisfied instead they regret and feel guilty. To pursue the dreams and feel satisfied, we need to work hard to achieve the goals without taking short cuts and cheating to get to the goal. I would try my best to pursue my dreams but I would try to avoid betraying others to get to my dream. I would probably betray if I have to, but only if I know that it is going to be worth it because I will probably regret if is not.
I would say I am somewhat loyal. I have friends that does damage to others and me, but I choose to ignore it. The damages are done jokingly, but still damages are damages. I think I am able to ignore the damages because they are not big damages, but if the damages were more serious then I would react differently. If I don’t react, then the unwarranted behaviors would continue without ceasing. For the better good, I have to react.
I agree that everyone has betrayed someone in their lives; it is only natural to do so. Betraying isn't a "good" thing to do, but in order to get what we desire we sometimes have to betray others
Perfection is defined as the state or quality of being perfect and it is the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence. All of that is true I agree but one thing’s for sure; it does not exist in humans. I’ve learned for seventeen years to look above the imperfections of life and allow mistakes to take place once in a while. I’ve learned that some mistakes may be unintentional and some may be severe, but they do exist; they never go away. Now mistakes like us, come in many different ways and sizes. They can range from cheating, physical abuse, verbal abuse, car accidents, to even betrayal; this list never ends. I say that mistakes are like us, because they are a part of us; it’s natural.
Even though I do accept that mistakes are a part of human nature, I cannot always find myself to tolerate every type of mistake. Just like an apology, I can always accept it, but I cannot always be okay after it. From the examples that I have previously listed about mistakes, I can honestly say that I am most likely to tolerate almost all of them, but as for which ones specifically, I am not too sure. Everything to me is based on the degree of every fault.
I can honestly say that I cannot forgive betrayal but I do believe that people gradually change overtime. So even if I cannot forgive them at the moment, if a couple years from their mistake they are able to change for the better and not repeat the same mistake, I can forgive them. There’s one thing about me that is different from most people. If someone were to make a mistake by betraying me or yelling at me, I could care less if they say the words “I’m sorry” in the end. I mean, it’s a nice gesture and I’m sure they mean somewhat of it, but those two words have lost their meaning overtime which therefore, I wouldn’t know if they mean it unless they show it. I use to know a very special person who would spend almost every day with me for the past two years and overtime problems would rise and mistakes will take place but I always always always said one thing, “I don’t want to hear ‘I’m sorry,’ I just want to know you will try to never do it again and promise me that.”
If overtime a person can change from their mistakes, I have no problem forgiving them even if I will never forget what they did. I’m very reasonable when it comes to mistakes. If I know that what they did is harmless, then of course a simple apology will do the trick as long as they don’t purposely do it again. I will throw out countless chances to the ones who I know will not hurt me purposely and can change for the better. I’ve mentioned this is my first couple of blogs before that life is too short to be shutting people out and missing opportunities on what might be the biggest and bestest part of your life.
“Each of us suffers at least one hard-hitting betrayal in life. It’s what makes us strong, it makes us human.”
People are capable of making mistakes, betraying loved ones, and back stabbing close acquaintances. The only thing that brings people to the reality of what they did wrong by betraying someone is guilt. While betraying a friend or a loved one, a person may feel bad about it, but they won't care nearly as much, or feel nearly as bad until they see the person they care about hurt. If a husband was cheating on his wife, sure, he may feel bad about doing the wrong thing before she finds out, but the pain he feels isn't nearly as great as the pain he will feel when he sees his wife, the woman he is supposed to love, in endless amounts of pain. Guilt and remorse for betraying someone is the only real way the mistake is learned from, because without suffering, one will always be tempted to go back and repeat the same mistakes.
The thing that drives us to betray one another comes down to one main concept, selfishness. We do things, knowing openly that what we are doing will hurt someone else for our own selfish desires. We as people, put our own desires ahead of what the consequences may be to the people we betray, and the pain that they might feel because of our actions. The amount of selfishness in a person can really determine how much they are willing to betray someone. If a person remains non selfish, they will almost always put others needs above, or on par, with their own. They would never betray anyone, knowing that they would not only hurt themselves, but the person they care about too. A selfish person on the other hand will always put their wants and needs above others, leading them to not care much about what others think after betraying them. The main point here being that selfishness leads to betrayal, because when one is willing to betray someone they care about, they are willing to betray themselves.
I agree that people don't really realize the severity of a situation until it blows up on you. You tread carefully and know that it'll be bad. But you do it anyway. When it finally does blow up everything comes crashing down on you
I'd also like to add that most selfless people have a point at which they crack or get tired of being selfless. Someone keeps making them suffer and they just hold it in until it bursts.
I agree with Arthur's opinion! I also like how you connected selfishness leads and betrayal. I never really thought about it in that way... how both go hand in hand.
Guilt and remorse.
They are powerful emotions, ones that can influence your actions and decisions.
When I feel either, I act upon them. They’re my indicators that I did something unacceptable to others or me. I tell people nothing bothers me, because it’s the easy way of preventing anything being used against me. It’s a safeguard from pain.
But when I make someone feel bad, I truly feel horrible. Guilt and remorse literally sinks my heart until I do something about it. The pain that I hurt someone stays with me, even after the situation is solved. Each guilty feeling I get creates a scar: recovered, but still present.
Apologies, yet, are difficult for me to accept. Someone once told me,
“ If you’re really sorry, why did you do it in the first place? ”,
and to this day, I think about it. Sure, you could say it was an accident or some kind of excuse. But it’s different. Harmful intentions are difficult to forgive. Simply saying sorry doesn't fix anything. It doesn't remedy the situation, nor does it snap the situation away.
Yet...I will forgive. I say I won’t, or I can’t. But I move on and I forget.
I used to hold grudges, but now...
“ It’s alright. Let’s just move on with it. ”
Feeling guilty applies to everyone. It applies to the good and evil alike. The evil just happen to be better at coping with it. They can deal with the stress and the conscience crying for them to stop. The good aren’t able to deal with it. They give in to the voice, rather than to the evil deed. They hold back their urge to commit crime. Everyone feels guilty; the difference is just that everyone copes with it differently.
To betray someone is an absolutely unforgivable act. Even if it was a tiny act, you can never quite trust the completely again. There will always be the little voice in the back of your mind reminding you that he or she once betrayed you. But why do they betray you? They do it for personal gain. It can come in the form of attention or acceptance. It can also be something material, like money. Or they could have been bullied into it, and done so in order to save themselves from being harmed. Either way, there is personal gain in some shape or form. They may or may not believe it is worth it. But, at the moment of betrayal, they did think it was worth it. Later on, when the consequences are obvious, they regret. Too little too late.
I feel that guilt has stayed with us because it had some sort of importance. That way it stayed through natural selection. Usually people feel guilty because someone is angry at them, or could soon be angry at them. They miss that relationship because it provided some gains for them. Evolutionarily, you want all the gain you can get. Thus, you feel guilty so you don’t break off any more relationships.
Last year, I met a boy. He was kind, caring, sensitive, and was facing the reality that his longest relationship had just ended. We had started talking and eventually I unfortunately fell for him.
We were friends, close friends, but still just friends.
He started telling me everything about their relationship, how much time they spent together, what they did together, how much she meant to him, how much he missed her, and how much he wanted her back. He needed someone to be there for him, and so, I decided to be that person.
I hid my own feelings and emotions to comfort his. I would rather myself be hurt than see him in so much pain.
“I like talking to you… you help me to forget. I don’t think about her when I talk to you.”
“… I’ve never told anyone that before.”
“I miss her so much.”
We became closer. We would text each other when we weren’t on the computer using AIM or Facebook chat. Our conversations would start from his wake up call at 6am till we fell asleep. If it was late, but he wasn’t on the computer, he would call me at 1am to check if I was asleep.
One night, he called me at 3am. He couldn’t sleep and he couldn’t stop thinking about her. I stayed on the phone with him for twenty minutes. His responses grew slower and slower and his voice diminished until he was silent on the other line. I waited another fifteen minutes calling his name every so often to make sure he was asleep before hanging up.
I was there for him and he was there for me……
“Hey…. Uuummm…. We.. can’t be friends anymore.”
“She, she says that she’ll take me back if I stop being friends with you.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah…. She wants me back.”
So many thoughts ran through my mind after that call. So many words I wanted to say to him, if only they had come earlier. I wanted to yell and him. I wanted to scream at him. I couldn’t believe that he had just thrown everything away. I was angry, but above all I was hurt. I didn’t want to believe that he actually did what he did. I had invested so much of myself in him, so much of my time in him and it was all gone within 2 minutes.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I feel like an idiot. I should’ve never said that to you. You’re so important to me, you really are. I was just so happy that she would take me back that I didn’t think. I’m so sorry…. You don’t have to forgive me if you don’t want to.”
“It’s ok. I understand why you did it, I just didn’t think you would.”
“I’m sorry. I won’t ever leave you like that again. We’re friends till the end. I promise.”
“Haha I’m going to hold you to that.”
“So… we’re good?”
“Yeah… we’re good.”
It’s been almost 2 years and we’re still good, but just close friends.
Are you so loyal to some that you’re willing to ignore the damage they do?
Yes. I don’t care if I break. I just don’t want to see them hurt even if that means I have to go through some wear and tear. I don’t mind.
Do guilt and remorse really matter to you? Can you accept an apology?
Yes. Guilt and remorse can eat someone alive and I see that as punishment enough because it really is one of the worst feelings in the world. I can accept an apology, but they can’t be empty words with no actions. Your words have to actually mean something and you need to follow through on them or else… what’s the point?
Very well written, nicely done! I enjoyed reading this!
Forgiveness. My oh my, where do I even start with this one…
I think forgiving is one of the things that I have the hardest time doing, whether it be forgiving myself and having to apologize or forgiving someone else and having to accept their apology.
I’ve never really been one to say “I’m sorry” first, or say it at all really— at least not instantly.
One thing that never fails with me though, is the feeling of guilt and remorse. Those two always show up the second I realize that I’ve done wrong.
But do I get up and apologize right away? …Nope.
Maybe it’s the incredibly stubborn being within me? … Or maybe it’s those exact feelings of guilt and remorse that over take me? The ones that make me feel like I can’t even forgive myself.
Who am I to ask someone of their forgiveness when I haven’t even come to terms with what I’ve done?
I mean, one thing I absolutely do not like the feeling of is being wrong. Having to admit that out loud is even harder. I honestly think my wrongdoings end up hurting myself more than they hurt the other person.
… If that’s even possible? It sure does feel like it to me though!
I always find myself thinking long and hard about the situation, probably making it a whole lot more complicated than it is as I do so. Really though, I just want to make sure that I’m viewing the whole thing with my head on right. I don’t want my apology to end up being meaningless and just, well, “another apology.”
Point is, though I may take my time with saying sorry, when I finally do bring myself to apologize to someone you can know that it’s a genuine apology.
Many apologies have lost their meaning today. I’ve gotten so many empty apologies that are all talk with no actions to back them up. Does this mean that I don’t forgive them? No, I still forgive. However, these circumstances do make it harder for me to forgive.
But let’s be honest here.
Not forgiving is just as hard, if not harder, than actually forgiving. Holding grudges and resentment just eats away at us from the inside out.
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Malachy McCourt
Now, forgiving may not always mean keeping the person in your life. Chances are things will change in that relationship. It won’t be the same relationship anymore. At the very least though, you’d be able to say that you “ended” that relationship on a good note and can have peace in your heart.
You see, betrayal, on a fundamental level, is pretty much unavoidable because as individual beings we all have varying dreams and goals. The paths that two people walk don’t always line up. It’s up to you as to how you’re going to deal with these betrayals though—whether you are going to choose to forgive or not. After all, every situation is what you make it.
“Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try”
"Try" by Pink
+ Are you so loyal to some that you’re willing to ignore the damage they do?
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” –Oprah Winfrey.
I’ve acquired many friends over my years of living, but ironically haven’t found any that I can consider a “best” friend. The town I live in circulates around fakes, phonies, and liars. It’s virtually impossible to trust anyone. Now I don’t intend to come across in such a negative way, but it’s just how most friends treat each other… even me sometimes.
In high school, there are only two things people aim for; to strive for intelligence and the drive to become popular. In my case, due to the crowd I associate myself with, everyone strives to be popular… But why? Why do we care so much about what people think about us? Why do most of us put up a different act around others in order to make ourselves sound more “cooler?” It frustrates me how nobody acts themselves to create a completely new person rather than searching for friends who would actually accept you for who you are… you know that old saying? It’s correct in every certain way possible. I know for a fact that 3/4 of the group I hang with, would be completely separate if they pursued their own personality. One day, I would love to see how it would play out if everyone were to be their natural selves. It would create such a refreshing atmosphere for ourselves because we can say and do what we want without the fear of being judged.
I am acquainted strictly 5 friends that admittedly, I can have an awkward relationship with at times. Let’s just say we don’t have “grade-A” social and communication skills with each other which makes us less intimate with each other in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, we have a great share of laughable and cherished moments, but I question myself, “will I be associated with these guys in the future?” Honestly, I can see myself keeping in touch with 2 of them. (Not stating names). These guys, I can definitely be myself around them, tell them anything, and would do a lot for them just as they would do a lot for me. The two friends I can count for anything tell me when I’m wrong, help me with any life struggles I’m going through, and who I can enjoy myself the most around. Our loyalty goes as far as hurting girls. That’s primarily the only damage we won’t initiate. We share a great amount of respect for women and know to never hurt them, and come clean whenever we do. The thing with my friends is that if we know we messed up, we’ll first converse with each other about the situation and come to a decision on how to go about the situation itself. It’s a very sustainable process that in the long run, creates a bond.
Sure my friends are unique, but that’s what makes it interesting. We never know what to expect, we are always clueless, but we all love each other and would protect each other as brothers would.
Betrayal is being disloyal to someone or something that has your trust. Humans naturally betray each other, intentionally and unintentionally. Sometimes we lose sight of what we really believe in and betray it. Humans are capable of betraying others because we choose to do things that are the best for us, as an individual. When we want something, we would do anything to acquire it.
When we feel bad for something that we have done, it is called guilt and remorse. Although we are able to betray each other, we still have a conscience.. to some degree. It may be different for each individual, but we still have a conscience. A healthy human being is able to distinguish the difference between right and wrong.
The things we believe in are what determines how far we are willing to go to pursue what we want. For example, I want ice cream, but eating ice cream will make me gain weight. But I don’t care about my weight so I am willing to eat ice cream even if I will gain weight.
We don’t technically have a “responsibility” to try to live our lives well. But life is life, and we only have one. Why would you live it any other way? Some people in the world don’t even have the choice to live the life that they want, but for those who have a choice... why would you waste it?
Nice post, Bonnie.
It's interesting that you find disloyalty to be a natural human quality; its interesting reading that our instinct tells us to be selfish.
Hahaha, I told you I'd read your guys' posts:D I can't find Steven's though:\
I like the message in your post; people should live their lives however they wish and not be slaves to what ever is enslaving them. It's good to be positive:D
Also, I like that example with ice cream. I love ice cream
“Life is a tough teacher; it gives the test first then the lesson afterwards”.
What I believe makes people truly bad or evil is when they know what they’ve done is wrong but do it again anyway. Someone can still be considered good if they committed an evil act but regretted it afterwards because they know what they’ve done is wrong. Everyone makes mistakes; it’s part of the learning experience in life and gives us wisdom. Knowing what you did was wrong but doing it again, on the other hand, is a completely different story. That’s the point where one can be truly deemed as bad since making a mistake the second time isn’t a mistake anymore but an act of selfishness.
I believe betrayal is the act of someone being disloyal to someone in the pursuit of something they believe is greater or takes higher priority. Humans do this because they believe that it is okay to ruin an aspect of their lives as long as doing so will result in an outcome that benefits them more. I think it’s vital to stay loyal to others no matter how tempting it is to destroy it for self-gain. By being unfaithful to others, you’re being unfaithful to yourself by potentially creating a new enemy and destroying the positive bonds and memories you’ve had with them.
We feel guilt even if we’re able to betray each other because our personalities, morals, and minds are not constant things. We change. Our motives change. What we wanted then could be not what we want now. But in most cases, we need to make the mistake first in order to realize what we made it for wasn’t what we really wanted.
I have my goals and ambitions just like everybody else. It’s impossible to get to that special place you want to be in life without making a few sacrifices. But for me, I believe there reaches a point in which we begin sacrificing too much in order to reach our goals and it destroys all other aspects in your life. We have to determine whether we would be okay with making our dreams come true but looking back seeing all the damage we’ve created trying to get here.
Whether I can accept an apology or not depends on how severe their act of disloyalty was but in most cases even though I believe I can accept an apology that was sincere enough, I won’t necessarily forgive them for what they’ve done. I usually don’t forget what they’ve done and the level of trust I have for them decreases since I now know what they’re capable of.
Everything we do eventually comes back to us and it’s up to us whether we’re willing to face the consequences of our actions.
Read your post, thought "Hey I should like this."
except.. there's no 'like' button, because it's a class post.. I just have to admit this. It must be said. I didn't know where it was but I just then thought "Oh I have to reply." So, I'm commenting on your here post. It was quite interesting. I love that first line. Yeah, that's such a philosophical thing to say. Also, it's in the beginning so the first thing we read is a philosophical punch to the face. Good job. Have a *fistbump*.
Nice post! I agree with you on how people betray others because they believe other things are more important to them. I mean, aren't we all greedy in that sense?
Every person has a limit that they reach can go until they cannot do anything more in order to reach their dream. One should never go as far as betraying someone they care about in order to reach their dreams. The tradeoff of hurting someone you care about is too great of pain to live with for getting what you always dreamed of. A dream accomplished is pointless if you have nobody left to share it with. Friends and family are to important to just betray for one’s own benefit. They are the ones that help us reach our dreams so why should we rid ourselves of them after all that they do for us.
If someone makes a mistake and hurts a friend or family member on accident they should be forgiven. These people did go and do something with intentions of pain, it happens by accident. The ones that should not be given remorse or be given forgiveness are the ones that do something know the chance of hurting someone they know and going through with it anyway. A person’s level of forgiveness should only go so far. They shouldn't just forgive someone just because they know them. Forgiveness is for the people with good intentions but things just don’t turn out the right way. Compassion shouldn't be given to those who do things carelessly without taking the risk of hurting others into consideration.
I don’t believe that someone’s actions can specifically dictate whether they’re “good” or “bad.” Despite being taught at a young age that “bad” people were those who stole, or where violent, etc, little-me always called “BS”, and I still do. To say that people can be categorized so easily is, within itself, unbridled ignorance.
“Heroes and villains become harder to identify - the line between good and evil is starting to become blurred.”
In 1999, a man living in Canfield, Ohio walked into his local BlockBuster Video, and pulled a snub-nose revolver out of his jacket. He demanded that the employee working the register give him a stack of VHS tapes, and after filling his jacket with movies and different food items, the man fled the store, taking over $90 worth of products with him.
Now go ahead, tell me that he’s a bad person. Certainly, that’s what the ideals of our society would reflect. He jeopardized the lives of others around him, and committed armed robbery. He’s clearly a criminal at this point – he’s broken a few state and federal laws with actions – but let’s remember an idea that we discussed a few weeks ago:
“[…] Gestures matter if done with purpose or passion; meaning lies in motive, not result.”
The man was later arrested and tried for his crimes, as many believe he should have been. But it turned out, he had [what I believe to be] a decent excuse for doing what he did. He had committed the crimes on Christmas Eve. His house had been repossessed, and as his family was hiding in a tiny apartment. His two young children were starving, and he had nothing to give them for the last holiday they would likely be spending as a family. He gave them candy to serve as the evening’s meal, and the next day the family spent their last Christmas together watching the children’s favorite movies.
Obviously we can’t just condone rampant crime, least of all advocate for it, but at the end of the day, the strength of a person’s moral fabric shouldn’t be determined by what they do, so much as by why they do it.
Nicely written. It was great talking to you in class today, and I really enjoyed reading your blog as well!
Keep up the great work!
Betrayal stems from greed. When we hear stories of betrayal, the most frequent reason comes from one person being greedy. I believe that humans are all greedy and that one desire, no matter how dormant or prominent it is, will surface one day and we all will betray someone in the future. However, not all betrayal stems from one’s knowledge. Sometimes, we betray another person without even knowing it.
But the question is, will you forgive their action(s)?
The feelings of guilt and remorse vary from people. Some can show a lot, and some only show slight amounts. Telling if the feelings are genuine however, is a different thing altogether. Of course, many people can just put on a fake face and apologize, but what are words without meaning?
Not to mention, if you’re not a good liar, you’ll likely be found out.
Even if you can find it somewhere within you to forgive them, that isn’t all. You might forgive, but you never forget. The hardest part is not holding the grudge that comes along with it.
There’s one thing you can’t get wrong though, forgiveness does not mean reconciliation.
There are many things I wanted and regretted afterwards, but one sticks out in particular. I’m pretty sure that most people know what WoW (World of Warcraft) is. Many people know it as a soul sucking game, and I agree with them wholeheartedly.
Three years ago until the end of my junior year, I used to play it so much that I was close to being an addict. Then, in the summer, I quit. The effect of the game was devastating to say the least.
Not only have my grades suffered, but my social life, if I had any, deteriorated. No longer did I want to go out and spend time with other people. I just wanted to stay home all day and rot away in front of the computer.
Now, I find myself in the midst of Black Friday and I have come back to it. The feeling was quite different though. I no longer felt the poison seeping through me when I played the cursed game.
Don’t get me wrong though, I still find it immensely fun, but I can stop at any given time now. I actually would rather go out than play the game which is an improvement. But I don’t know what to say for the future.
I learned my lesson before, and I have regretted it immensely. Not only could I not apply to the colleges I would’ve wanted, but I lost many other things in the process. But things are different now…aren’t they? I’m free from the chains I was once bound to by this horrific game, and I actually have a will now.
But even after all this, why does regret taste so good?
The carabinero, the Mexican border guard, peered menacingly into the half-open window, a rifle swinging from his shoulder. It must have been over ninety degrees as the van stopped at the Mexican border. The air conditioning was dead, and sweat trickled down my forehead as the border patrol searched our vehicle.
I was riding with Eduardo, our Mexican escort, and six of my father’s colleagues, all of them physicians. “If the guards ask you what we’re going to Mexico for, tell them that we are going to have a picnic,” warned Eduardo.
“Why?” I asked.
“Just do it, and I will explain later,” Eduardo shot back, with a tense look on his face.
As soon as the van passed the national border, the atmosphere changed almost instantly. The unpaved road was filled with potholes that made the van lurch wildly, everything was coated with a thin layer of brown dust,the houses were falling apart, and there were many neglected dogs along the side of the road. I had never seen such poverty before, and I felt a deep sense of urgency to help, to do something, anything.
Fifteen minutes past the border, the van came to a bouncing stop in a cloud of dust. When the dust cleared, I saw a pack of children running barefoot towards the van-- rejoicing. My father, his colleagues, and I had arrived at the Trinitarians of Mary, a convent in the hills of Tecate, to help as many people as we possibly could. The physicians administered free medical care and medicine, while I cooked burgers and gave out a week’s supply of food to each family.
I watched my father treat a little girl with her right eyelid sealed completely shut, the result of a sloppy surgery and worsened by a lack of proper antibiotics. My father did what he could. He gave her vitamins and ibuprofen, yet he knew that her condition required a level of surgical expertise that was unavailable in Tecate. I felt his frustration and helplessness, feelings I shared as well. We had done all that we could, yet somehow, we knew it was not enough.
I had never accompanied my father on his previous missions to Tecate because I was always occupied with hockey. Year round, my life had been centered around ice hockey. Yet with a snap of my right clavicle, my world suddenly became broader than an ice rink. I couldn’t skate for four months, so I explored dreams and aspirations that didn’t involve a hockey puck – and allowed me to keep my front teeth.
I realized that my trip to Mexico was more than simply helping the Mexican people - it was an experience that showed me what I wanted to do in life: to help others in need. While at the convent, I couldn’t prescribe drugs, or cure the sick myself.
I wanted to be that person.
I wanted to be the healer.
I wanted to be the one who made peoples‘ lives better.
In my pursuit of happiness, I am willing to do nearly anything. Although, I will not hurt others in order to satisfy, accomplish, my personal needs. I want help others who are less privileged than I am, and by hurting people in the process, would be counterproductive.
Bad people can still feel guilty for the poor decisions they have made in life - no matter how great they are. Sane people regret bad things they have done, and to have a conscious is a normal thing humans deal with. Insane people, on the other hand, do not feel bad for what they have done. There is a big difference between a bad person, and an insane person. There have been many people in history who have made poor decisions and regret what they have done. A broad example of this is when people are persecuted in court for killing someone, or doing something bad. There are many instances where the guilty will cry and show that they do feel bad for what they have done.
They are bad people who regret their poor actions.
The remorse the souls in Dante’s Inferno do count for something. It shows that there are feelings of sadness and regret for what has been done. Feeling guilty for something you have done bad is what all humans should feel - even if they are good or bad.
Guilt and remorse do matter to me, and I can accept an apology. As a devote Catholic, I thoroughly believe that forgiveness is the key to happiness in life. If you are unable to forgive, you will live a life full of anger and grudges.
There is the saying, “Forgive and forget.”
Although I do believe in forgiving, I do not completely agree with this saying. It is healthy to forgive others for the wrong they have done to you; but, forgetting what they have done to you is not always a smart thing to do. My grandfather grew up in the tough town of Naples, Italy, and he did not trust very many people. He taught my father, who taught me, that you should be nice to everybody. Although, you should never be too trusting because you can never be sure what type of people you are dealing with. This ties back to part of the saying that says, “Forget.” Never forget what has happened because history repeats itself. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, or from others’ mistakes, you won’t better yourself as a person - and you may even make those same mistakes.
I can accept an apology because it’s an important part of forgiveness. Pope John Paul II, is a man I have a lot of respect for. I had the privilege of hearing him speak, and he is such an inspirational man - even if you’re not Catholic.
Pope John Paul was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981. After recovering from his assassination attempt, Pope John Paul forgave the man who tried to take his life. Not only did he forgive the man, but he went back to speak with him. He showed the world the importance of forgiveness and love. Unlike what most people would have done in this situation, Pope John Paul loved and tried to understand where Mehmet was coming from.
Pope John Paul was a man who loved and cared for all living things, regardless of their circumstances. I believe in the same thing, and will fight to protect others. In my pursuit to help those in need, like Madoff’s sons, I would turn on my father in the name of the greater good. I know that my father would never purposely harm other, or do bad, but if he did- I would turn on him to protect others.
What kind of man would I be if I didn’t?
If I watched injustice and impure actions happen right before my eyes?
If I didn’t stand for what I believe in?
Like my answer to the philosophical baseline questions, I will go against my parents if I am capable of better. If my father was doing wrong to others, I would stand up for the greater good.
To whom must I be true to?
Then, I just look at what I believe in, I live by the morals I have set forth, and I stay true to the better man.
Humans are unique from other animals, particularly because we are able to feel guilt and remorse. Our conscience helps us define what is wrong and what is right, it is a way to give us a sense of morality. Without our conscience telling us that a particular action is socially unacceptable, we wouldn't be humane and moral. The feeling of guilt and regret is a warning sign that make us realize whatever we are doing is wrong and a checkpoint for us to make a decision on whether to continue to perform wrong doings or redeem ourselves. This is very significant, especially to me, because the regret we feel is a chance to realize we are walking on the wrong path and a chance to redeem ourselves. Take Macbeth for example, Macbeth felt a sense of regret when he and Lady Macbeth planned out a preparation to kill Duncan. Macbeth tried to turn back on the plan, however Lady Macbeth urged him on, telling him it is a good decision to end the king’s life. Macbeth gave up the opportunity to redeem himself and continued on the dark path of corruption.
As for me, there are countless times when I make a wrong decision and feel regretful for my actions. I would turn back to retrace my paths but sometimes I would continue on the wrong path. The feeling of remorse is a pure emotion that humans purge. That is why I can accept apologies, because I was able to feel sincerity from the person and the desire to turn away from the wrong path. Sometimes the easiest ways to reveal our sincerity and remorse is with a simple “I am sorry”.
Our guilt and remorse reveals our truth.
I liked how your post was short and simple. The contrast between humans and other animals got my attention! Ahah. Also, I don't think you should regret.... you know, you learn from mistakes!
When Mr. Feraco instructed us in class, “Get out your note sheets and write your response to; how far are you willing to go to get what you want?” My answer was simple.
Whatever it takes.
Such a blunt thing to say when there are more possibilities than there are words. I thought of my answer before I knew it. There are some extents where I would be hesitant, but if I want something enough to make me even think of saying MAYBE. Then I really will jump canyons for the thing to make me complete.
The feel of having earned or taken the thing I have been seeking will be so great; guilt won’t have room to dwell in my conscious.
Honestly, can you live knowing that you passed up having the thing you want most? Do possibly think that getting everything else will feel better than the one thing that will complete you? Can those things fill a hole that large? What can you say, “Eh, good enough” to?
Sometimes, the thing you want most is what you need. The need for accomplishment can be all you need, even if those around notice it and don’t think of it as highly as it is to you. You still can sleep easier at night knowing you did it and you got it.
That is why doing whatever it takes is never too far. The worst possible outcome in life is death, to me that is an opinion because I believe that ending up so low that every waking day is hell is the worst possible outcome. For certain people they have been dealt a situation that puts them in a hole where they can’t live if they don’t have that one thing that will give them inner peace.
Sounds like I am talking about Siddhartha. Too late for that. But what I am really talking about is revenge.
I may watch too many movies or television. But there are real life events that make someone really seek revenge. An inner city news report about a man that lost his wife to a gang related shooting. That moment he has lost the one person he lived for. The police tell him, “We can’t do anything about it without putting officers at risk of gang violence.” With no evidence either, besides a witness who saw hooded men and bullet casings the police have no leads on who committed the murder.
Now his want has become to get revenge on a gang who took his reason to live. Even the police know getting involved will get people killed, this man knows the consequences but he can’t live without thinking of doing what we all know will happen.
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." – Confucius
That is why I am writing of a story about a man who joined his wife in the afterlife. After, he investigated the city gang. Bought a gun. Killed 3 gang members. Then, died after being shot more than any single person can be shot. He wanted revenge, he knew the outcome, and he did whatever it took to get what he wanted.
This is clearly an extreme to the range of what I will ever end up doing. But you can see that when we need something so bad, “everything is permitted.” (Assassin’s Creed)
In my pursuit of happiness, I will do anything in my power to achieve it, but that being said, there are limits to what I will do. Two of my most important dreams, are to become a successful engineer, while living my aspiration to be a multi-talented musician. At this point, I am far from either of these goals. I will follow through these objectives, but I refuse to achieve them at the cost of another’s happiness.
I refuse to chip away at another person’s dream in order to live out mine. Right now, I can only think of examples in my path as an engineer where I will face decisions as to what measures will I take to accomplish my dream. I want to be able to pursue my goals without taking advantage of another: whether it would be accrediting myself for work that I have not done, or stealing other’s ideas.
But why do I feel this way? Mainly, I want to live out my dream with my own abilities. I will happily accept help from others when I need them, but I refuse to betray them for my laziness and self-benefit. It is not as though I feel responsible to live out my life this way, but I wish to do so. I wish to live out my life without purposefully harming those around me. Without betraying the friends I have.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" -Anonymous
In Integers, a positive plus a positive equals a negative, while a negative plus a negative equals a positive. And in some twisted way, this actually relates to life.
In a lecture this week, we talked about the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. Was Madoff betrayed by his sons? After all they were the cause of the collapse, the end of the scheme. Or did they help their Father? Madoff was set free, jail symbolizies confinement, but Madoff had created his own confinement. Madoff’s negative integers kept adding up, until someone finally redid the math. Someone questioned the positive; Madoff lacked a solid answer to justify the questions.
The ponzi scheme took over his life; jail give him a free life back. One would have to assume he felt guilt. Why? Well, he was human with a consciousness that had to be harming him. I believe he was relieved when he was caught, because he could not save himself. He needed someone to save him.
Even Macbeth’s integers are miscalculated. Before the witches (I assume) Macbeth’s life was on the positive side. He would always do well, but he had already reached his peak. By inheriting the role that his father once held, there was no path left for him to advance up. Macbeth still made this life work, but unlike Macbeth, his wife wanted life to be much better than it already was.
One day, witches show up telling Macbeth a prophecy. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are the ones who interpret the prophecy that was told to him. There were no direct orders, yet the Macbeths (after debate and manning it up) choose to murder. As we keep reading the adding of his negative integers become too much, and his death will come.
So maybe this is why people believe that tough times do not last; a negative plus a negative equals a positive.
At the same time, people are hesitant of the good times; a positive plus a positive equals a negative.
Guilt is when we know for a fact that we did something bad. We can admit our wrong doings without showing remorse. Remorse is trying to make up for your wrong doing in any way. People are able to feel guilt or remorse because deep down they know it’s wrong.
Can you live with guilt, or does it eat at you like it does with Macbeth?
I know I can’t. When I feel guilty I can feel it throughout my whole body, and it’s a terrible feeling. It clouds my thoughts like it did with Macbeth, he thought saw Banquo’s ghost at the celebration dinner.
Even before Macbeth commits the crime he feels it is wrong a tells himself, “But in these cases/ We still have Judgment here, that we but teach/ Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return/ To plague th’inventor: this even-handed justice/ Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice/ To our own lips.”(Macbeth, act1, sc.7, 39) This is why we should try to live our lives well.
If everyone in our society lives a well life, there would be fewer crimes.
Very good job on using many examples from Macbeth Jenna.
Your begging, middle and end show a really strong connection tied back to Macbeth.
You always cease to amaze me Jenna.
As a child I was always a trouble maker. Whether it was eating out of the peanut butter jar with my fingers, and saying it was the mouse in the house. Or it could be when I would break something on accident and I immediately point at the 2month old baby whose words could only be goo goo dada. But as I grew, faults were made and mistakes occurred and punishments seemed like forever. But the best knowledge my mother could give me at the age of 11 were do not do things that are innocent, but appear badly. I always responded, “Mom what the heck are you talking about!” She would just smile and say nothing and waited for time to tell me the answer.
Finally, I knew what in the world she was talking about, and that advice is now known to e the best advice I hold dear to my heart. Although like Macbeth his actions are not innocent and do appear badly, but it was for the greater good for his wife’s future. My dad always tells me, Kimberly, always try reaching for the stars, being better than you can be today, no matter how scary it is. Plus…what are you really losing if you try? Therefore reach for the stars and in the future, you can tell your children you at least attempted to be someone better in this world.
I am reading word per word trying to sound out the letters in favorite at the age of 5. F-a-vor-ite I speak loudly and boldly; I remember thinking, Yes! Finally I got the word down. The accomplishment and the boldness I felt within myself, something so unique and strong, the feeling was extraordinaire. In this life there is always room for improvement, without progress and attempt, what is this life really about if we don’t attempt to stride and become someone better or do something for the greater good involving sacrifices? So later one can feel just as unique with a sense of boldness like sounding out a difficult word at the age of 5. Just like Macbeth, he does not know where his loyalty lies, but does know he must stride forward to at least be in a better place than he is today. Even if it means killing all the guards through a rather gruesome death, his purpose is to be in a better place.
I was in love in 6th grade with this boy named Guillermo, every moment he made, every question he asked, even his scent made me have heart shaped eyes every time I would see him or someone would mention his name. He walked into the class one day, I stood up from my seat, thinking Com on Kim, you can do it! Just barge right up to him and ask him on a date. Go .Go. Go. Go! I did as my plan was, he turned me down. My world came crashing down and I didn’t feel that sense of boldness or special like the time I sounded out that word. My mother took me into her arms, looked deep into my eyes and said, your loyalty is not a boy, but yourself. Again as usual I said, “What the heck are you talking about mom?” she laughed and waited for time to tell me. Finally, it took 5 years to realize, loyalty just meant, worry about your self and soon that silly boy realized he lost a great opportunity to get to know a great gal.
For all the things accomplished, for all the attempts, for all the failures, I always grew up with the motto Kim, you need to do what you got to do. My bill could be a bit pricy, probably a little more above than the all exclusive Michael Jordan’s shoes. But every bill comes with learning experiences and must be seen with a positive attitude, for no escaping out of the window to avoid paying is an option. Everyone has a price set, in this case, all my dimes and nickels and pennies are not going to waste.
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