Walking through the dark parking lot when you leave the library or the lab late at night? If you think you are safer with a gun than without, why should anyone second-guess your decision? But is there a compelling reason to impose that preference on others? Do we really want concealed carriers to act as auxiliary cops or vigilantes? The fact that thus far none have done so during a mass shooting is a testament to their good judgment and thus constitutes an argument for, not against, the individual right to armed self-defense.
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Record Grad Rates at Cal State. Is there a best practice for asking students to pay bills? View the discussion thread. Google Tag Manager. Advertise About Contact Subscribe. Print This. By Erik Gilbert. June 12, On left, a Glock 22, a police service pistol; on right, a Ruger LCP, popular with concealed carriers. Read more by Erik Gilbert. Want to advertise? It is the world of ideas and thought.
Free The Things They Carried Essays and Papers
I was in my sophomore year at the time and I was, as high schoolers tend to be, pretty self-absorbed. I was hyper-aware of who I was and wanted, more than anything, to be good. However, I approached the idea of goodness with egoism. Until recently, I felt little obligation to involve myself in any substantive way with humanity as a whole.
Before I had defined this connection as one of my most important values, I experimented with various methods of separation. I liked to learn by tinkering and building things. At 12 years old, I tried my hand at homesteading. I found these methods of occupying my time to be more fulfilling than the types of entertainment, namely social media, being employed by those around me. Reading allowed me to feel connected with important ideas and values that were scarce in my surroundings.
These endeavors were formative, and I do not regret them. However, in their extremity, they were defense mechanisms against the demands of the world, and they were not sustainable. In trying to cultivate my own separate reality, concerned predominantly with my own experience, I became drained and depressed.
Here is what Hemingway taught me: in an age in which self-care is becoming a primary, instead of ancillary, objective of life, where certain types of selfishness and vanity are becoming stylish and virtuous, I believe it is in reaching outward past the illusion of our separateness that one can find true meaning and satisfaction. For Whom the Bell Tolls had such an impact on me for a myriad of reasons. Yet, like the novels of my childhood, it also spoke to me on an emotional level.
Hemingway depicts an American soldier during the Spanish Civil War who grows increasingly cognizant of his connectedness with, and duty to, the rest of mankind. What Hemingway writes about the connection of man is important on multiple levels: it is relevant today, in a different world than the one he described, and arguably more relevant than ever. This, I think, is something that all great writers have in common. What may appear to be an uncanny ability to predict the future is really an ability to see enduring truths that lie at the heart of human existence.
I have come to believe there is another layer: it is not only necessary for each human being to connect with the rest of society and find their place and purpose within it, but also for each generation to do the same within the scope of his tory, to recognize the threads of continuity, the fibres of the human condition spread across time and space.
I want to attend St. I want to collaborate with great minds—Plato and fellow Johnnies alike—to be challenged in the way that I perceive the world and to elevate the way that I interact with it. Fingers fumbling over the smooth cover and crisp spine, I prepared myself for a new journey. It had a distinct new-book smell, fresh and crisp and full of promise. Inside the front cover was scribbled a name, illegible. The book, or so my dad told me, had been given to him as a gift from a patient, but he had never even opened it. Instead it had been reconciled to a life on the shelf, watching the world but not participating in it.
A sad fate for such an important book. From the moment I opened The Book Thief , it remained glued to my fingers. It is, above all, a story of humanity: how humans fight, struggle, fail and succeed, and ultimately define ourselves through our stubborn tenacity to cling to our values. In retrospect I can only wonder why I felt the need to hold the book so close, so as to not lose sight of it even as I slept. Perhaps it served as a surrogate teddy bear, comforting in the familiarity of its hard spine pressed hard against my cheek underneath my pillow should I awaken from a nightmare.
The Book Thief changed my life. It changed my perceptions of myself and of the world around me. With every rereading, more is revealed. More pieces of the puzzle left by my forbearers, both Jewish and German, fall into place. As though the two cannot coexist, as if they are fundamentally different.
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The Book Thief refuses to flee from this ambiguity. Instead, the characters within its pages are mixtures of everything and its opposite. This is clearly not so. However, people are not magnets. Even as a child, I found this idea captivating.
Ambiguity is poetry. Ambiguity is what makes us human. The one absolute truth to our existence is the divide between life and death—and, some may argue that death is the only cessation of our humanity. In my prior schooling, we were taught to accept only one truth as the absolute truth.
Right and wrong, good and evil, yes and no. As simple as a coin toss.
The Book Thief offered my first insight into a world painted in shades of grey, my first introduction to what would become my quest for understanding—of humanity, of the world around me, of myself. On weekends I struggled to carry twenty books at a time, stacked way up high as I left my local library.
At home, I stayed up late with a little light under my sheets trying to finish the last chapter of The Prisoner of Azkaban. I lived my life through books, some were void of meaning, just a way to pass the time, while others crept up on my subconscious and wove their way into my life, forever intertwined with me. The most special books are the ones that like a kaleidoscope give a new view upon another reading.
One of these books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
The Things I Carry
I came across Pride and Prejudice at a cheap bookstore, it was all weathered and yellowed and had the dusty scent of a book that was well worn in. I judged the book by its pretty, lavender cover and just had to buy it. At first read, I was enamoured with Mr. Darcy, yearning for a love story as deep and profound as in the novel. Little, fifth grade me just hoped that maybe the next day in class the boy sitting next to me might profess that he loved me all along. When I finished Pride and Prejudice , I thought it would quickly be replaced by another book and my love for it left behind snug in the worn out pages of my copy.
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By the time I was in middle school, reading turned into a barren desert where every once in a while a teen fiction novel might roll in like a tumbleweed. I could no longer hide in the pages of books and I had to face reality as daunting as it seemed. At the end of my eighth grade year we moved to Texas and as I was packing, I stumbled upon my copy of Pride and Prejudice.
It was all bent and worn and it looked longingly at me as if it had been waiting for me. I picked up the book and read it in a single sitting, almost five consecutive hours enraptured by it.
https://kakawamijysy.tk On second look it was more than just a love story. It became a holy scripture I would follow for the next few years. Austen had written Elizabeth as a woman with dimension, not an object of perfection but a woman who had her faults as well as some of the most virtuous qualities.
She was outspoken but not rude, intelligent but prideful, but most of all she was dynamic—she was what a woman should be.