Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Inspiration is Motivation

            In the poems “Directions for Resisting the SAT” by Richard Hague and “First Practice,” by Gary Gildner and in the short story “Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Huges, there is an emphasis on the importance of bringing out the best within others. In the poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” Hague encourages the reader to do what makes them truly happy rather than following societal norms. In “First Practice,” Gildner motivates the reader to fight for what is important, and to always give 100%. Lastly, Huges exemplifies helping those who are “lost” find the good from within. Encouragement and shared confidence from others accentuates the best qualities from within a person.
            Hague gives a series of instructions to the readers in the poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” in order to inspire them to focus on things truly import in their life. He explains that SAT scores and the law of gravity are irrelevant, but what matters is if one can make an impact on society. Failure has always been taught as an unacceptable and negative occurrence. Although, Hague contradicts, “Go down with the ship—any ship” (Myers 270).  He is telling the reader it is not only okay to fail, but rather beneficial that you do. Through failure experience is gained an lessons can be learned. As long as one is trying to accomplish a goal out of personal desire, then failure is natural. Society pressure children at a young age to build their resume, score well on the SAT, and become successful. Success is not properly defined by society. It cannot be measured by the amount of clubs one is involved in or an SAT score. Success is doing what makes one happy, and ultimately making “ a mark” in the world.
            The poem, “First Practice” by Gary Gildner is intense and filled with emotion. The format is very personal. The short, abrupt sentences feel as if the coach is directly yelling at the reader. The coach gives the players an alternative to rigorously fight for the title with everything they have or simply to leave. The final line of the poem is “he said. He said, Now” (Myers 275). The repetition of both the he said, and now (from the previous stanza in the poem) emphasizes the importance of making a difference in the presence. In order to achieve a goal, or make a difference, action needs to be taken immediately. The coach inspires the players, and ultimately the readers to find their inner strength, and passion and implement it.  No obstacle is too big. All it takes to accomplish one’s goal is determination, and the will to succeed.
            The short story “Thank you Ma’am,” depicts an older woman who befriends a young boy who tried to steal her purse. The older woman, Mrs. Jones welcomes the boy into her home, cleans him, feeds him, and even gives him money to buy new shoes. Mrs. Jones can empathize with the tough childhood the young boy faces. Instead of calling the police on him, she nurtures him and tries to encourage him to be a better person through her kind actions. She expresses, “I have done some things, too, which I would not tell to you son—neither tell god, if didn’t already know” (Huges 2). This confession allows the young boy to relate to her and look at her as an inspiration of someone he can strive to become. Stealing is not what should define him. The boy leaves Mrs. Jones with a new perspective on life and is thankful for the gift of not only the shoes but also for the understanding she has given him.
           On Tuesday, October 29th, I attended a lecture on social responsibility. Social responsibility has been a topic I was yet to become familiar with until this year. I had always understood its importance, but until I began researching and applying for internships with accounting firms I never realized how seriously companies and employees are about giving back to the community. They do this not only by reducing waste and conserving energy but also by volunteering their time to local organizations. This lecture was inspiring to see the room filled with about 100 people, all gather to listen and learn about way to implement social responsibility. The society in which we live can only be as good as we make it. It is a communal effort that should be taken very seriously. This event allowed me to connect with my peers through our common interests and goals.
            It is easier to bring out the best within others by sharing personal experiences that ultimately serve as an inspiration. In all three works of literature as well as in the social responsibility event, a person with confidence in the subject at hand shared advice with their “audience”. Personal connections are formed on the trust of the speaker’s experience. This allows the “audience” to portray to act upon their internal desires for the better. Regardless of the size of a community, team, or even if it is two strangers, people can have an impact on one another that helps shape their actions.

Myer, Michael. Poetry. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013. Print.

Huges, Langston.

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