Essay on A Change of Perspective

Essay on A Change of Perspective

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The quotation from Doris Lessing really captures the essence of Honors 101 perfectly. The very notion that the semester may be summarized in this one quote— “This is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”— astounds me, as does the number of topics we have covered in such a brief period. In high school, we squandered an entire year to cover the topic of racism alone, yet we managed to cover that topic and numerous others in a shorter time while still acquiring a more deeply rooted, genuine understanding of the subjects. Each topic presented new ideas to the overall theme of self and society in ways that seemed completely nonsensical until the ideas were discussed in class. Even though many meaningful subjects were spoken of throughout the semester, three significant topics greatly developed my understanding of both the self and society, and now, looking back and recognizing the impact of each item allows me to appreciate the personal growth I have made that, without the context of this class, did not even seem possible.
To begin, Ordinary People by Judith Guest really struck me to the core. How could such a seemingly simple book create such vivid emotions? In discussion, many of us assumed we are better than people like Beth or Conrad, yet if we faced the struggles this family faced, which of us says we would be any different? Every single person faces numerous hardships on a daily basis, but what we achieve from these situations really makes the difference. Sometimes, the thought of achieving anything at all seems so far-fetched because the constant battle between self and society forces people to deal with their problems in various ways. Due to pressure from socie...


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...t people choose to do as “groups, organizations, and even nations” as their strength “lies partly in people’s sense of efficacy that they can solve their problems and improve their lives through concerted effort.”2 However, collective efficacy still originates from self-efficacy, which is rooted in the individual. The very belief that a single person possesses the ability to change not only a group of people astonishes me. Yet, from this concept, one question comes to mind. If we change the ideals of a group of people, can we not then change the ideals of society as a whole in this same manner? This entire concept baffles me but, at the same time, makes complete sense as it only shows to a further extent how great the idea of the self is in regards to society. Thus, we still hold the key to changing in every situation, no matter what pressure society places upon us.

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