On the Definition of Right: Personal Perspectives

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Morally good, justifiable or acceptable, that is the foremost definition of the word right. (Fowler) How one person applies that to themselves and the community they are surrounded by transforms the personal meaning of this word in as many ways as there are individuals. In the particular application with the concept of forgiving and forgetting, it becomes a matter of faith and morality that each being holds themself too. After reading Simon Wiesenthal’s The Sunflower, my personal definition of the word right has taken a whole new form. I believe that right means anything that can be not only accepted by one’s conscious mind, but also by one’s subconscious mind. It means that you not only can acknowledge what you did, but also be defined by your actions. If when awake, you have utmost conviction in your decision and stand firm to your behaviors, yet have nightmares in your sleep or in the aspect of God, you have not done right.
The Sunflower is Simon Wiesenthal’s firsthand account of an extraordinary experience while being held in a Nazi concentration camp. While being assigned to work at a Red Cross hospital in his former high school, a nurse encounters him and inquires Simon to come with her. She takes Simon up into the school where he eventually ends up in the dean’s office, which has now been converted into a “death room.” Inside on a bed is lying a dying SS soldier, Karl, who requests Simon to come to his side. What occurs next is the focal point of the whole book, the Karl asks Simon, a Jew, to forgive him for all the wrongdoing that he has caused the Jewish community. Befuddled at Karl’s request and the fact that he had told Simon in detail of the gruesome events in which he participated, Simon leaves him with no...

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...er, and R. E. Allen. The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English. 7th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984. Print.
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Wiesenthal, Simon, and Dalai Lama. "The Dalai Lama Response." The Sunflower. New York: Schocken Books, 1976. 129-130. Print.
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Wiesenthal, Simon, and Harry Cargas. "Harry James Cargas Response." The Sunflower. New York: Schocken Books, 1976. 124-125. Print.
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Wiesenthal, Simon. The Sunflower. New York: Schocken Books, 1976. Print.
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Wiesenthal, Simon, and Mary Gordon. "Mary Gordon Response." The Sunflower. New York: Schocken Books, 1976. 152-153. Print.
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Wiesenthal, Simon, and Abraham Heschel. "Abraham Joshua Heschel Response." The Sunflower. New York: Schocken Books, 1976. 170-171. Print.
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