"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
I could never really think of dad as ignorant, even when I was fourteen. He was a walking encyclopedia, an encyclopedia I consulted daily. But he was an easy man to underestimate. In part this was because he was a great listener, and like all great listeners would rather hear than be heard. That was another one of his favorite Twain quotes:
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
But he was also easy to underestimate because he tended to underestimate himself. He would have been astonished, genuinely astonished, at the outpouring of love and admiration that has washed over our family in the last week. And there is enough of my father in me that I have been astonished as well.
Friends of mine, some of whom I thought barely knew dad, have called or sent word from as far away as Vienna and Taipei to say that my father changed their life for the better. My oldest friend, who is now a mountain climber and a nature photographer, astonished me by saying he might never have becom...
... middle of paper ...
...e Bailey couldn't see in the movie It's A Wonderful Life. George Bailey saw himself as a very ordinary man. And because he was a man of great intellect and potential, he sometimes saw his ordinary life as a kind of failure. It was not until the angel took him out of his own life and showed him the profound connections between his life and every other life in his community, that he was finally able to see himself for the hero that he was.
My father was a George Bailey. And just as George's friends came together and emptied their pockets for him when he was in trouble, all of his friends joined together in a celebration of his life. I only wish he could have seen it, because he never would have believed it.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Ego and Despair in Ordinary People Ordinary People by Judith Guest is the story of a dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital, there because he had attempted suicide by slashing his wrists. His mother is a meticulously orderly person who, Jared, through projection, feels despises him.... [tags: Ordinary People]
1497 words (4.3 pages)
- Striving for Emotional Perfection in Ordinary People Throughout the life cycle, a person undergoes many changes. One matures both physically and emotionally as time passes. Emotional growth is quite often more difficult than physical growth. A person must realize his faults and admit to them before he can develop emotionally, while one does not need any self-analyzation to develop physically. In her book Ordinary People, Judith Guest depicts the struggles man must experience in order to reach his ideal emotional perfection. Conrad, the book's protagonist, and his father Calvin, were both searching for higher levels of emotional health.... [tags: Ordinary People]
1856 words (5.3 pages)
- Ordinary Feelings in Ordinary People Ordinary People is a book that examines the life of a typical American family that seems to have it all together. It exposes the major conflicts among them; pain, misunderstanding, hurt, forgiveness, and ultimately if possible healing. Conrad - with the story told mostly through his perspective, he being the one furthering the resulting course of events and at the same time the protagonist and antagonist . is the main character of the story. While boating on a lake with his older brother, a fierce gale picks up capsizing their boat and eventually leading to the death of his brother when he drowns.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
564 words (1.6 pages)
- Ordinary People - Impact of Characters on Conrad In the novel Ordinary People, by Judith Guest, many people affect Conrad. Three people that have an affect on him are his father, mother and therapist. Conrad goes through significant changes by the way he has been affected. In the beginning of the novel Con had just returned from the hospital for attempting suicide. Right off the bat Con finds it hard to wake up in the morning because he is afraid that anxiety and failure will be waiting for him. He makes himself think of reasons to get out of bed. Then he goes through the whole ritual in his head. Con was depressed. He would be a treated very fragile wise by... [tags: Ordinary People]
808 words (2.3 pages)
- ... She was seven years his senior; a widow with two children. She had, however, came from a prominent family and belonged to Parisian high society. After they were married in March 1796, Napoleon spent only two days with her before leaving to take command of the French army in Italy. Rumours of Josephine’s unfaithfulness seem to suggest that this marriage was motivated by political reasons rather than love. At the age of twenty-seven, he received the command to invade Italy. As what happened before, he won another victory against the Austrians, who conquered Northern Italy.... [tags: notorious leaders in history]
1135 words (3.2 pages)
- Loosing Identities Ordinary sin, written by Kristen Valdez is a very interesting piece, as it explores the issue of relations with a spiritual leader and a follower who are united by moral and ethical principles. These characters are questioned their actions by people who surrounded them and in some moments in the scenes can see how they feel hopeless, dissolution, rejection, and guilty of committing a “Sin” meaning, disobedience to God. In “Ordinary Sin”, Father Paul and Crystal creates fictional characters who represent different roles in the church are being corrupted in a sense of identity The character, Crystal who apparently grew up in the faith and at a very young age she got misfo... [tags: Religion, God, Faith, Holy Orders]
1100 words (3.1 pages)
- His Mission Father Pedro Arrupe was truly a man of God, born to lead the Jesuit’s to greatness. Born in Bilbao, Spain, he initially felt called to set the world ablaze through medicine. He undertook medical training for a number of years, but decided his true calling lay with the Jesuits, joining in 1927. He was unable to pursue his studies in Spain as the Republican government had expelled the Order. This did not deter him, as he was unwavering in his pursuit of priesthood; he undertook his studies in the Netherlands and Belgium.... [tags: Father Pedro Arrupe]
905 words (2.6 pages)
- Every person is an ordinary human being, but there are some people who influence others because they live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way. These people are and will be remembered beyond the course of their lives. Mr. Ejaz, an ordinary man by the societies’ standards, has influenced his community through his ideas and dreams. Many people in a conservative Muslim community would not have enough courage to work for women empowerment through education as he did and is still doing to this day.... [tags: education, women, women empowerment]
2215 words (6.3 pages)
- The movie “Ordinary People” was a very entertaining and educational movie. It looked into the dynamics of families and showed the different parts and dependencies. It also looked into a type of client/therapist relationship and how it evolved over time. The discussion below will attempt to explore deeper into these aspect of the film. Throughout the film a focus on family and the dynamics is prominent. A traumatic event, the loss of a son, brother, and friend, has influenced the Jarrett greatly.... [tags: Movie Film Analysis]
1097 words (3.1 pages)
- The book Ordinary People explains the troubles that occur in a typical American family. The family, the Jarrets, tries to maintain as much as a normal life as possible without a dysfunctional status. In the beginning of the story, the family deals with minor problems that had little impact to them. Since they had just moved to a new house in a new neighborhood, they try to establish relationships with other neighbors. Their son, Conrad, faces depression in which he must recover from through frequent visits to the hospital, and to his psychiatrist.... [tags: essays research papers]
501 words (1.4 pages)