Goethe’s Statement

Goethe’s Statement

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Goethe’s statement, “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help then to become what they are capable of being” is commonly used in both a positive and negative form in today’s society. When a person looks the statement carefully over, they will find the meaning into what he is saying. From the Bible, the quote “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is very similar to Goethe’s statement. If a person acts in a certain way toward somebody, then the environment and the people in which that person is surrounded by affects his attitude directly. When a person believes somebody has the capability to be more than they are, and the person pushes that person to succeed, the person will live up to those standards. By having another source other than yourself see what you are capable of doing, it lets people see themselves from a different perspective. There are many examples in modern day society of Goethe’s statement.
A positive example of a modern day Goethe statement is in the Army. When a person thinks of the Army, the first thing that a person will think of is the quote “Be all that you can be.” The is an encouraging statement for people, and this will make people feel as if they can be part of something more helpful and proud. If a person exerts their whole self into becoming a soldier, and if other people tell them that they have the power to be more than just average, then, they put forth more effort, and feel better about themselves. Another positive example is in the acting business. While an actor is on stage saying his lines, he might meet the criticism of the director. The director of a play should know the ability of an actor, and by criticizing him; it is helping them become a better actor. There are also people with professions that, on a daily basis, they help people better themselves. These people are teachers and tutors.
Teachers and students interact with each other more out of a day than most students interact with their parents.
Teachers help us expand and open our mind by giving us skills throughout students’ early life to help students when they are older. By learning information from teachers, students become better people, in a couple of ways. Besides inquiring knowledge from their teachers, students learn to work with one another, open their mind to other peoples’ thoughts and ideas, respect one another, and learn different techniques for life’s issues.

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A coach for a group of students can also be a positive effect on a person. When a coach tells a person that they can push harder and do better, the person becomes encouraged to do so. When a coach encourages his team, the moral of the team goes up, and therefore the results from the team go up, and they become better.
Goethe’s statement does not just hold a place for positive reinforcement, but negativity as well. As it is stated before, the environment and people in which a person matures in affect his outward behavior toward people. If a child is brought up in a household where abuse toward the child was occurring, the child could do two things from the behavior from the parents. One is that the child could become submissive, very shy, unsure, shut off, depressed, and withdrawn from society because of the feelings of guilt and sadness that lies within the child. Two, is that the child could become abusive and angry himself. If a child is brought up in an environment where he is routinely abused, and knows no love, then how can that child show love when it has never known what love is? The child could mature to be an angry, cold human being, and might pass on that tradition that he has learned from his parents, to his own children.
Here is another example of a negative way that this is used in today’s society. A person who is pessimistic toward people often has a consequence of others around him developing the same way. If a person treats another person with anger, sadness, harshness or meanness, than they should expect to be treated the same way. If a person is not willing to help another person when they are in need, then they are not helping that person to become better. In turn, when that same person needs help with something, they should not expect that person to help them. Also, if a parent of a child is constantly berating the child that he is not good enough, and that the child will never amount to anything, etc., than the parents’ anger toward the child could backfire, and the child could rebel against his parents because of the pressure they have created for him.
By giving people examples of causes and effects from Goethe’s statement “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help then to become what they are capable of being”, this could help people and encourage people to understand that this is still seen in modern society, in both positive and negative ways.
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