I Am Not Totally Aristotle, But I Am Not Totally Aquinas.

I Am Not Totally Aristotle, But I Am Not Totally Aquinas.

The way we live if up to us.

Self. It is what I am. Not only in name, but body and soul. Each one of us has a different way of living. We have a different way of thinking. The way we think and act is the product of life lessons, raising, and faith. People say we all live life by the fight or flight response. Though I find that true I think there is a bit more going on. I live my life from a teleological standpoint. Not just by the teachings of Aristotle, and not just by Aquinas.

Through deep self-exploration, I have come to find that, even though I live my life that way, I do not fully agree with both. I wish to do right by people based on God, but I also wish to do right by people by my own human nature. My parents raised me on the idea that everything I say and do, every decision I make, every word I say, and every thought I have should only be glory to God. As I grew older I began to question this moral complex. No person, besides Jesus, has ever lived their life fully like that.

In order for one to do this, they must not have committed one sin in their lives. Living a life like this meant I had to be perfection. Don’t get me wrong, if it was morally possible for me to live this way I think I would since it is not I have no clue how I would live. I try to live my life in the best way possible. I think about many things, and many I don’t think about at all. I strive to do what I think is best for me and bring glory to God. I also live to please and support the people I love and care for. I also try to do the best for the people I know need help.

I show empathy towards people less fortunate than I am. I try not to blame people for my mistakes, but I’m still learning on that one. I try not to tell lies unless I think they are just. The only thing I can really hope for in life is that I live it well. I hope I end up in the right place in the end if I don’t that is no one’s fault but my own. I am responsible for the things I do.

Personal and Interpersonal Morality

  • Lying: It is ok to lie to spare the feelings and promote the safety of the individual.
    • Dementia patient
      • They will be happy for either a day or they will forget.
    • Person in danger
      • If a family member is in danger, or their life is at risk, or to spare them pain I think it is alright to lie at that point.
    • To make something a surprise. You lie out of love.
    • It is not ok to lie any other time. It is a sin to lie in general. But I want what is best for the ones I love. If lying to them preserves human nature I will do it.
  • Keeping promises
    • Promises should always be kept.
    • Marriage
      • Unless it is an abusive or a sexually immoral marriage you must stay married.
    • Oaths
      • Work police force promise to serve and protect.
      • To tell the truth in the courtroom.
    • Promise in general
      • If you say you’re going to show up you try your best to show up or don’t promise.
  • Responding to Racist Comments
    • One must remember to keep a level head. If someone makes a racial comment towards you or a loved one you must be the bigger person and choose not to react in the same way. Nothing is achieved when both people are being unreasonable.
  • Sexual behavior
    • Sexual behavior is only reserved for one man and one woman in the constitution of marriage. If you are not married you shouldn't be having sex. Homosexuality goes against God’s design several times in the Bible God condemns homosexuality. Sexuality is a major part of the Bible and its constitutions.

Life Issues

  • Abortion
    • I think morally it is wrong. You are taking the life of a human being. No matter what the government says. Abortion is murder which is against the law and a sin.
    • If you come from the stance that you think abortion is murder, which I do, and murder is illegal you could say you are breaking the law The fact that you can abort a child up to 21 weeks is appalling my little brother was born at 28 weeks and he is still alive and doing very well. He has no health or developmental disorders.
  • Physician-assisted suicide
    • To me it is morally wrong. I see the idea around it. I understand and I sympathize, but it is still suicide. God has not called you home and you will end up in the pit of fire for all eternity. Plus there is a chance you could pull through.
    • There is some split ideas about it, but it is legal in Washington and Oregon. There is an extremely long process to go through in order for you to be eligible for doctor-assisted suicide. Many tests doctors, signatures, and psychologists are needed for it to be allowed.
  • Capital punishment
    • Legally it is allowed in many states.
    • It is a good way of punishment for a serious crime.
    • More humane than life in prison.
  • War – Under what circumstances is it acceptable?
    • When a country invades ours.
    • To settle disagreements.
    • Refusal to trade for needed resources.
  • Iraq war – Was it a just war?
    • No, I do not think it was just a war. I believe it was our two countries trying to prove who is really in power.
    • Both countries wanted what each other had
    • Both did not know the severity of what they did would do in the world.
  • Poverty – personal obligations
    • Personally, I believe that as a Christian it goes against my values to not make an attempt to help a person in poverty.
    • I don’t mean I should give them half of my money, or let a stranger live in my house.
    • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
    • Donate food
    • Don’t throw away old clothing, but donating to a homeless shelter.
  • Poverty – corporate obligations
    • Food corporations shouldn’t throw away their leftover foods like breads and cooked meats, but donate them to a soup kitchen, or advertise that for an hour after clothing you are giving away all leftover food to the less fortunate.
  • Poverty – governmental obligations
    • Personally, I think our government should care more for the impoverished.
    • No veteran should be homeless.
    • No mother or child should be without food.
    • Find better ways to help acclimate them to society.

Other Issues

  • Animal experimentation – legality
    • Legally I think it is humane for scientists to experiment on animals.
    • Better than experimenting on humans.
    • Lots of times it is humane.
    • They are just animals.
  • Drugs - legalization (which ones, if any)
    • I am really neutral on this topic. I do not care if marijuana is legal. It does not affect me at all unless I smoke it myself.
    • Only natural drugs should be legal.
    • Prescription drugs
  • Drug use - morality
    • Morally I think the way many people use drugs is wrong.
    • Drug dependence is a sin and causes you to turn to bad things.
    • All you think about it next fix.
    • Changes mindset.
  • Affirmative action – legality
    • Legally people should be employed equally
    • Non-impoverished people shouldn’t be show discrimination.
    • Socially unjust.
  • Gay marriage - legality
    • People are expected to make exceptions of their rights for other.
    • Legally, I do not agree with it. I love my friends who are homosexuals.

In conclusion, I find that everyone has their own view of their morals and beliefs. In the end of life, only God has the power to judge us for how we have lived our lives. The only thing we can do and hope for in this life is that we live it well, and hope we are living it right.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.proximie.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ethics_3.jpg

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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To my music teacher

You are so much more than a director


I still remember the day that we first met. I knew next to nothing about my instrument, let alone music. The only thing that rang through my mind while I sat in the last chair in a room full of experienced musicians was, "I can't do this." I went home crying that day because I really wanted to learn about music, but felt like it was going to be impossible. My mom even came with me the next day to tell you that I couldn't do it- it just seemed impossible to the both of us. But then, you looked me in the eye and asked me to do one thing, "Please trust me. You can do this."

I spent two years under your direction. Every morning I came to school and the first thing I got to do was be in your class. I spent some of the best times of my life in that class. You taught me some of the greatest lessons I have come across, and the application of those lessons is something I do every day. Here are some of my favorite things you have taught me.

If you work hard, you will see progress

I never thought I would be able to play anything off of my D and A strings on that first day, let alone be able to sight read an entire piece and actually sound half decent. But, you worked with me, had a lot of patience with me, and encouraged me to keep going. After two years, I was able to sight read-the goal that I set for myself at the beginning of this whole experience.

The hard work you put into your craft carries over to other parts in your life

Because of the structure I had in practicing my music, I found myself gaining structure in other parts for my life. My grades were the best when they were in your class, my relationships were strong, and I began to come into my own under your supervision.

You can find spiritual growth anywhere

You took the time to foster my spiritual growth- the best thing a teacher has ever done for me. You were not shy about who you were, or to whom you belonged. You were unapologetic about your love for Jesus in a place that doesn't always accept him. This witness served as an inspiration to me then and still does to this day.

You do not have to fit the stereotype to be a success

You taught me that people will look past the person who is performing. You took the time to introduce us to awesome musicians who did not fit the mold, but captivated their audience because of their proficiency in their craft.

You taught me to trust and believe in myself

I never had someone call out my self doubts and cast them aside for me like you did. Whenever I said "I can't" you would show me how I could. There was never a time you were wrong either.

Balling on a budget is a real thing

The two trips that I took with our orchestra under your direction were extremely memorable. Not only did we do well as an orchestra, but we all had the times of our lives. The first trip I went on, I didn't have to worry about money. However, the next year, my parents were dealing with a job loss, and it was the first time I ever experienced not having the funds to participate in a school program. You showed me how to budget, save, fundraise, and scrimp to put myself on that bus up to New York. I can't express to you how important that experience was for me and how much it still impacts me to this day.

Always take care of yourself

You made an effort to show us how you were caring for yourself. How you were eating well, going to the gym, going to church, getting involved in your community, taking time with your husband and kids, AND pursuing your Masters degree. I have yet to see someone work to better themselves like you do.

Follow your dreams

You had me make a vision board for our classroom after seeing that Gaby Douglas had made one on her journey to Olympic gold. You also encouraged me to make one and frequently asked me what my goals were. Whenever I would start to explain that my dreams were too big, you would cast that doubt out of my head.

Learning about different cultures is the best way to be respectful of them

For our final in your class, you had us do research on the country of our origin to prove how diverse our classroom was. We discussed the different musical traditions from each region, and how they all blended together into what we play today. You also had us cook a meal from our country and share it with the class!

Don’t be afraid to take action

You jokingly told us multiple times "Better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission" whenever someone felt like they needed your approval to get something done in the classroom. That joke was probably the most transformative thing I have ever seen though. I saw students go from timid children to musicians on a mission whenever we would say it. It helped us get a lot done in your class period!

Thank you for working as hard as you do. You have made a tremendous difference on my life and so many others. Thank you for being your true authentic self!

Cover Image Credit:

Allison Mallory

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