English reading assignment
Part 1: The Trees of the Niu Mountain By Mengzi
The author talks of how human activities destroyed a once beautiful and green mountain view through their activities. Cattle and goats cleared whatever; the humans had left after behind cutting down the trees and vegetables with axes. The author uses the metaphor “but is this the nature of the mountain?” the author uses this metaphor as a rhetoric question to show the nature of man. As portrayed in his work, human beings through their activities destroyed the beautiful scenery, a mountain view that was full of trees and vegetation now seems like it was never wooded. Despite cutting down the trees, he never bothered to replace them through planting more, and this destroyed the mountain forest completely.
The author thinks that human nature is bad and can only be described as uncooperative and irrationally destructive. The authors go to say that human mind feels the desire to do good and things in the right manner, but the degree of these desires are overcome by the activities of his daily operations. As he is exposed to these destructive activities every single day, he loses the proper goodness of the mind, and this prompts him to engage in such activities as destroying the forest without replacing it. As a result, I fully agree with the author that human nature is basically bad.
According to the author, there are various forces that corrupt a good soul and turn it into a dark soul. They include the tussle and hustle of every day, the interaction than man has with the nature and other living organisms at day time and the influence he gains from other people that he interacts with.
Benevolence and righteousness are key concepts and pillars of building a healthy community. These values are shared by people of diverse cultures in the society considering that they need each other for their survival and no one can live alone. Thus, with benevolence and righteousness, there is trust and love among the people leading to a happy life as well as improving their living standards.
Part 2: Harvard University Commencement Speech by Alan Greenspan
I think Greenspan is realistic about the possibility of business ethics. Ethical principles offer individuals platform and foundation on which to base their decisions concerning the daily operations of business. In a real sense, business ethics offers a business person a moral background in which he or she determines what is right and wrong for both the business and his clients. According to Greenspan, the only way to describe a successful person is through evaluation of the methods and techniques he used to gain his wealth and success. He goes on to say that “but material success is possible in this world and far more satisfying when it comes without exploiting others.” with business ethics, there is trust, honesty, and fairness between the employer and the employee and between a business person and his clients. As a matter, an individual finds greater satisfaction in earning his wealth in an honest manner as well as helping others to climb the ladder of life.
Just like any professional, daily operations of a business should be guided by ethical principles. Some of the core ethical values that I plan to follow in my career include:
- Honesty – Honesty in the workplace increases the trust in a workplace, builds a reputation, promotes loyalty and ensures quick dispute resolution.
- Fairness – Fairness in the workplace is critical to ensuring that workers are fully dedicated and motivated to work. Pay systems and proper rewards for commendable jobs are some of the ways that I can employ in a workplace.
- Justice – workplace justice comprises of employment rights and effective voice through consultation arrangements as well as negotiation to solve conflicts and misunderstanding among the workers.
- Truthfulness – telling the truth in the workplace through disclosure of the real situation of the company through its financial statements creates a mutual trust among the employees and all business stakeholders in general.
Part 3: Mental Discipline
The human mind is known to be influenced by the things and people around him. Regardless of how mentally strong a person might be, they break at some point, and they give in to the pressure around them although it might be against their will. According to the reading: An interview conducted with Roberto Assagioli by Sam Keen, there are certain strategies that an individual can employ to improve their mental and moral discipline. These strategies include disidentification, training of the will and identification with the predicate rather than the subject.
- Disidentification – according to the author, “humans are dominated by everything with which he identifies himself with. On the other hand, the same human being can control and dominate everything else that he misidentifies with it”. Thus, to me be mentally disciplined, we have to disidentify ourselves with all the things we don’t want to dominate us.
- Training of will – will is a matter of direct experience and the desire for an individual to pursue or strive to gain something. Through training, an individual can manage to hold their desires to only those things and events that are beneficial and thus, do away with unwanted things. This helps improve their mental discipline.
- Identifying with the predicate rather than the subject – according to Assagioli, the crisis in life deprives an individual the role with which he or she has identified forcing the disidentification process in that individual’s life. If this disidentification process occurs with conscious cooperation, an individual stands a good chance to increase their mental discipline.
Part 4: Mediation of Roman Empire
I know there is no ending or full stop when it comes to learning both inside the class and outside the class. Despite studying in the class, the society and community in large had a significant effect on my learning life. With that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in my learning in one way or another. My gratitude to my grandfather Mr. Green for your moral lessons and creating a man out of a boy and to my father who showed me how to live a modest life as well as helping me develop manly character since I was a child. How can I forget my mother from whom I learned great values such as piety and beneficence as well as abstinence not only from evil activities but also from evil thoughts? I say thanks to my great-grandfather who taught me how to relate well with the society, my governor who taught me never to give up but persevere and endure regardless of the situations and circumstances. Thanks to Diognetus from whom I received the impression that character improves discipline, to my brother Sam who showed me the importance of love and honesty in the society and to classmate John who showed me the importance of hard work.
Part 5: Ability to Recover And Learn From Failure
According to the author, the dark soil of Lincoln’s melancholy began to yield fruits in his mid-forties when he began the fight against slavery. Lincoln higher purpose was to fight for the weak and those who had no say in the society such as the black community which was treated like slaves depriving them of their freedom. The suffering he had gone through in his earlier life made him the right person for the job as they were able to give him clarity, conviction, creative skills in the face of adversity. Lincoln had a keen vision which usually brought him pain and being in a position to face troubling reality in the eyes gave him the much-needed strength to fulfill his purpose. His creativity was a key pillar in his ability to overcome all difficult situations. Lincoln’s literary prowess was evident in most of his speeches and is a well-appreciated aspect of his life and works. His creativity is attributed to his mental illness and in more than one occasion Lincolns was reported to suffer from a mood disorder. It is during this time that he was able to come off with creative ideas on handle situations in his life and the fight for freedom of the slaves. Lincoln sadness and strength coexisted well in him making him unique and very strong emotionally. “Despite more misery and sufferings in his life and tests from different people, he responded with determination and humility.” After stepping back from suicide in his early childhood, he was determined to make a change is his life and the only viable change he thought was the fight against slavery.
I would recommend to all my friends to adopt and employ characters as those of Lincoln. Perseverance and endurance were some of the strong characters of Lincoln. Irrespective of how hard he tried to succeed, he never succeeded and the more he lived, the more sufferings he had to go through. However, one of the best characters displayed by Lincoln all his life is the fear of fear that made him creative and devises new ways to make sure that he did not fail. They should have set goals and purpose that should give meaning to their lives. They should learn to rise above all odds like Lincoln in his fight against slavery. More importantly, they should learn how to engage in activities that are beneficial in their lives and that are meant to improve the lives of those around them. As Lincoln said, to be successful, a person needs to move from the state where he or she asks the question what they shall do to a stage where they can ask how they should accomplish their goals. A humble start should be the stepping stone and a source of determination. Just in the case of Lincoln “the determination came from the sense that however humble his station, Lincoln was no idle passenger but a sailor on the deck with a job to do.” Finally, they should not take failures as disappointments, but rather they should take them as lessons and draw motivation out of them and the zeal and willingness to try again until they succeed.
Part 6: Shattered Glass
The real driving force behind his actions and activities was to succeed and become the most successful publisher of his time. This was the main reason as to why he started publishing falsified but exciting articles to have a large fan base and become the best among the best. However, I do not think that he truly knew himself because he could be carried away easily by the desires and thoughts of becoming famous.
It is likely that glass saw himself as smarter than his colleagues and publishers and thought that he could commit such a crime and get away with it. The fact that he was popular and famous among his fellow publishers and editors mad him loose focus and thought that his popularity shielded him from any punishment or action contrary to his wishes from the management.
To publish falsified articles, the glass used some few tricks for his readers so that they would not know whether his story was real or a mere lie. First, glass was not naming his sources. Despite publishing exciting stories, he would not mention where he got his stories, and surprisingly, even his readers did not care to know. Second, the glass had a brother by the name Palo Alto whom glass used to say was the head of Jukt Micronics, and his every call went directly to voicemail.
Yes, glass left behind a trail of casualties in the form of his fellow workers and readers. Lane had to order all his publishers and editors to apologize to their readers for the unfortunate incident in their company. Moreover, some of his colleagues like Caitlin thought lane was being unfair and wanted to eliminate everyone who was loyal to Kelly.
To get the best editor, the employers must ensure that an individual displays moral character and is ready to uphold the integrity of his work and that of the whole organization.
Part 7: The Gamesman
Most are the times in life when individual lose the thrill and vigor they had after a series of disappointing results. To be able to ensure that the momentum is not lost and a player still competes at the highest level possible, he needs to re – set greater challenges. Doing the same thing over and over again is known to bring boredom and hence and individual lacks motivation and inspiration. The best way to keep the fire burning is to keep on raising the bar and getting new challenges. Another technique that can help an individual in such situation is taking time off to re -energize as well as avoiding burnout by taking a holiday or a vacation. Recognize and reward is another strategy a person can employ. Getting the appropriate reward for the hard work can be used as a way of self – motivation. Appropriate rewards remind a person the real reason as to why he is working hard and thus encouraging them to maintain momentum.
Part 8: Lowa Supreme Court
Judges in courts are there to administer justice and ensure that rules and regulations are followed to the letter. It is a moral misconduct and crime for a person especially of a profession like an attorney submitting a plagiarized work in a court of law. The law requires such as person to first get a go ahead from the authors of the job, and failure to that can lead to penalties. As a judge, he should ensure that there is no favoritism and the rule of law is upheld.
I think the punishments to attorney Peter Cannon are about right. Plagiarism is a major crime and should be treated just like any other criminal activity. However, due to the fact that Cannon admitted his mistakes and promised to contact and notify the authors of the plagiarized article and provide the court with correspondence, his punishment should not be severe. As a result, I fell like the punishment administered to him to be fair and about right.
Although the case involving lane was almost similar to that of cannon, there is a slight difference in that the attorney in the case between Iowa Supreme Court Board of Professional Ethics and Conduct versus lane failed to respond to the court for several months. As a person who has some knowledge on how the laws of a country work, he should have known better that it is an offense to fail to respond to the court. Moreover, instead of immediately acknowledging his crime, he tried to conceal his criminal activities through the presentation of a four-page, single-spaced list of sources. As a result, he committed a crime on top of the other, and I fully agree and support the court’s reasoning.
I do not think that this public shaming is too harsh. Being public figures and role models to young and growing children, attorneys and other high profile individuals in the society should act in an appropriate manner. This public shaming only acts as a lesson to other people of a similar behavior as well as those inspiring to be of great service to the society to behave appropriately and respect the laws of a country.
Part 9: Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
Richard received the Nobel peace prize in physics back in 1965 and in his speech he observes two common elements among the people who voted for him and these are joy and affection. He goes on to say that fathers turned excitedly with newspapers on their hands to their wives and daughter running to their neighbors to inform them of his victory. This scenario shows great joy and affection. On the other hand, Albert Camus upon receiving his Nobel peace prize in literature stated that through his art, he offers a string of people pictures of common joys and suffering. He goes on to say that it is the duty of an artist to integrate with the people as well as tell the truth.
Both recipients of the Nobel peace prize share the value of humility. Through their speeches, it easy to tell that they are both humbled to win the prize and show gratitude to those who voted for them. In his speech, Richard states that “for this, I thank Alfred Nobel and the many who worked so hard to carry out his wishes in this particular way.” On the other hand, Albert stated that “my gratitude has been profound, particularly when I consider the extent to which this recompense has surpassed my personal merits.”
An artist can connect with his audiences by becoming part of the audience through integration with the community in which he participates in their daily lives. Moreover, he is able; to tell the truth about the common issues that affects them in their daily lives.