Artifact 3: The Afterlife- From: Inquiry Journal “Our obligation is not to worry about the afterlife but to give meaning to this life, and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life. ” Elie Wiesel I have experienced two major deaths in my family, both my great grandmother and grandfather. It would make me so happy to know that they are together, living a life somewhere else together, but dwelling on it doesn’t help me in the life I live today. We must ask ourselves, “How can I live my life to the fullest” and in answering that question, give meaning and purpose to ourselves.
When I think of the idea of a soul and the afterlife I can’t help but think that it is a form of escapism. What other reason could there be for reminiscing over the afterlife if not to hope for a life that does not exist? I suggest that we all live our lives like Elie Wiesel suggests, until our last second on earth, and give ourselves a sense of happiness and accomplishment, because the theory of an afterlife will never be proven. Thinking about Thinking: I chose this excerpt from my Inquiry Journal because my Great Grandmother, the last of my Great Grandparents, passed away two weeks ago.
I want to reiterate my argument from my writing because many of my extended family members are in a lot of emotional pain. However, they have been able to come to terms with her death. As I look back on my claim that “dwelling with pain is not going to help an individual overcome their sadness”, I understand that this is exactly how my family has faced the pain. Of course they still miss my Great Grandmother, but through coming together as a cohesive family, we have helped each other get through it.
Most of my extended family is Catholic, which leads me to believe that in one form or another, they imagine her soul to be in heaven, with her husband. I happily accept their ideas about the afterlife. Nevertheless, over the past twelve weeks, I have still not come to a conclusion about the afterlife. Perhaps there is a large chance I will always be in a constant flux, swaying between belief and denial, until the day comes when I, Dominic Antonio Baechler, pass away, releasing or not releasing my soul from my body. Artifact 4: Love- From: Key Term Connections “The more one judges, the less one loves” (Khalil Gibson)
I will admit that this idea is true to me as a person. I tend to judge many things including people at first sight. I realize, however, that all judgment does is create an extra barrier between myself and that person. Say I am working on a project with someone that I have already distinguished as lazy and irritating. Before we have even started the project, I have created biases in my head that can only hurt the group. This is something I strive to work on. Thinking about Thinking: I chose this artifact because it highlights one of the challenges I have worked on since learning about the topic of love.
I have not been able to vanquish my mind of all biases and stereotypes that pop into my head largely due to my OCD, but I have definitely improved. In fact, for one of my class finals, my teacher assigned the class into groups. To my own surprise, when I saw who was in my group, my initial thought was not the usual “Oh gosh”, but “This is not the best group but it will be okay”. The positive mindset allowed me to actively encourage and help my group create a presentation that is quite good. After we presented our work, I could not help but feel love for the five of us that pulled together to succeed.
This love falls in the category of philia: love as joy and gratitude for the things in my life. I feel this not only with my school classmates, but with my friends at school as well. After completing this topic in class, my bond with my friends became closer as well. I started experiencing philia more often, leading me to be a happier person. If we had not covered this topic in class, I may never have created the bond that my friends and I share. Artifact 5: Piece and Justice Week- From: Topics Discussed in the Seminar
Men sometimes have an advantage over women that would not exist if gender inequality was abolished. For example, statistics show that more women take an AP level class than men, however, places in society finds it acceptable to pay them three-fourths of the salary that a man makes for the same job. Thinking about Thinking: This was possibly one of the most significant and important topics that was brought up during one discussion seminar on the topic of gender inequality. I had always noticed that their were more girls in the AP classes offered here at Saint Mary’s.
I do not mean to imply that these girls are smarter than boys, but in some cases they work harder than other girls and boys the same age as them. To think that these girls who strive to be extremely successful could fall to a lower income level than some men that may spend their time slacking off. After I went home that day, I asked my dad if they his company pay the women a quarter less of what they pay the men. He decided to address the financial department, enforcing that their company would not allow gender inequality within their group of workers. Now the men and women who work the same job get paid equal salaries.
The more we as society continue to emphasize the inequalities that women face in 21st century America, the more likely change will take place. The ability for our school to come together to discuss problematic topics such as these not only makes us unique, but leads students to create change in their own society outside of school. This is one of my favorite aspects of Saint Mary’s College High School. Artifact 6: God- From: Inquiry Journal “God does not play dice” -Albert Einstein This quote is an example of transcendence, the idea that God is not with us on earth but somewhere else.
Furthermore, it states that God created our universe and earth but isn’t still with us. This is an interesting argument in my opinion because it is not an idea that I have ever heard before our class. My parents and others who believe in God have always seen him in our lives and hearts. You may have noticed I used “he” to refer to God. That’s because I have no idea what he really is. After having been intrigued by this chapter of God in class, I feel much more open to the many Christian beliefs that people around the world have. I am still figuring out where my faith lies, but many of these ideas are quite intriguing.
Thinking about Thinking: I chose this quote because it really emphasizes my ability to ponder of the aspects about God that are familiar and that are completely new. Having only written this journal a week ago, my uncertainty about God’s form and whereabouts are still the same. However, the ideas of transcendence and transcendentalism have appeared recently. A few days ago, after having asked my parents their view on God, they told me that they both believe that God is not necessarily physically around us, but that he is around us.
This opinion of transcendentalism was the response I had respected. That same day, my aunt visited with her husband. When asked the same question, her husband told me that God created us, but he is not still with us on earth. Even though I may not know where my religious beliefs currently lie, I am still intrigued about the views of the people around me. Being able to understand the effect religious values can play on a person is an important skill that if developed further, may be useful in my future.