Two Kinds and The Teachings Behind That

The story “Two Kinds” by Jing Mei Woo represents several meanings to the reader through the piano and the ability and the practice taken to play the piano.  But here, I would like to point out the direct meaning of “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented” were the two halves of the same song.

The direct meaning of this is that they were both the same halves of the same song even though they were placed in the opposite directions to each other in the piano, one in the right hand side and the other in the left hand side.  This gives us the idea that each of them cannot be played individually.  If they were played individually, they will be meaningless and no effectiveness.

However, I suppose that we can interpret this in another way and to see the main point of this story.  We could interpret this in another form that could highlight the mother and the daughter comparing their behaviors that is essential to lead a perfect life. One main difference is that the mother is a hopeful person while the daughter is a hopeless person, which means, she wants everything to happen sooner because she does not want to waste time by waiting for that event.  The next is that the mother was obedient to her mother, whereas Jing Mei is disobedient to her mother.  This depicts the two kinds of daughters.  In both cases, both mother and Jing Mei have to have each other’s characters. Since each of them is having two opposite characters and they don’t coincide with the idea, it won’t bring success. For example, if Jing Mei had the interest, hope and quality of obeying her mother, then could have practiced piano effectively and she would not have been embarrassed during the concert.  Only her mother’s plan cannot bring Mei the success. Her interest and effort take the biggest percentage of her success.  She should have tried that a little bit and she could have given it up only if she failed to pick it up.

Ultimately, this reveals that there should be two different characters in the same person to bring their effort a success like the piano should have both the ends played properly to see the real beauty of the art of piano. Since Mei lacked this quality, she failed to perform well.

A Lesson through “Half and Half.”

According to “half and half “it clearly reveals that Rose was careless about making decisions in her own life even in her personal needs.  What we do when we fail to make plan is that we plan to fail.  As a result, she had to face the consequences of those problems that ultimately led her to end up in divorce.  The lesson that this theme teaches is that always we have to learn to be independent without relying on others and to make our own plans by over selves.  This is because we are the one going to live and we are the one going to face the consequences at the end.

The first mistake was done by her when she failed to make her decision about her own marriage.  When Ted told, “Let my mother decide what is right?” to Rose, she should have disagreed with that idea.  That was before her marriage; therefore, she could have taken her own decision whether to marry Ted or to marry someone else, or she could have at least thought a little more about that saying. Why should Ted’s mother decide what is right and what is wrong?  Why can’t Rose decide about that? Does not Rose know what is right and what is wrong?  Is not she matured enough to think about that or does not she have morals?  If not, from Ted’s mother’s perspective, is it the way of treating her daughter-in-law?

The second mistake that Rose did was letting Ted make all the decisions during the life with him before he forced her to make decisions.  She should not have given all the responsibility of making decisions to Ted.  They could have discussed properly and made decisions by both of them.  Then at least she could have given her suggestions.  We also must have the right to give our own ideas and to make comments whenever necessary.  “Half and Half” does not say that she was not allowed to make decisions.  Instead, she just ignored the necessity of taking part in active discussion while making family decisions, leaving all that responsibility to Ted.  Loving each other should not make us totally depend on the other and that does not mean simply to comply with their ideas and decisions.

Ultimately, what I would like to suggest here is not to let others decide about each of our lives.  Let us do our part perfectly by making our decisions by ourselves  in order to avoid the consequences that we will have to face if we fail to do our part accurately.

Why Is Critical Thinking to Our Lives?

Why Is Critical Thinking to Our Lives?

Critical thinking, which is not considered as a serious matter among most of the people, is something that we all should do and probably we all do, intentionally or unintentionally.  This is often associated with questioning and the potential for finding the legitimate reasons and rational thoughts.  We should have our rationales as a response to what we believe and do, and should be able to explain out rationales to others.  For example, I would like to elaborate this theme with a support of a small anecdote.

Once upon a time, long before, a grandfather and a grandson wanted to sell their horse.  They started to ride on their horse towards their destination.  Both of them sat on the back of the horse and began their journey.  They met the first stranger on their way, after they had travelled a certain distance.  He asked both of them from how far they have been riding the horse.  Immediately he got the answer he retorted, “Oh my God, how tired this horse might feel? Don’t you both feel pity for this? If you planned to sell this, then it should look good and healthy.  Why don’t you give it a rest?”  Then both of them thought oh yah, that’s something we need to think about. The horse is innocent.  We should leave it free, if not we won’t be able to sell the horse to a good price.  Let’s go by foot and started walking all along the way.  After they had walked a few distance they looked tired and exhausted.  Then they met another person who asked why both of them were coming walking when they owned a horse implying that both of them looked really tired.  He asked them why they don’t take the maximum benefit of what they posses.  Then the grandson and the grandfather started to think in that way.  They wondered how foolish they were, having a horse with them and coming walking all along.  Then they decided to ride the horse again and proceeded.  Then a third person met with them. He yelled at both of them telling that that’s an immoral act of them to ride on the horse for a long distance.  He told that it’s a burden to the animal if both of them get on, so he suggested let the boy to ride the horse and the grandfather walk.  Both of them agreed with this plan as well. Half way again another man yelled at the boy asking if he didn’t feel sympathy on grandfather. He told that the grandfather is an old person who becomes fatigue easily while the boy is young and should be more active.  So and so many people interfered with them and gave them so many suggestions before they reach their destination.

This is due to acting without critical thinking.  If the boy and the grandfather had their own idea, then they could have answered the people who interfered with them in their way. Since they had not thought or planned well before the journey, they had to alter their plan time to time.

Joy Luck Club

In “The Red Candle” Lindo Jong says that no one showed up in her first wedding due to the Japanese invasion in her country. This quote did not influence me much as I had not experienced this kind of problems in my life before. It was just a normal part of the story as others were.

However, here is how I felt the next day after reading that. I read this chapter at night and went to bed immediately. I saw an extremely horrible dream that night. It was all about the invasion of Japanese in Sri Lanka.

The whole village, including my relations and parents but excluding me, were supposed to leave our own houses and go elsewhere. Japanese especially wanted me for them; they wanted my blood. They came home by home and strictly told everyone to vacate the area as soon as possible-without even delaying a minute. I felt that I am lost to my parents and they are lost to me; both of us are no more going to meet each other hereafter. The Japanese did not allow me to talk my final words to my parents. They fiercely told that they will have to take my parents also with them if they delay any more. Furthermore, they told that my parents also will have to be killed after if they continue staying there. Hence, I begged my parents to leave the place immediately, and to migrate somewhere else and live peacefully. Tears were rolling from my parents’ eyes like water falling from the top of the mountain. I told them to forget me as there were two more children to them to be taken care of: my younger brother and younger sister. I asked them to get out of the place soon. However, they did not dare to leave me alone with them and go.

Since the Japanese intention was totally on me, they pulled me and put me into their vehicle. I could even bit my parents a farewell. During the journey, they asked me to obey all of their orders; if not they will kill me within a couple of days. They told me that I won’t be supplied with any sort of materials to live: at least food! They told me the horribe things  about what I am going to face there.

When I got up that morning, I was so frightened and felt like wanting to talk to my parents immediately. Even though this was just a dream, it depicted how the situation would be when the aliens try to invade your area.

The Giving Tree

Shel Silverstein in “The Giving Tree” clearly depicts how patient and kind the tree was and how happy she felt when she saw the boy ascending in his life, and her dedication and willingness to assist the boy in order to achieve his goals in his life.  However, on the other hand, Silverstein did not fail to depict the selfishness and narrow mindedness of humans.

When the boy was young, he was so lonely.  Then he visited the tree and enjoyed well.     When he wanted something for his survival, he took the benefit of all the parts of the tree: leaves, trunk, branches and fruit.  However, he did not think of reciprocating the tree in any way. When he was with the tree, both of them were happy; both of them loved each other.  Later, as time elapsed, his way to the tree slowly started to decline and he started seeing her only when he felt lonely or when he wanted something from her.  Whatever he asked the tree, no matter when it was, she was ever ready to assist him.  She did not deny at any circumstance.

Even though she had offered the boy all what she could possibly give him, having nothing left for herself, even after her trunk was cut and taken away by the same boy, she started to profusely regret that she could no longer support the boy.  She felt so sorry for that. However, the selfish boy did not even try to console her with at least a couple of words: that’s okay or don’t worry.  Instead, he said that he won’t need very much from her anymore!  Further he asked a quiet place to him to sit and take a rest. Anyway, that was all what the tree could possibly offer him to its best at this moment.

According to this, we can see how selfish and narrow minded humans are.  The boy did not think of watering the plants of the tree or planting another plant instead of destroying this tree.  He only thought about his personal life, his word affairs and his improvement in his life.

Let’s think this vice versa!  What would have happened if the nature takes the benefit of all humans: discarding our parts of the body from us one by one and finally leaving us with only the feet, like the boy dared to do to the tree?  Definitely it will be an ordeal and we all will raise our voices against violence.  Then, is it that occurred to the tree is due to lack of its verbal ability???

On Aging

          I feel Maya Angelou has a totally different attitude and interest towards aging as she has described On Aging. She says she does not need others’ chattering when she is sitting quietly and lonely. However, most of our grandparents want not to be alone and quit. They always expect someone, either their children or grandchildren to be talking to them and taking care of them. Most old people hate being alone in the last few days of their life. Therefore, it’s natural that they seek someone to share their thoughts, and they often reminisce their young days with their grandchildren. Most of the time they are worried that they are getting older with time.

          Angelou asks others not to bring her rocking chair when she becomes week and unable to climb the steps. In contrast to this, we can see most of the old people do not like to climb steps or do any sort of hard work when they are aged. They expect someone else’s support to do their own work. Their preference towards dependency than independency increases with aging.

          Angelou claims not to equate tired with laze. When others see her walking stumbling, she says that not her every last moment of life is gone. However, this is not what most old people think. They always equate laze with tired in order to find an excuse for not doing their work by themselves. Though, the old are in their sixties, they pretend as they are in their nineties. Old people never think that they are still the same young people with a little diminished nature: color of the hair, nature of the skin, strength of the bones, ability to do hard work, capacity of their lungs, fitness in their mentality, etc. In contrast, most of the old think that they have totally lost everything and hence, nothing remaining with them now, and are worried about that.

          However, I would like mention some words about my great grandmother. She has three children and none of them are living with her right now. She and my grandfather lived together; she alone took care of my grandfather until his death. Even after his death, she is still living by herself in the same house as she was before: doing the entire house hold chores having no servant at home. When we ask her to come with us, she never does. When we say that she is an exceptional old women, she retorts by telling being lonely is troubles and peaceful for her. Moreover, she also says so many things similar to Angelou. I suppose, my grandmother is another example to Angelou’s poem.

What Is Poverty

The essay “What Is Poverty” by Jo Goodwin Parker, clearly describes what poverty and how poor feel and suffer due to poverty.

These describe the surrounding and the routine of the poor as they awake in the morning and go to bed in the night, with the same never cleaned, dirty and untidy place of residence, and the never leaving bad smell.  Poverty is working laboriously and being a chronic patient of several severe diseases like anemia.  Poverty is being hungry for several months. Still, feeding the children if you get something to make your tongue wet.  Poverty leads the poor children to skip schooling and compel to plan them to do any occupation that make you earn some money to fulfill your thirst and hunger.  Poverty separates the poor children from the wealthy ones in all aspects of life.  Poverty does not at least let you take the benefit of any public property: health clinics or government schools.  In short, poverty does not let the poor to do anything to proceed in life; rather simply compelling them to be silent and patient.

The elaborated essay of the above summery is from the perspective of first person which directly addresses the second person as the reader or the listener.  So when reading that particular essay, it sounds like the poor directly talking to the reader: complaining about the hopeless future waiting for him or her and their children and how they have suffered in the past.  The poor ask to look at them with an angry heart that will help the wealthy help to poor.

On the other hand, the wealthy people never turn their eyes or care about the poor in usual situations, perhaps, other than they get inspirations from these kinds of articles.  The wealthy people don’t even mind to feed the poor with a single parcel of food: instead they completely ignore the poor whenever they see the poor begging in a polite manner.

We all are supposed to take this seriously and find a solution to the poor who are also human beings like us and suffering without doing and evil act. This essay should call all of us for an action; to somehow lessen the bad situation that exist among poor, so that all of us can live in peace and harmony.  Hope everyone will think about this and take this to an action…