Reflective essay over literature
Reading through literature work by various authors has made me have a different perspective towards life. Analysing the literature I have read in class, i have come to appreciate the challenges that come with life and more especially the wars that i face on a day to day basis. Even though the main theme that has been presented in the literature is about war there is much more to it that reflects on the conflicts that we face and the consequences depending on how we face them. Conflict is part of human life and how a person faces it will determine the outcome. With this in mind, literature has made me open up to conflict and take it as a challenge that is aimed at making me to grow rather than putting me down. With the wars that the characters faced, they also faced issues in their families which they were able to handle. This is a reflection of the external and internal issues that we face and the best way to handle.
It was easier for the wife and son to assume that he was dead and engage in all manner of evils. However, the love they shared ensured his determination to come back as well as a welcome that guaranteed him that he was still needed in the home. When love has not been well cultivated in the family, the true colour of the characters will be revealed when they are faced by a particular conflict. I have hence learned to not only cherish my family but also work at ensuring that they win my trust as well as the trust of others (Watson 85).
Another fundamental factor about life is basically knowing how to go through every stage of life and effectively facing the challenges that come with it. The art of war is a novel that has enlightened me on the importance of knowing when and how to fight. Each chapter gives instructions on how to face an enemy depending o the prevailing circumstances. “ If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle” This is a symbol of the different conflicts we face, may it be in the family, at our workplaces or even in the social and economic arena. Each conflict needs a specific strategy to effectively handle. There are times when we need to brave up, use our weapons effectively and fight. There are also those moments when we need to resist the enemy or just master the tactics. Life is not just about fighting our battles but it reaches a time when we need to identify whether we are fighting an enemy or not (Griffith 67).
With the different people that we encounter, it may be easy for us to mistake one to be a friend or even an enemy when the opposite is true. Taking cautious measure when relating with strangers will ensure that we do not find ourselves in trouble or even loosing opportunities. Knowing the reaction to take at each stage will ensure that we have and develop meaningful relationships. Similarly, there is the aspect of letting go especially when a relationship has lost its meaning. Each season requires taking measures and we are hence encouraged to make decisions that will add value to our lives.
The things they carried is yet another literature work that challenges individuals to only carry what they need in the path of life. “ They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment” the statement is a reflection of the burdens that we carry from our past life such as grudges, regret, hate and even negative attitude will hinder one from effectively facing and fighting their battles. However, learning to put the past behind us and facing the future with courage will facilitate success. Dwelling so much on the past or worrying so much about the future is likely to make a person not to appreciate the good moments that come with each day. Life is all about realising that the future is past and whatever happened cannot be undone. Accepting what happened and making meaningful present decisions will save us from past mistakes. The future on the other hand is beyond our control and the best we can do is to enjoy the present with a lot of caution (O’brien 92).
The most important lesson I have learned from literature is the fact that what will set a person free is making decisions as per their conscience rather than opinion. Knowing that one will never ever please everyone at any stage of life, we are therefore left with the option of making decisions that we are sure our conscience agree to rather than to be driven by pleasure. In case anything has to go wrong, it is better blaming yourself and correcting your mistake than blame somebody else who may not take responsibility.
Griffith, Samuel B. Sun Tzu: The art of war. Oxford, 1963.
O’brien, Tim. The things they carried. HarperPerennial, 1991.
Watson, John Selby, ed. The Odyssey of Homer. G. Bell, 1876.