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Stout & Thurman Final

Stout & Thurman Final - Wisdom By Mia Marie...

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Wisdom By Mia Marie Jamilano Professor Hand Expository Writing 101 8 November 2011 Our individualities consist of our personalities, perspectives, and backgrounds. It’s the distinctiveness between these characteristics that sets us apart and determines us from one person from another. Our backgrounds and origins, such as nationally and gender, are predetermined for us, leaving those parts of our identities unalterable. However, we are given the freedom to choose our own perspectives on different areas and gain a personality in our liking. Huge contributors such as the experiences, people, and our moods are what influence our perspectives and personalities. Robert Thurman, an Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies Professor at Columbia University, preaches the Buddhist processes to be selfless in reality to search for that inner strength and virtue to gain your sense of self in his essay, “Wisdom”. Thurman argues that gaining this “selflessness”
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2 liberates us and keeps us hungry to be more than what we already are. This approach of finding your self is contradicted in Marilyn Stout’s essay, “When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning, It was Friday”. Stout, a clinical psychologist, describes her patients’ uses of dissociation to help cope with troubled times and events in their lives. While Stout’s patients have fixed identities, in reality, the construction of our self-identity is constantly changing. It is the particular events that influence our lives, the people that surround and inspire us during these events, and our further eagerness to explore outside of our comfort. As cliché as it sounds, the past unquestionably makes us the people we are today. Good times or not, the past influences all our current perspectives and behaviors. For instance, after stressful and unsettled events from school or work, we are intelligent enough to understand our mishaps, accept to move forward, and learn to not repeat our careless actions. This cause and effect is explained by Stout as, “Perhaps this is a part of the reason why philosophers and theologians through the centuries have observed such a strong connection between unbearable earthly sorrow and spiritual enlightenment, a timeless relationship that psychologists have mysteriously overlooked” (Stout 384). Enlightenment after a problematic experience is extremely important for the process of
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