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Thurman&Twenge First Draft

Thurman&Twenge First Draft - An Army Of One Me By...

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An Army Of One: Me By Mia Marie Jamilano Professor Hand Expository Writing 101 1 December 2011 The present society has drastically evolved and transformed compared to past generations. The communities we live in are no longer controlled by a dominant group, such as men, or confined to a certain yet simple aspect of living as it was just a few decades ago. Our present generation has learnt to be independent and change what the expected ‘norm’ is. It’s simple to say that our reconstruction of society has changed for the better but what if this severe alteration has done nothing but the exact opposite? Jean Twenge compares the endless self- esteem differences between the baby boomer generation, children born between the 1940s and the 1960s, and Generation Me, children born during the 1970s and early 2000s, in her essay, “An Army of One: Me”. Twenge believes that the Generation Me babies are surrounded by never- ending school programs, magazines, books, and songs that focus solely on building their self-
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2 esteem which really leans closer to narcissism. However, Robert Thurman provides a completely different approach on the construction of the self in his essay, “Wisdom”. Thurman, an Indo- Tibetan Buddhist Professor at Columbia University, explains how selflessness can easily be found within the self with patience and tranquility. Twenge believes that society today is too caught up with egotistic views contradicting Thurman’s belief in concentrating less on being self- centered and more on building onto the current self’s potential. Because everyone is labeled as a distinct individual, seeing ourselves as being together as one understanding and complete community can be done with just a few steps. By being comfortable with your identity, accepting other people equally and uncritically is easier to encourage a welcoming sense of community. With this sense of acceptance, society as a whole needs to learn how to be more humble, open- minded, and generous to themselves and each other. The sole act of being humble is a characteristic respected and appreciated by many. A virtue such as modesty allows people to effortlessly relate to one another, thus bringing people together as a community. Humbling yourself down to the rest of society shows that you genuinely don’t feel superior to anyone and your empathy towards others. For example, the best athletes don’t gain their popularity due to their exceptional talent, but their characteristics, such as modesty, makes them highly admirable. The current undefeated heavy weight boxer, Manny Pacquaio, is the epitome of modesty. With such an aggressive sport such as boxing, you can only
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