Archive for the ‘Benjamin Mensah’ Category

Birth of the Unnatural

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Benjamin Mensah

Aristotle believes that character is not natural, and that it is developed through habit. I agree with Aristotle that character is not natural and it is developed through habit. It is through habits that a character is formed. It is an everyday process which makes a person. Either with sports, working, and schooling. One cannot become an athlete, a nurse or a student without a virtue surrounding them. The environment which a person is around also develops their habits and forms their character.

A person is not born to be a champion, a leader or an Olympian. The individual associates themselves with a habit of dedication, hard work, responsibility, accountability, self-respect and service. The individual cannot be a champion, leader, or Olympian unless they train themselves physically and mentally to virtue of becoming a leader, an athlete or an Olympian. It is an everyday process the individual must go through to succeed in what they want .

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. both are known to be great civil right leaders. They weren’t born to be a leader. Malcolm and Dr King went through leadership training. Malcolm who had a thug liker personality in his past; whose life changed after some years in prison. In prison developed strong believes in Islam religion and black philosophy. Engaging in thinking, Political philosophy, building self-confidence, and duty to act later made Malcolm X a great civil right leader. Dr King developed his leadership through his training of leading his peaceful protest, engaging in operations, and community conferences. Neither man was born a leader. Both engaged themselves with in a leadership virtue.

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Enduring Thyself

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Benjamin Mensah

What is agency, and how can it be both a useful concept and a weapon?

Agency is the active operation in which a person must go through to achieve and grasp what they wish to become. Agency is the right in acting, pursuing oneself and goals; not by words but with action. It is not looking at the past or future but focusing on the present and making something of it. Agency also deals with believing oneself, thoughts, behavior, interaction, and finding happiness in it. Not happiness of pleasure or pain but a fair happiness of a mean sanctuary.

Agency is very useful and powerful in a person’s everyday life. It is very useful because one is able to build self-confidence by believing his or her thoughts to be just. Not only to them but to everyone. Agency is a very useful because it helps an individual conquer them self. Not others but themselves. It is also a process one must practice every day to obtain it to make it absolute.

Agency is a very powerful weapon to any individual that have obtained it. I believe those who have agency are invisible because they’ve learned to adapt to any environment and anything that stands in their way. Not only are they able to adopt but also bond or bind others. Agency is a powerful weapon because the individual who masters it will exceed success that no ordinary person can even imagine striving for. Individuals that I believe have had agency are Olympians. Olympians are abnormal people to me, in a positive way. They have obtained strength that not many others have. They have obtained confidence. Everybody in this world is capable of becoming an Olympian but not everybody moves or acts out of self-confidence, powerful action, the agency to conquer their own mind. When an Olympian loses they go back and train to get better. When an individual loses they begin to doubt themselves, shows fear, lack of confidence. Olympians are able to bond and bind others. Any ordinary person doesn’t dare compare themselves to an Olympian because they know and understand the level an Olympian is on. When an Olympian says he or she is going to do something, they end up doing it. If an Olympian don’t manage to achieve what they want. They will continue to strive unless they have grasped it.
Agency can be very useful and a powerful weapon in everyone’s life. Those who achieve agency will overcome many things and reach great heights in life.

Evolution And The Absolute

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Benjamin Mensah

Socrates and his friends are discussing the meaning of the following quote, “What is that which is and has no becoming and what is that which is always Becoming but Never Is”, in the dialogue Timaeus. In what follows, I will offer up my own interpretation.

What is that which is always becoming and never is I believe are people. I say people are who they are but at the same time never are. Sometimes we think people are becoming something or someone because of their actions in a present day or past action but we end up being wrong. In Dewey’s “Human nature and Conducts”. Dewey explains how as human beings we are constantly changing. Either it’s with our desires, dreams, conditions, and actions. We are always becoming something and then at the same time we are changing every second of the minute. My little brother told me he wanted to be a fireman, the next month he told me he wanted to be a policeman, the following month he told me he wanted to be a scientist. That’s a good example of something or someone which is always becoming and never is. People are what they are becoming but never is because they are rapidly changing through social conditions or personal feelings. I can also relate this to Sartre “Existentialism is a Humanism”, where he states “Man is not only that which he conceive himself to be, but that which he wills himself to be, and since he conceives of himself only after he exists, just as he wills himself to be after thrown into existence, man is not only other than what he makes of him”. This means that if someone does not exist than it will be impossible for them to make something of themselves.

What is that which is and has no becoming I believe is God. The reason why I say this is because within humanity, we’ve created and have this belief that there is a being in the universe that is beyond ourselves. We consider this being to be God and if anyone tries to change who God is, they will not succeed. This is because of Gods long history in human culture. God is what he is and god is not becoming who he is. God is a divine being most have spoken of throughout the history of mankind. In Sartre’s Existentialism precedes Essence. He talks about existence preceding essence which is related to human beings. Now since God has no existence as in physical form. God is Essence whom precedes existence. God is known throughout history to be a being that helps and saves mankind and no matter what, it will always be like that. God is that which is and is not becoming something else.

Existentialism Is Humanism

Posted: July 11, 2013 in Benjamin Mensah

Sartre states “Existence precedes essence”. One is born into the world not determined by a god, destiny, faith or others in who or what he or she will or want to be. Rather, one is born into the world to make something of themselves. That individual have a choice in who they are and what they want to become. As a human being we are born into the world freely to make a choice in what we want to be. We are not born for a specific reason, we have a will to choose and strive on what we truly desire on becoming. In doing so existence of mankind precedes essence.

I agree with Sartre because I believe our desires to be whom or whatever we wish are unlimited to us as oppose to following others or having our path laid for out for us. As human beings we are always evolving and changing. What we believe as individuals to have passion for today may change tomorrow and what we believe to love tomorrow will perhaps change the next day. No other person nor god have the right to tell us otherwise except ourselves.

Another reason why I agree that existence precedes essence has to do with choice, the freedom to choose. We have the moral freedom to choose the path that we want to walk. Of course the path we choose may have consequences but throughout the process of our mistakes and success, we make progress which leads us to the aspect of changing and evolving as human beings. This progress affects us as individuals and as a group. We are never complete, we are an unfinished living substance and we will continue to evolve and change until our death but I have the freedom to choose what I will evolve into.

An example that I can relate to Sartre’s Existence precedes essence claim is the evolution of growing up as human beings. A teacher with a degree in a specific area doesn’t necessarily mean that this individual will be an educator for the rest of their life. As a student that have a desire to teach, I’ve seen many educators with degrees and within their life of living and growing they pursued many degrees and some have went along to pursue different careers. My trigonometry teacher was once an engineer. I asked him why did he give up the job and become an educator, His response was “I got bored “. It realized that at any given moment an individual’s passion for something can change. A choice to choose what you want to be and who you want to be can change. This inspired me as a student and as a future educator that I have the choice to pursue what I desire to do in life. Either it is through teaching, coaching, physically working, or singing. I have my right and choice to do so. There is no god, parents, society, friends, and others to tell me I can’t do so.

Another example I can relate to Sartre’s Existence precedes essence claim is as a child and a teenager, my parents have made some of the choices for me. As I am slowly growing up, my parents still made decisions for me and as a result of that, I personally do not feel right when they do. I feel as my freedom of thoughts and action is being stripped away. Like Sartre said “when an individual feels like an object, a thing,” I too began to feel like a mere tool because my choice was being taken from me. As my life is being laid out for me and through this feeling I began to resist what I was told. Even though it feels wrong and disrespectful, I feel at times as If I don’t have my own will to do what I wish. I realize I am not really evolving the way I want to. I am rather evolving the way my parents wants me to. In my resistance, I am slowly making my own choices. I began resisting by making my own decisions and as harsh as it sound, not listening to them. I have the will to do what I please to do freely. I don’t feel like an object, I feel as a breathing human being that have the right to choose who I want to be and where I want to go.

My goal and desire is to be a national champion wrestler at the college level. Of course attending college for four or five years doesn’t necessarily mean for each of those years I’ll achieve the title of national champion; however, earning one title is enough to satisfy me. I believe by achieving this title it will build confidence and expectations for myself to achieve and strive for more.

One reason why I think this goal is important or worth striving for is because I have great drive. I’ve been wrestling for a long time and I fell in love with the sport. I enjoy it very much; it gives me a challenge and that’s why I have a desire to continue in the sport. By wrestling at the college level, I’ll be the first in my high school to be compete at college level wrestling and the thought of that encourages and motivates me because I will be leading by example for my fellow teammates. Fulfilling my desire, will make me satisfied and encourage me to always ask more of myself.

Another reason why I think this goal is important or worth striving (change this phrasing you cant use the same words twice) for is because my High school coach motivates and inspires me, he sees a potential that I myself can’t see and his words of motivation constantly move me to do my best. Many other coaches I practiced with throughout the city also saw a potential I haven’t yet seen and from the seconds in the minutes, to the hours, to the days, to the months during practice they have trained me to go beyond my limits. Some of the coaches also wrestled in college and earned national titles and they inspire me. I am honored to be training under those that share the same passion for the sport of wrestling because they have experienced success in the sport of wrestling. Being part of their teams and practices and having them tell me they know I am ready for the college level really allows me to believe that I can be the national champion one day.

A third reason that it is important for me to strive for this goal is because I am the first in my family to ever do the sport of wrestling. I want to achieve the best so I can be an inspiration to my family especially to my little brother and sister. Laying down a foundation for them to stand on when they grow up is a responsibility I’ve accepted. Being the first to set the foundation inflames a desire for them to strive for their own goals and passions in the future.

I will be going to college because the college I want to attend accepted me and I have talked to the wrestling coach about wrestling for him while attending college. If I end up going to a college that doesn’t have a wrestling program, I will attend the college for a year or two while practicing with coaches around the city then transfer the following year to a college that has a wrestling program in order to make sure I am always working toward my goal of National Champion Wrestler.