Archive for the ‘Robert P.’ Category

What is agency? According to Aristotle’s theory on “agency,” “agency is the power and duty to act, the power and duty to act in pursuit of your goals, and the power and duty to act in pursuit of yourself.” For example, the power and duty to act is the foundation for a man to lead his life in accordance with his virtues, by virtues Aristotle means to be honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind. These virtues, if initiated properly into the soul will allow man to flourish-be happy, as he was intended to. And lastly, by acknowledging the power of the virtue, man will flourished into a good soul by being aware of himself by skill of reasoning, serving his community well, and earned living obtaining support from it.

The useful concept of agency can be used as a foundation for the kind of person one wishes to be, and how he or she will become that person. For example, Emerson said, “if you trust yourself and work towards the proper development of yourself by discovery of your innermost talents, then you should not accept society’s false reward of property.” Emerson is stating: if you can depend on your thinking and rationale, you will discover the deepest ability to understand emotion intelligence, and whatever society wishes to reward you with will not excel what you have completed for yourself.

The concept of how to use agency begins with imagining a state of mind that one desires to adopt, for the creation for becoming a “good soul.” Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A-Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” Reasoning and rationality will get you from one destination to another but your imagination will allow you to soar beyond this universe, not to mention the newness of mind, cultivated with bright ideas that make you aware of life. Biggie Smalls said, “my minds my nine, my pens my Mack ten.” His weapon was his imagination and what came from it.

Agency has power; therefore, I will utilize that ability to encourage myself to do well. Agency has productivity; therefore, I will be respectful to my time, in how I am spending it. Agency has action; therefore, I will do because I acknowledge myself. Agency also has goals.

The weapon (mind) of agency can be used to empower people and communities into becoming a fundamental unit of happiness, true of what is beautiful and just, and aiming for good living. In order for agency to be a useful weapon, practical thinking must be inherited to be able to compromise, reason, and use valid judgment when accessing one’s virtues, and by virtue Aristotle means, to involve reason in thought and speech. When you inject reason into thought and speech, with the intention of becoming happy when formulating your concepts, your actions, and your deeds you become the meaning of your growth as a man of empathy and humility. I become the meaning of my growth as a man of empathy and humility.


The vulnerability that cannot be prevented

Professor Shaeeda Mensah, Morgan State University philosopher, in Social and Political Philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, and African American and Feminist Philosophy, asked myself and other Summer Philosophy Seminar students at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, to “write a letter to our fifteen year old self” given what we know now as adults. It’s a strange fact to consider but one worth revisiting because the facts stand, that as adults we were once all fifteen and full of life, innocence, imagination, and creativity. Our childhood and especially the curious fiber of our teenage years should be resumed from time to time with vigor, to perhaps get a sense of how far we, as adults have come in our social life, professional life, love life, and in life in general.

A letter to Robert Pleasant at fifteen years old

“So boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now” Langston Hughes, Mother to Son.

Dear Robert:

What I am about to say to you and why I am saying it to you, may not make sense now but it will when you become older and aware of life and both its’ possibilities and impossibilities. The world that which you know and understand as a comfort, will not always be such. Why am I telling you this? I tell you this because I love you and I want to prepare you for the harsh realities that await you outside of basketball in the park, extra-curriculum activities after school, free food and board, and the minimum responsibility that surrounds your existence at the moment. I know these punitive elements of our lifecycle to be true and actual with no exaggeration, because I have come face-to-face with them and on some level failed at maintenance.
I see your strengths and understand the ripe fruit of your curiosity, with that I would like to assist you with is providing you with some books, that I believe can and will broaden your thinking and interest. Here are a list of books that I would like to suggest to you: Black Boy by Richard Wright, The Ways of Folk by Langston Hughes, The Notes of the Native Son by James Baldwin, Nigger by Dick Gregory, Race Matters by Dr. Cornel West, The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois, The Awakening of Intelligence by Jiddu Krishnamurti, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, The Blacker the Berry by Wallace Thurman, and the New Negro by Dr. Allan Locke. These books may not save your life or find you salvation, but they will provide information that will enable you to look within yourself as a young Black man and beyond yourself.
Because of your youth and exciting liberty at fifteen years old, the understanding that resides within your home stability and community, your vulnerability as a child has the opportunity to not be exacerbated by certain social conditions that many kids your age face every day. When faced with inadequate protection such as, lack of parental guidance from a parent, lack of moral support from your community or insufficient attention from your educators you might feel as if everything is crumb

Existence Precedes Essence

Posted: July 11, 2013 in Robert P.

If man doesn’t exist, and by exist Sartre means to be alive, to appear, meet and greet, and to describe oneself, than man cannot define himself. Without definition of self, man is nothingness and by nothingness, Sartre means being responsible for what man is. For Sartre, “man first exists; that is, that man primarily exists-that man is, before all else, something that projects itself in a future, and conscious of doing so” (pg.23). So, what does Sartre mean by “Existence precedes essence?” As an atheist, Sartre believes that man first comes into the world occurring first and perceiving secondly, the nature of his choices. Those choices allow man to project himself into nothingness afterward conceiving himself into a being. God, described by Sartre does not exist for man, man exist before being defined by a concept.

I agree with Sartre that without defining ourselves, we are nothing. I believe man is a work of progress, in process of always searching for answers that define himself as a ‘being”. The essence of life and the ability to exist within the world primarily will come from a sense of being alive, a sense of constructive thinking and movement that produces conceivable factors that man can live with and for. For example, education from a University or College, employment that offers the basic necessities (food, shelter, and clothing) of life, being part of a two family home, and having friends. To exist and merely be a physical presence in the world, isn’t enough, and though to merely exist, which in the case means to wake up, shower, get dress, go to work, and come back home can define man as well, it is not the defining that constitutes anguish – man being responsible for man but it does constitute being condemned – man being responsible for everything he does. And what man does and how he does it will define not only how he projects himself but also what he would like to be.

Sartre says, “Man is not only that which he conceive himself to be, but that which he wills himself to be” (pg.22). What Sartre is suggesting is that man is “existence before essence”, in that existence with sure possibilities man is not only considering himself, he also creating and imaging himself, but also after realizing his existence. How can man conceive himself to be? If man has no desire to will himself into the man he wants to be. If I am to agree with Sartre on this point, which I do, than it would seem to me that in order for man to will himself into what he wants to be, he first has to exist, to conceive the thought of what he wants to create for himself. That is why it is logical to conclude that “existence precedes essence”.

In conclusion, man is not simply a thought of himself but a spontaneous conscious that is able to drive himself to who he wants to be, and after man is able to drive himself after he exist, man is a product of nothingness-responsible for what he is.

Poetry as Usual

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Robert P.

My goal is to have my own book of poems and essays, on the bookshelves of a major bookstore like Barnes & Noble. By having my work in a major bookstore it will allow people to view my work not only from my personal perspectives and view, but from theirs as well. As a writer of poetical verse and essay, I will be able to put my creativity into action by gaining insight into urban affairs, the life of black people, and community benevolence, therefore, enabling me to produce poems that specifically, black people can relate to. These relations built from my writings, will affiliate me with Langston Hughes, a leading voice of the Harlem Renaissance who wrote books such as, The Weary Blues, Shakespeare in Harlem, and The Ways of White Folk

As a published black American Poet, the function of my labor will produce a variety of literary outlets that can reach beyond New York City soil. For example, a published poet’s work will be seen and featured in magazines like, Mosaic Literary Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Poets and Writers Magazine, and Poetry Magazine, which are all recognized as valuable resources into the world of poetry.

It is important to me, to be recognized as an accomplished poet. An accomplished and recognized poet reveals fresh combinations of ideas, metaphors and images that provide flashes of insight. These elements are fashioned from a constant pursuit of various episodes, determined by cultural differences and life’s experiences seen by not only the poet but the world at large. At any event of the polished and accomplished working poet, there is the opportunity to make a significant amount of money throughout one’s career by constructing occupational endeavors for instance, creating book signing tours, book reading tours, crafting music scores for Broadway shows, and collaborating with other writers.

In conclusion, the working poet who is recognized and accomplished will be able to venture down an assortment of different scholarly avenues, which will lead to personal works in major bookstore, collaborations with composers and musicians, books and other literary works distributed in several languages in several countries. By far, without stretching the imagination of the published poet, who is renowned and proficient in their craft, welcomes the challenge to be able to write many works and verses over a countless decades. I feel that I can write and manufacture genuine poetry that will nontraditionally counteract what Amari Barack AKA Leroy Jones, Langston Hughes, Sonia Sanchez, James Baldwin, and numerous other were doing and still doing, in their community and around the world.