Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“‘I think of you as an angel with hairy hands and cruddy toenails.’” (Gilbert, 188)

Answering the question of what exactly is the highest purpose in my life is much like asking what the meaning of life is; it seems like a straightforward enough question but the answers aren’t always so easy to ascertain. My attempt at answering this question has many parts since I walk many paths every day and take upon many roles at each bend of those very paths.

One, I try to be a person of God. Though I question my faith nearly everyday I also find reassurance everywhere I go from the beauty in a spring day to the kind people I interact with everyday. To me God is everywhere; it is just up to us to notice him. This has always been my philosophy on faith and its one I share with Gilbert who writes, “There’s a reason they call God a presence—because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time.” (Gilbert, 132) There is a great truth in this quote that transcends all of the other meaningful passages we have read this semester; this is by far one of my favorite quotes I have ever read.

Vocationally, I have decided that for the foreseeable future I would like to be an English teacher. Not only do I hope to inspire my students in the classroom, but I also hope that I teach them more than just grammar or literary history. I would like to teach them to question: the world, morality, religion, race, politics, me, as well as their own views.

I know that when I tell people what I do for a living I will say that I am a teacher, but I also never want to stop being a student. Whether it’s learning from my students, my peers, strangers that I meet, or even a good book; there are bountiful sources of education at my fingertips. I believe that there are always new lessons to be learned, even when I am eighty years old I hope that I still keep the mentality of a student.

Gilbert clearly recognizes that she is still learning with each day. One of my favorite characters in the whole book is “Richard from Texas”. His quirky, everyday wisdom gives her what she needs, someone to open her heart the way he did to the whole world. One of the funniest parts of the book was when Richard described praying to God for an open heart only to have open-heart surgery soon after. It’s an ironic moment he chooses to learn, laugh, and grow from. If anyone has a healthy attitude towards life, it is Richard. And subsequently by knowing him, I think Elizabeth learns to also adopt a similar attitude as both her heart and her mind are open to true love by the end of her journey.

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