Life has been described as a long and winding road. I believe this is true. There are times in life when you cannot see very far ahead due to sharp curves, and the road behind seems lost in thick woods or darkness. But when you try to recall, the road already traveled is never really lost…
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The real power of memories and experiences is they can be used to help us succeed today. A favorite work of literature I often return to is the Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The entire structure of the book is one long memory of the protagonist, Pony Boy. The tragedies, triumphs and tensions described in the telling of the story all lead to one important point in time. It is the moment that Pony Boy sits down to write the story of his young life. Without these experiences would Pony Boy have been the same person he was when he sat down to tell his tale? If he had not experienced the class conflict, the loss of a friend and the witnessed wasting of life, would he have been as powerful a narrator? Perhaps the real question is would he have had story to tell? Though Pony Boy is a character of fiction, he is real in the sense that all of us need to use our past experiences and memories to help us succeed today. Success for Pony Boy was the writing of his life story in a touching, dramatic way. We all have a past that we must use to reach our potential. Every human being has aspirations and dreams. I believe that we experience certain things in our lives that can be stumbling blocks or springboards for accomplishing our dreams. Pony Boy Curtis used tragedy to tell the story of his life. We all have a different story, but a story we all do have. In my life, I can already see that some experiences and failures I have experienced have provided opportunities for me to learn or for me to regress in my learning. When I was a boy, I had a fever that caused swelling in my hands and feet. I was very sick. The doctors warned that if the condition was not brought under control, I would continue to swell-up like a balloon. Although this sounds funny now, at the time it was in-fact a life threatening condition. Up until this time, I was a kid that only ever wanted to watch TV and play video games. My parents would constantly push me out of the house to go play, but I hated it. I was much more interested in movies. Once I got sick, I had to lie in bed for two weeks without moving. My feet did not touch the floor from my bed for this whole period of time. I remember lying there in bed just wishing that I could somehow get up and go run around outside. I was so tired of watching TV after the first week that I didn’t even turn it on after the first seven days. After I regained the use of my feet and hands, I remember spending almost all of my time outside. I remember how good it felt just to have the breeze on my face and the sun shining on my skin. To this day, I am still the sort of person that appreciated the outdoors. This experience taught me that being inside and craving electronic entertainment is not a happy way to live life. I would be a much different person if I had never gotten sick all of those years ago. Our experiences in the past shape who we are today. A final reason I feel the past is important is because a firm understanding and memory of the past is important for keeping us firmly rooted in the present. Another book that I enjoy is George Orwell’s 1984. This book describes a dystopian society that is controlled by conflict, despair and the ever-present Big Brother. The main character, Winston Smith, actually works for the government in 1984. His job is to destroy the evidence of past events that contradict the official party line as told by the government. By controlling the past and the reported happenings of history, the government is
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(“Do memeories hinder or help people in their efforts to learn from the Essay”, n.d.)
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