Friday, March 19, 2010

paper a

Argument: the argument from my first paper was that palliative sedation is better for the family of a suffering patient because palliative sedation is better for the patient and anything that is better for the patient is better for the family.

Audience: The audience for my paper was the family members of people who are currently suffering from a terminal illness for which palliative sedation would be a viable treatment option. Such people would be opposed to selecting palliative sedation because of their strong value of life and the fear of feelings of guilt and of not having the same amount of time to communicate with their loved one.

How: The paper is first and foremost an emotional appeal to the audience. It relies heavily on the assumption that the audience cares very deeply about their suffering relative and wants what will be best for them. It uses real life anecdotes of how palliative sedation can bring peace to the suffering and how the experience can be positive for the family. Because it is a very personal and sensitive topic, it address the audience very softly, attempting to relate to them on an emotional level and have trustworthy, caring voice. Logically, there are a few numbers and facts to support the pathos, but they are not the strongest parts of the argument. A lot could be added to the paper by using stronger statistics and a little more logic.

Effectiveness: I believe that the paper does an effective job of presenting the argument in a way that would be resonate with the audience. While it could be helped with stronger facts to back it up, the anecdotes from real patients and how they were helped and how families dealt with the use of palliative sedation are enough the move the audience emotionally and see where the argument is coming from.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A few observations

Often this modern life lacks the simplicity that we romantically associate with generations before. Honestly, I doubt that life has ever been truly simple for anyone – if nothing else, from the beginning of time we have always had our relationships to provide plenty of drama. We can try to simplify life by narrowing our focus to the key decisions and activities that are truly important and have lasting effects on our lives, but rarely can we be truly successful in doing that, and even if we are their importance is enough to create a new complexity of their own. Simply by having to interact with those around us, we relinquish much of the control we have over the simplicity of our existence. The reliance we must have on, as well as the innate trust we must place in others adds enormously to the complexity we face in life. I don’t know how someone else is going to react in any given situation with which I may be involved. Their actions will have a direct effect that I cannot control on how my life will play out. With all the commotion that goes on it becomes difficult to find the simple peace I believe we all yearn for.

Yet, despite everything that contributes to the calamity and chaos in which we exist, sometimes peace and simplicity is right there. All it really takes is a sunny day and good song in your head, the glimpse of a beautiful smile as you pass by, or a round of laughter with your closest friends and for that moment nothing else really matters. I think it’s those moment that we live for. Those types of moments that can separate one day from any other by making us smile down to our soul and remove us, for however brief a moment, from the stress and problems we face on a daily basis. It is those moments that rejuvenate us when we are worn out and jaded by life, and it is those moments that bring us back to the joys of childhood, when everything was new and wonderful, and the only thing we had to worry about was cleaning our rooms and getting sunburned. I think the more we can find moments like that, the brighter our lives will shine.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Visual art analysis

The piece of art i'm looking at is Norman Rockwell's "Lift up Thine Eyes"Argument: The argument of this piece is that society has forgotten God and that we need to look back to him to find happiness in this life. As an enthymeme, it could be phrased as Lifting up our eyes to God will bring happiness to us because lifting our eyes to God reminds us of all the blessings we have, and anything that reminds us of the blessings we have will bring us happiness.

Audience: The audience for this argument is really anyone in society. Rockwell makes that clear with the broad variety of people walking around with their heads hung low in the foreground of the image. Yet, while his picture is a commentary on society as a whole, it does seem to focus on the wealthier class, and those who live in big cities. There is a more apparent problem of people forgetting God in these groups, as they tend to be more focused on careers etc.

How: The focal point of the picture are the words "Lift Up Thine Eyes" written on a church bulletin board. To contrast those words, below it walk a group of busy people who have there eyes focused on the sidewalk before them. Above the sign, a spiral of doves draws the eyes of the viewer towards the heavens, making them follow the advice from the church sign and lift up their eyes. The contrast of the words and the actions of the people depicted works on both a logical and an emotional level. Because we can see how the mass of people look, we logically conclude that they are not focused on God, and that has some influence on their demeanor. Emotionally we feel attached to the people as we think about how we often put ourselves in their place, becoming too busy for the divine.

Effectiveness: I think that the image is very effective in reminding us to look up to God. It makes you think about your own life, and if you are living life as one who only looks down, or if you are one who will follow the doves into heaven.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recently i've been thinking about the scripture Alma 34:32, which states "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God." The scripture was brought up by my lit teacher in a discussion about George Herbert's poetry. The poem we were reading was "Redemption"

HAVING been tenant long to a rich Lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancell th’ old.

In heaven at his manour I him sought :
They told me there, that he was lately gone
About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possession.

I straight return’d, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts ;
In cities, theatres, gardens, parks, and courts :
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth

Of theeves and murderers : there I him espied,
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died.

The interpretation i came up with for the poem is one of dependence on our part. As tenants under the Lord, we require His grace to perform our labors and find salvation. Without His sacrifice, our suit could never be granted.

My question in that context, and with Alma 34 is what qualifies as proper preparation for our meeting with God? As mentioned later in the chapter, success in this lives depends on our ability to improve ourselves. I suppose that every decision we make, even the ones that seem so small and insignificant can in some way help or hinder our personal preparation. Now as Herbert points out, we cannot really improve ourselves, but rely on the Grace of our savior to become better. This is what Elder Bednar refers to as the enabling power of the atonement. As we rely on Christ we are able to perform works that we otherwise would not have the strength or power to accomplish.

Last night we had our first, and unfortunately last tournament soccer game. We started out with a quick goal off a corner kick, but that would be the extent of our scoring success. I was quite disappointed with my personal performance. I feel like i've a step of quickness over the past month. i Guess that's part of growing old. I need to start working out again and getting my legs back.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Adventure

The title for today's post comes from a song by Angels and Airwaves of the same title. Click on the video below to hear the song, which i think conveys a lot of the emotions we all feel about trying to get the most out of life.

Life for me is an adventure. I've learned in my short existence life consists of so many twists and turns, none of which we could ever expect, but when we stumble upon them, we are amazed by what we find. At this point in my life, one filled with critical decisions and explorations of my future could possibly hold, i am inclined to share what i have found to be my most recent definition for what a successful life entails. Though the words are new to me, they were originally written by Ralph Waldo Emerson some 150 years ago.

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

It's been on my mind a lot lately: how can i make my life a success? What opportunities do i have to make someone's life that much easier? What opportunities have i missed out on? I think there's certain parts of my life that have been very successful. I laugh often and much, and i think i do a decent job of making those around me happier, but there is definitely room for me to improve myself and become the person i want to. Hopefully the adventures that follow in posts to come will document and witness the progress i make in becoming, as Grandpa would say, "all used up."