Creative Nonfiction Writing
Name of Student
Name of Professor
Name of Class
Day Month Year
Creative Non-fiction writing
Human beings—the social animals
John Locke, an English Philosopher, propounded the most intriguing and compelling notion about the functionality of human brain naming it as “tabula rasa”; the blank slate (Nancy 79). He actually called humans innately blank; free from any “imprinting” of how we lived in mother’s womb. He is right here because we all do not have any idea of what happened to us before birth (Sharma & Sharma 440).
He was in view that at the time of birth, humans have no memories to recall, all that they have is a “reflex” of crying when an abominable spell of hunger and thirst takes over them (Julian 291). With the passing time, he utilizes his senses and starts exploring his surroundings, develops memories, consumes these memories to establish durable or context-specific interpersonal relationships, generates coping abilities to solve problems and learns to draft important decisions of his life (Becker 27).
Locke actually confirmed the philosophy of Aristotle who claimed that human being is a social animal (Baldwin 177). Yes, we are social animals because our tabula rasa is entirely dependent on other human beings for capturing new things to learn (Carl 98). We obey parents because we see other children obeying parents and receiving the “good boy/ good girl” tag; we arrive class in time because we see other students coming late and getting scolded by the teacher and we develop a social circle and make friends because we have seen others enjoying, partying, studying and getting the problems out of hook with unconditional peer assistance. These are some trivial expressions of our “social animal” nature and gradual imprinting of tabula rasa (Angelo & Hazard n.p.).
This paper is actually not about the philosophical ideas of Locke and Aristotle rather I added their views to make my arguments stronger. In this paper, I will be writing a memoir as a non-fictional creative writing about the impact of one of my childhood teachers on my personality. The event that reshaped my mind is quite interesting though.
It was my first day in 7th standard. Our ethics teacher Mr. Mark Christopher entered the class; introduced himself; inspected the class and pointed to one of my classmates and inquired about his name and hobbies. “My name is Watson and I like gaming, Sir” he reciprocated. Mr. Christopher remained silent for some time—like a silence before storm perhaps. He then asked Watson to leave the class immediately. His gesture made us befuddled as we could not understand on what grounds Watson is being banished; the class had just begun and we even did not utter a single word yet. Next, Watson made many clarifications saying “I didn’t do anything wrong, please let me stay in, Sir” but it was all futile. He was destined to leave the class at the very first day of joining.
After making many abortive attempts he left the class silently; we all saw him leaving with pathetic grins but could not do anything in front of an authoritative teacher. Mr. Christopher then started delivering his first lesson asking “why do we develop laws?” Martina said, “Laws are conventions developed for controlling one’s undesirable actions towards others”, Mark echoed, “Laws keep the powerful refrained from suppressing the inferior.”
These answers were agreeable but Mr. Christopher deemed unsatisfied; he asked for more. As I was planning to speak about it for several minutes (because of low confidence), it was a good opportunity for me to answer; I replied, “so that we could build justice and peace in the society.” “This is what I wanted to listen” he liked my suggestion, nodding his head appreciatively. I felt pleased.
He further added, “Here I ask a simple question, did I do something wrong by expelling the Watson? “What do you say was it as good thing?” Genuinely speaking, we all deplored this gesture but felt reluctant to speak up in front of Mr. Christopher. However, we all looked to each other and echoed loudly; “it was wrong, sir”; we expressed the same that he did absolutely inappropriate to Watson. “Alright, I confess, I did the wrong, I tyrannized an innocent but why did you all remain silent despite knowing it wrong? Do you think justice can be done with such an attitude? Do you all think laws without an insight and a desire to implement can work?” “If not you, then who will abide by the laws?” He asked in emotionally charged way.
A spell of awkward silence took over us. We could not speak anything. He left us speechless. He taught us the most significant lesson of life; laws are just phrases without the power of implementation (Kidder 63). His word still reiterate in my mind because this was the first ever lesson that stimulated my cognition; I started thinking in a different way.
Previously, I was an introvert and shy person; I intended to utter two words where I was supposed to say four and preferred to remain silent when I had to speak two words. I usually neglected and disregarded the situation where anything wrong happened with someone. I feared that someone will put derogatory remarks over my gestures or I will have to encounter undesirable consequences when I spoke against authoritative figure. But Mr. Christopher changed my perspective; I learned that we should not stay silent over oppression because we developed laws and we are the ones who are responsible for their utmost implementation (Paul & Elder n.p.; Berger n.p.). Hence, Mr. Christopher imprinted my tabula rasa with the most culminating lesson of my life that helped me a lot making important decisions of my life.
Nancy Hirschmann, J. “Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory.” Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2009, pp. 79
Sharma, Urmila & Sharma, Sahara. “Western Political Thought.” Atlantic Publishers, Washington, 2006, pp. 440.
Julian W. “A History of Political Philosophy: From Thucydides to Locke.” Global Scholarly Publications, New York, 2010, pp. 291
Becker, Carl Lotus. “The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas.” Harcourt, Brace, 1922, pp. 27
Baldwin, B.T. "John Locke's Contributions to Education". The Sewanee Review. Vol.21, No.2, 1913, pp.177–87.
Karl Russ. "Aristotle Discovers the Economy" in Primitive, Archaic and Modern Economies: Essays of Karl Polanyi ed. G. Dalton, Boston, 1971, pp.78–115
Hazard, Geoffrey C. Angelo, Dondi. “Legal Ethics.” Stanford University Press, 2004.
Kidder, Rushwort. “How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living.” New York: Harper Collins, 2003, pp. 63. ISBN 978-0-688-17590-0.
Paul, Richard; Elder, Linda. “The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning.” United States: Foundation for Critical Thinking Free Press, 2006, pp. NP. ISBN 978-0-944583-17-3.
Berger, Adolf. “Encyclopedic Dictionary of Law.” 1953. ISBN 978-0-87169-432-4
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