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Self-Awareness Understanding sample essay

The short story Jonathan Livingston Seagull says a lot about self-awareness. At the beginning of the short story in part one the seagull Jonathan Livingston Seagull is beginning to become self-aware by focusing on trying to become the perfect seagull. In his progression to be more than the average seagull, by learning to fly he is learning about self-awareness. During his practices he begins to see what he truly can do and what the Flock is missing out on. This short story tells me that going along with everyone else and not thinking for myself or about my own actions inhibits my learning to become independent and fully realize the self. By doing what he wanted to do, Jonathan found out what the Flock was missing out on. When he tried to explain the dilemma the Flock was in they ignored it and threw out this attempt at change. It was a terrible loss for the Flock, but tremendous gain for Jonathan. Being outcast from the Flock allowed him to further excel in his self-awareness capabilities.

He had a clear perception of what he was. The two seagulls who lead Jonathan to a “higher place”, which had been exposed to this way of thinking, helped Jonathan on his path. This may say that in order to be fully self-aware one must accept others with that similar way of thinking. In doing so one can spread the knowledge to others who are less self-aware or not self-aware at all, like to individuals who are hindered by their chains of routine and their disability to think for themselves. This story promotes self-awareness by making the main character venture off on his escapade that is viewed as negative by the Elders. They see his methods as wrong and “un-seagull like”, whereas Jonathan sees it as how seagulls should be. The Elders’ minds are clouded and they, along with everyone else in the Flock who adheres to the Elders’ words are not self-aware. By going on this unconventional adventure to better himself, the story speaks to me that I should also become more self-aware or master the ability. To me it seems as if the Jonathan could be me and the Flock is supposed to be the rest of the world, and in taking this class I am going on his journey to another world with a few select others who are on the same path (the other students in this class).

I feel as if the author wants the reader to develop his or her own self-awareness by focusing on his or her own personality and behavior. Only by learning about myself and reviewing what I do can I fully develop my self-awareness. Others cannot teach it to me. They can only teach me to teach myself. I cannot simply read about being self-aware to master it. I must place myself in worldly situations and learn from each and every experience. I am separate from the environment and other individuals. When I want good, solid information, I turn to the experts. So, who am I going to turn to for information about myself? Who is the expert? I am. Does a friend, a therapist, a minister, my hero, my parents know more about me than I do? They can’t. I live in my skin and mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, day in and day out. No one is closer to me than me! The answers are in there, perhaps all I need to solve these riddles is a useful question.

In truth, I do not remember if I practice self-awareness regularly. My memory isn’t too good, so remembering this does not always go as smooth as I would think. I am however very self-aware, so I must have done it right over the past years. Thinking back on times I do remember, I can examine those experiences in which I felt certain ways and why. That train of thought can help in teaching me about me. A personal example is the time I gave a speech in Public Speaking and recorded myself talking. This was an excellent way to get to that part of me. By going back and watching that video I learned a great many things about myself that I previously had not. If we had recordings of our daily lives I think it would be easier for people to be self-aware because most of the time people do without thinking. If I had that back up it would greatly increase learning about my own self. Also, living in a country in which I was not born is a great help in understanding my individuality.

It helps because I do not just flock to join crowds because I know what I am not. I think it would be a great help to go to another place and experience a different culture especially if it is far different than the original. It can quickly show how much of an individual a person is. I think that is how Jonathan Livingston Seagull developed his self-awareness so quickly. He did not fit in with the rest of his Flock even when he tried to be like them. He promised he would not go back to his previous ways of individualism, but he could not keep his promise because it was not who he was. It’s funny how people say, “How can I be someone besides myself?”

Until one looks in a mirror and says, “Wait, that’s not me, is it?” To choose to be myself I have to be what I want, do what I want, and feel what I want. Following others’ ways of living causes them to become just like the person they are following. To be myself I have to make my own path and separate myself from everyone else. I must watch myself and get to know myself by observing my actions because I have not a clone to inquire about. It would be much easier, but sadly we have only ourselves to rely on in the situation that is self-awareness. Until people learn this, they are flawed and not truly who they claim to be.

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