the purpose of being by kasey bethea

My exhibit will be solely based on the idea of life and the thoughts that I constantly have about life. Im sure that some, if not all of you, have once deeply thought about the purpose of life and what exactly life is. I find the most fascinating part about meditating about life is the fact that no matter how hard I think, I will never get an answer. Life itself will never be understood by anyone and that's the reason why I always think about it. The cycle is so mind-boggling because I think about life because it can't be understood, yet I still try and understand it. In many of the books we've read, characters have faced similar internal conflicts relating to life. This semester has expanded my mind on this idea and even taught me to enjoy life and to just think about all of the little things it comes with.

PREREQUISITES AND CRITERIA TO BECOMING A MAN I found this picture very interesting for many reasons. Since the theme of my exhibit is "the search for meaning", I believe that this picture is very relevant. The boy or man shown in the picture seems to be mentally and physically drained. he appears as if he has been trying to figure out what makes him a man. This situation relates to myself when sometimes I try to decipher what exactly "life" is and what is the purpose. I chose the title for this item because the boy/man is probably wondering "at what moment do you become a man/woman". When do we as humans know that we are no longer a child. Is it based on age? Mental State? Physical state? Accomplishments? Or something totally different? The boy/man looks mentally defeated because he knows that there is no defined criteria that will make him a definitive man. Often times when I try to think about life I quickly give up because I too, know that it is impossible to find an answer.
R-E-L-A-X This image simply serves as a reminder to everyone to just relax sometimes. Something that was in common with a few of our stories was that the main characters were mentally frustrated due to their "obligations". Bartle and Gregor both were mentally unhappy because of everything that they were going through. Gregor faced the burden of having to work all of the time and take care of his family. This picture is just a reminder to everyone to enjoy life. You may be going through difficult times but there are people who always have it worse and would do anything to to be in your shoes. For example, many people stress over having bills but just be grateful that you have bills to pay or even the opportunity. Life shouldn't be taken to seriously because none of us will make it out alive when it's all said and done. Sometimes you have to just leave everything that stresses you for a few minutes and just embrace all of the positives that you have. In some chapters of the "Daodejing" it explains some of the principals of life and it puts it in perspective for me. The "Daodejing" has taught me to just focus on doing good/maintaing peace and everything else will just fall into place.
LAUGH A LITTLE The picture is titles "Happy End" and I chose the picture because of what it stands for to me. The picture is of a polar bear swimming inside coke which is completely abstract and would never happen. But the stupidity makes the image funny because it's so simple but absolutely dumb. This leads me to encourage you to laugh at stupid things in your life. When in any time of adversity, try and find something about the situation to laugh at. The situation will seem less serious and your mind will be eased. This image reminded me of "Candide: or Optimism" and the satire that nobody understood. In the "details" of this image, the artist suggests to use your imagination. So nothing is truly "boring" you just have to use your imagination and critically think about stuff. This reminded me of when in class we had the discussion about the empty space. The topic seems so boring but it was truly one of the most interesting and eye-opening discussions I've ever been a part of. The moral of this image is to just try and use your brain to help escape from negativity.
ABOVE THE CLOUDS OR BELOW THE STARS The relevance of this picture is to encourage you to have an optimistic view at life. In the majority of our stories, the characters were a lot of the time very negative. I believe that if you're positive about a situation then positive things will happen after. I know being in the Army is something I have no experience in, but if Bartle was optimistic about everything then maybe his mental state would have improved. Every situation just depends on how you look at it and I rarely ever am upset because if my optimism. My views are always "above the clouds" which have. at times, kept me form doing stupid things.
SELFLESSNESS The following picture "The Life Line' is obviously of a man saving another man from drowning. The concept I wish to expand on is the selflessness that the savior portrays. He sacrificed his own life to save someone else's. This is a valuable life lesson that is shown in our stories. Helping others is key to happiness and gaining respect from your peers. Gilgamesh was a "hero", Gregor helped his family and Bartle fought for his country. Doing for others has taught me that seeing others happy, makes me happy. Also, the effort that you give to try and fulfill others, doesn't go unnoticed. If you give more than you receive, then I believe that you'll be a more solid person and have a better understanding of others. You never know what kind of impact you may have on someone else's life just by doing small things. Many people take things for granted but that one person will thank you and being appreciated is a very warm feeling.
DONT LIMIT YOURSELF The Daodejing is based on being positive and influencing Chinese thought. I chose this picture because it's a continuous road where nobody knows where it stops at and what is at the "end of the road". Allow yourself to be exposed to many different things. The class opened my eyes to viewing things differently and not just thinking about the obvious. It taught me to analyze things that I was curious about instead of just brushing them off. Everyone in the class has a unique way of thinking that has influenced me to be more open to things. Also the class has helped develop my maturity when studying older readings. With that being said, try and view life above the clouds and laugh a little bit. Try and help others, and don't always take things as serious as possible. After all, this is the purpose of life right? Or is it? We'll never know.
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