ὁ … ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ ––Socrates
According to Socrates, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” For him, the good life is one dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, an endeavor that requires thinking and questioning the world around us and our own personal beliefs.
We may not be aware of it, but at the heart of everything we do lies a system of beliefs. How we treat others, how we choose to live our lives, even how we come to make the things we make all emanate from beliefs we hold within. They are shaped by experiences we have, people with whom we associate, and information gleaned in our daily lives.
In a previous activity, you were asked to make a game or a prototype for a game that relates to some issue we studied pertaining to social justice. In this activity, I asked you to provide a statement of your personal philosophy. What I am hoping you will be able to see is the connection between the two: The decisions you made relating to the game activity (type, theme, game play) may be inextricably linked to the way you see the world.
Below are your personal statements. I have left them anonymous. Read through them all carefully, and contextualize your own statement within the ideas expressed. Ask yourself: How does my statement connect to others? Are there common themes that link our statements together? Finally, ask yourself: Do I live my life as I have stated? If not, why don’t I? What can I do to align myself more closely with the way I really wish to live?
1. “[P]eople are created equal . . . are mostly good and deserve to be treated in a manner that I would like to be treated.”
2. “Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect, no matter their background.”
3. “Personal responsibility is more important than social change in all matters.”
4. “Every human being has the right to take every opportunity to become the very best they can be in the journey of self-improvement.”
5. “[E]veryone who gives respect deserves respect.”
6. “If you desire something, you must learn to create, and if you do not, you will learn to live without.”
7. “[P]eople should be judged by and treated based on what they do rather than what they are.”
8. “[E]veryone should be treated equally and have the same privileges unless he or she has done something that negates those privileges.”
9. “[P]eople should truly treat others the way that they prefer to be treated, and do their best to maintain a positive outlook even during the most difficult of times.”
10. “Everyone should have equal opportunity to better themselves, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, disability status, or socioeconomic class.”
11. “[I]f you want to do something, then you’ll prioritize for it.”
12. “[A]ll human beings deserve equitable access to the resources needed to reach their full potential.”
13. “[T]he quality of life we live is determined by the quality of people we chose to surround our self by, and the quality of self we offer to others determines their quality of life in turn.”
14. “Everyone has the right to safety without the use of weapons.”
15. “Human beings are created equal and die equal, between these two extremes lie the experience that is subjective to physical bodies, freewill and fallibility, this subjectivity should never affect the equality of this experience.”
16. “[T]o err is to be human therefore people should not judge others on their mistakes.
17. “Every person is to be loved and is deserving of love; no person should be judged by another.”
18. “[E]veryone chooses their own path in life, a path that can go in many different directions and should not be blocked by other people’s beliefs and/or opinions.”
19. “Education is the path to personal and career development; therefore, access to education should be a basic human right—not a privilege.”
20. “[E]veryone deserves equal access to education.”
21. “[E]veryone should be treated equally until you get to know them.”
22. “[E]veryone deserves to be included in the representation of their culture.”
23. “[E]veryone is entitled to advancing his or her education if said person has the desire, education that is not dictated by income, race or status.”
24. “You can do anything you set your mind to.”
25. “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
26. “Everyone should treat each other with equal respect regardless of age.”
27. “Everyone is born with a sense of good in the form of a conscience.”
28. “Everyone should be treated with compassion because no one is perfect and everyone has the capacity of growing.”