On October 17th I attended the ““Rethinking Service” by Dr. Samuel Wells. Dr. Samuel Wells is a current priest in London. The readings this week that related to his lecture were “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, “Formula” by Langston Hughes, and “Old Walt” by Langston Hughes. Each of these readings and lecture focused on living life without any regrets.
The Rethinking service led by Dr. Samuel Wells was about the essential problems of human existence. People now a days would think it would be mortality and a problem without an answer. On the other hand Dr. Wells believed that it is isolation. He said life is not worth having if you are alone forever. He actually referred that to the definition of hell. To further his point he explained the difference between being there for someone and being with someone. I found this to be a very interesting because he explained how being with someone is much harder than being there for someone. This is because by being with someone you have to have an actual relationship with them and spend more time with that person then just doing things for them to please them. I never thought about it this way. Dr. Wells really made me think how it’s so different to be there for and with someone. Being with someone is also a key to Christian story. Dr. Wells used this example to help us understand his point was a story about how Lazlo and Katherine were trapped and Katherine was in really bad condition. If Lazlo didn’t get help she could die any second. He had a choice of staying with Katherine and being there for her in her final hours or going on a 3-day journey to find help. He chooses to go look for help and by the time he got back she had past away. The message of this story was that Lazlo should have been there for Katherine instead of leaving her to die alone. He was scarred to watch her die even though all she needed was the comfort from a close loved one in her final hours. In the end Lazlo ended up dying because of a plane crash but the difference was that people who didn’t even know him stayed with him until he had past. Dr. Wells was trying to get across that our society today is a lot like Lazlo. We leave in fear and with regrets because we don’t give life our all. We choose to run away from a situation than facing it dead on. This lecture taught me a very valuable lesson about life. Next time I am in a situation that the person needs me I will choose to stay with them rather then be afraid to get close to them.
In “Formula” by Langston Hughes the speaker explains what he thinks poetry is. There is no right or wrong way to write poetry. The best way to get out your feelings is to write poetry. It shows how your really feeling without the pressure of everyone else surrounding you. It can also show who we really are as a person and not living in fear or regret. By writing poetry you cannot run away from a problem, you can get out all of your feelings on paper without anyone judging you.
In “Old Walt” by Langston Hughes the speaker is referring to Walt Whitman. He explains how Walt goes finding and seeking to write his own poetry. He is a very detailed person and by finding what he’s looking for it allows him to create very influential poems. I think this poem portrays a great message to the readers. It teaches us that we need to go find ourselves and who we are as a person by going out of our comfort zones. This goes back to the common theme by having no regrets because if you never break away from your normal life then you haven’t experienced life to the fullest.
In “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley Victor creates a monster that in the end wasn’t what he expected it to be. He isolated himself from the world and even his family to create a new different kind of life. This relates back to the “Rethinking Lecture” because he explains how isolation is the biggest problem of human existence. Victor also believed in himself that he could do it and he put his all into it. Even though his dream didn’t turn out the way he wanted to he still tried his best and didn’t leave anything behind. This is what our world needs to be like, not living in fear.
Each of these readings and lecture show that we cant give up when things get tough. We need to stay true to ourselves and not live in fear. If we do live in fear then we cant give the situation our full potential and end up regretting what we did after. This relates back to the Jesuit education by not betraying who we really are and the lecture showed how we should always be there for one another.