Friday, July 19, 2019

The Master of One’s Fate, The Captain of One’s Soul :: Philosophy, Good Judgment, Control, Direction

Successful people have the ability to obviate situations and make concise decisions, which lead them to a final goal or destination. In order to make these decisions and weave a path through a maze of obstacles, they must have confidence in their own judgment. Good judgment is subjective and requires discipline and control to achieve. Good judgment is unfettered by outside influences but allows individuals to conduct themselves in a manner appeasing to themselves and their situation. Individuals of this type maintain their own behavior, separating and acknowledging how they are perceived and who they would like to be. Good judgment leads to a person in control and control is dependant on nothing. Michael De Montaigne describes in his essays how one can gain control over oneself while achieving a coherent totality. One is often influenced and criticized by close peers. Because of this constant speculation and concern for others, people turn trivial decisions into difficult life altering battles. Even in solitude one’s conscious is a constant—and dogmatic—observer. The idea of even having to make a choice has escaladed into a tyrannical monster. To take back control, Montaigne advises individuals to look inward. He proposes people discipline themselves in â€Å"a back shop all our own†(Montaigne 214) because â€Å"it would be madness to trust [one]self if [one] do[es] not know how to govern [one’s] self† (Montaigne 221). In solitude—†free from the violent clutches that engage† (Montaigne 216)—one must go so far in discipline that he â€Å"dare not trip up in your own presence† (Montaigne 221). By doing this, individuals respect their decision, trusting it the most beneficial and appropriate to the situation. Often division is another source of confusion, making it difficult for individuals to have authority in their own life. People are torn between their â€Å"own affairs† and the â€Å"headaches†¦ of our neighbors and friends† (Montaigne 215). To this, Montaigne discusses how one should comfortably detach oneself from earthly materials and allow â€Å"one to be a whole people† (Montaigne 221). Certainly, one should find pleasures in having a, â€Å"wife, children, goods, and above all health† (Montaigne 214); however, one must not be bound to any materials so strongly that his â€Å"happiness depends on them† (Montaigne 214) or â€Å"they cannot be detached without tearing off our skin and some part of our flesh as well† (Montaigne 216). One tends to give one’s self away, so that portions of one’s time and thought belong to others rather than belonging to one’s self.

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