- In Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”, much can be learned from the things being discussed by the many different characters. It is interesting to listen as they tell their stories about many topics and the morals of each story that is told. Even the entire story in itself contains common morals and standards. Chaucer did an amazing job relating his feelings through the tales found in this poem, many of which we can still relate to even today.
The types of truths taught in these tales cover many topics. There are some that cover religious views, many that deal with personal standards, and even some that talk about common sense. I think many people in today’s society could learn greatly from the simple truths related through Chaucer’s poem. We are surrounded by liars and thieves who would do anything to make a dollar, or we often see married women or men who break long term commitments with their spouses for a night of pleasure. Chaucer keeps the atmosphere of the poem light, while showing us his thoughts on many serious issues.
The Canterbury Tales was written in a perfect way so that Chaucer could cover all of his thoughts regarding the society of that time. The characters were all perfectly developed and their relation one to another was easy to understand. We all could learn a great deal from the small and simple truths that are sometimes forgotten in our time. When you think about it, maybe we aren’t much different than the people of Chaucer’s time, even if they did live over 600 years ago.
- To understand oneself, according to Plato, you have to know that you know nothing. Our journey in this life is to constantly gain more understanding. It is an almost impossible task to say that there is no more to learn, and that you have learned all there is to learn. To understand ourselves, we must realize that that understanding is found in the search of it. Montaigne understood this idea perfectly.
In Montaigne’s essay about the power of the imagination, his thoughts and ideas were very similar to my own. The imagination, when properly controlled, has amazing power over the rest of the body. It can make us sick when we want to be sick, and it can make us smile when we want to be happy. When imagination is controlled in the proper way its powers are endless. Like Montaigne says in his essay, it’s interesting how the more abstract and strange something seems to the imagination, the more power it has over it. We must learn to control the imagination to bring us to new levels of understanding.
Montaigne was a great writer, mostly because he didn’t care what everyone else thought, he was only writing the essays for himself. In understanding ourselves, and our potential, we learn that there is nothing we cannot do. We must strive to be better people, not only for wisdom, but for the progression toward a final understanding of who we are.
- There are many things that make a ‘quality’ political leader. Much like Machiavelli, I believe that there should be some separation of politics and religion. That one should not be entirely based on the other. A quality leader is one who knows where to draw that line, and he is one who has enough courage to stand for what he believes even when it is the unpopular vote. A leader must be able to make honorable decisions in a timely manner as to avoid causing further problems.
I believe a quality leader must have strong morals, but should not let those weigh to heavily on his political duties. By knowing that a leader has beliefs, it shows us that he knows that he doesn’t know everything, but that he wants to know more. A leader must be not only good, but effective. They must know the most efficient way to complete a task, and be able to execute a plan in order to get the job done.
I place high standards on a quality leader, but they are not impossible to meet. When leaders become too much of extremists, their ability to be just is taken out of the equation. Quality comes from a life time of hard work and dedication that helps us see how they will react in any given situation. These are the type of people we want guiding us to a brighter future.