"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  Henry David Thoreau.  

I think this quotation is clear in it's meaning, because we have all likely experienced a situation or read a book or saw a movie that made us realize we don't always understand the whole picture, even when we think we have all the information.  It can be really hard to look past the obvious and consider what the truth of the matter is, and how we react to that truth.  
I know I often have to try and look at difficult situations through the eyes of the other people involved, and employ a sense of empathy in order to fully appreciate how everyone feels and to ultimately come to a resolution.
I am reminded of many works of media and fiction when I hear this quote; in fact all of the texts and film we study in this course are strongly connected to the ideas I'm discussing.  The movie "Inception" and the novel Atonement are very much concerned with the themes of perception (and misinterpretation) and looking  closely at the circumstances and deciphering the truth.  And especially what it is then, that the characters do with their concept of the truth in specific circumstances that becomes central to the outcome of the stories...I don't want to give too much away!
Eshan Mankotia
7/3/2013 06:07:14

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Oscar Wilde

I think this quotation is saying that people will normally act nice and civil towards others when they are physically around them, because they have to maintain their reputation as a decent human being, but if they have the power of anonymity, then they will show you their true colours. It’s because of this that it is easy for people to deceive others into thinking that they are one way, when they are actually not. This quote reminds me of what can often be found in the internet, which can range from something as small and meaningless as an insult, or something far more sinister, such as child pornography. Because on the internet it is so easy to remain anonymous, people think they can get away with things that they would never even talk about to someone else in person.

Sara Canini
7/3/2013 07:12:01

"Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way." Richard M. Nixon

I think this quotation is encouraging the reader to overcome despair. We have all experienced despair to some extent, and gaining the hope to overcome it can be hard. This quote was used by my rugby coach after our first and only loss of the season. Everyone was inspired to lift their chin and stand tall, forgetting that one loss, so we could focus on finding another way to beat that team. The quote tells to not even let yourself feel despair, but to figure out another way to overcome any obstacles that you may encounter. In other words, do not allow difficult times to bring you down; try something new.

7/3/2013 07:16:26

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Buddha

I believe that this quotation is true, How can you be truthful without starting or even not going all the way with the truth? Telling the truth and nothing but the truth isn't hard but you have to start somewhere. If you never decide to tell the truth then you have been caught in a lie. In my opinion this is a quote to remember by every individual. You don't want someone that you talk to or are friends with to start lying, you want them to start with the truth and continue telling the truth. This quote reminds me of when someone believes they will do better when they lie, this quote says there are only 2 mistakes when you want to tell the truth, nothing else, As long as the person keeps going with the truth and starts telling the truth they will be a honest and trustworthy individual. Everyone should follow this quote. I know I don't like liars, what about you?

Tre Nicholson
7/3/2013 07:26:18

“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” André Malraux

I believe this quote is about the deception of someone acting as something they aren't, and trying to gain a personal advantage. This happens in a ton of books as well as movies, for actors and characters to hide something that is personal or to what they believe in. It could be really hard to tell if someone is deceiving, In movies I put myself in the actors shoes when a deceiving movie scene is being played to see if it was really worth hiding. People also are deceiving to trick others into believing the type of person they are which reminds me of the family channel tv show Hannah Montana, tricking people into thinking she's an everyday teenager but really she's a pop sensation.

Alisha Szozda
7/3/2013 07:52:38

Learn to be Calm and you will

Alisha Szozda
7/3/2013 08:21:46

Computer problems ignore the first post please.

"Learn to be calm and you will always be happy" Paramhausa Yogananda

I feel this quotation already states the meaning clearly. In reality, our lives become busier and we tend to become more stressed. Happiness cannot come from one who is stressed and overworked. Strategies to help become less stressed include taking a deep breath and staying control of your emotions. These will lead you into living a happier life. The key is to try to manage stress before it consumes you. This quote relates greatly to me since I tend to get really stressed when there are a lot things going on at the same time. Iam learning how to calm myself down during busy, stressful times because I know it will help me with my health and make me a happier person when I relax. I am not aware any texts that I have read that relate to this quote however, as i continue to read more books I will hopefully find a connection between the two.

Zamil Hirani
7/3/2013 07:55:04

"We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds" Aristotle

This quotation is one with a clear meaning. Aristotle is saying that we must not hold out hope for a certain state of affairs to improve but rather we should adapt and adjust to the situation to fix it. Individuals always tend to want to wait for better circumstances prior to taking action. However this will result in a lack of success. Thus, we must adjust to the situation we are in. For example, when a course is difficult in school, people constantly claim that the course will get easier and they are waiting for that time to perform to a good academic standard. But rather, we ought to be raising our quality of work to the next level and learning to “sail in high winds”. By contrasting our lives with the sea, it shows the unpredictable nature of life. Consequently, we shouldn't hold out hope for something that may or may not occur or change, but rather change ourselves to be able to successfully accomplish the task. I believe this is what Aristotle believed when he stated that “We must learn to sail in high winds”.

Aditya Subramanian
7/3/2013 08:23:38

"If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." -Michael Jordan

I believe this quote is self explanatory, but the basic message that Michael Jordan is trying to deliver is that despair is a part of human existence in this world and everyone will be faced with certain obstacles in their life. No matter how big the obstacles may seem, one can overcome anything in their path if they work hard enough. Everyone fails at something and that's just a part of life, but what's important is to develop and continue having the mentality to never give up. I myself have also been faced with many obstacles in my life where things seemed to be bleak, but through hard work and persistence I found that despair truly can be overcome. I failed at things as others have; what matters though is that I kept getting back up. When I look at this quote, I'm able to reflect on myself and I find that it relates perfectly to my life experiences. This quote reminds me of movies such as "Blood Diamond" and "Never Back Down" and of novels such as "The Power of One" as these pieces all deal with the central aspect of despair and the means to overcome it.

Kahil Patel
7/3/2013 08:24:55

"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!" - Bob Marley
This quotation from Bob Marley is an example of reality. I interpret this this quote as life is full of many bad and good obstacles and we all go through a time when we all don't have a good feeling for ourselves. But we should enjoy each and every moment of our life and stand up to bad situations and solving the problem. This quote reminds me of the character Amir from Khaled Hosseini's "Kite Runner". Amir is thought to be weak and a boy without any courage from his father and Amir himself feels bad about himself. Though later on Amir stands up for himself and impresses his father by winning in a kite flying contest. I have personally experienced a point in life where I felt out and the only reason was because people really didn't trust me and would always think that I am lying. Though this experience in life has taught me to be honest at all times and tell the truth because lying makes other to lose trust on you. Clearly this quote is telling us to stand up to the problem you face in life and learn from your mistakes, life is long and there is so much to learn !!!

Nick Suwalski
7/3/2013 08:25:37

O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
My tables—meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain--
At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 105–109
This quotation is from the play Hamlet. Hamlet has just discovered the truth about his mother and particularly his stepfather- Claudius seems pleasant but he is a murderer. Deception is all around us. Most people have observed deception among their friends. For example, some girls pretend that they want to go out with you but leave you standing waiting for them. Eisengrim, the magician in Fifth Business, while he was performing a magic trick was fooling people. Dunny, the narrator, added to the deception by writing a fake biography which gave Eisengrim an exotic life story. My next door neighbour, for example, seems friendly but actually she is trying to hurt my feelings. She once commented,” Your grass is growing so well!” but she was really saying,” Why haven’t you cut the grass!” She might have sounded pleasant to a passerby, but I knew what she really meant.

Erij Elkamel
7/3/2013 08:41:09

"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire" ~ Charles Bukowski

I think this quote is about life in general. It is saying that the most important thing in life is the method that one chooses to approach it. In this quote, fire is being used as a metaphor for obstacles in that an individual’s perception of obstacles and the manner in which they approach them is directly proportional to their success. The challenges will either build someone’s character or tear them down. I believe that this can relate to several individuals, including myself, such that we tend to live our lives based on society’s expectations and judgments. These judgments act as obstacles in our lives, but what we often fail to do is overlook such judgement. Similarly, we often fail to achieve common goals because we are bound by obstacles and struggle to overcome them. In addition, this quote relates to several works of media, but I am particularly reminded of the most recent film I watched, “127 hours”. In this movie, the protagonist, Aron, takes extreme measures to try and accomplish his goal. He perceives his situation in a manner that most would fail to do and he overcomes the several obstacles that he encounters, resulting in his success.

J Taylor
7/3/2013 09:17:28

Wow - great quotation choices, folks! Very insightful and thoughtful comments, too. Looking forward to reading more. Don't be afraid to keep the conversation going - feel free to support your classmates by commenting on their posts, too, and adding to the discussion.

Natalie Kozlowski
7/3/2013 10:58:02

I think everybody has interesting thoughts about the quotations that were chosen. When I read Aristotle's quote, I was curious to know how Zamil interpreted this quote. His explanation opened my mind and now I have a more deeper understanding about hope.

The quote that I chose is:
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future" - Paul Boese

I feel that this quotation has a healthy outlook in one's life when one is caught in a situation in life where forgiveness may be necessary to further continue with life. I have noticed that there is a natural reluctance to forgive any person who has hurt one because it may feel as if we are revoking our importance. However, I believe that forgiveness benefits the harmed victim because resentment burns their energy. I feel that our emotional health is important and if we dwell in our pain, we continue to relive hurtful experiences that prohibit us from healing and being healthy. Although it may please us when someone apologizes to us for inflicting pain upon us, I believe that we should not expect an apology because this expectation binds us to the past as we wait for the remorse from the wrong doer. Furthermore, I am reminded by a book that I read a couple of years ago, "Touching Spirit Bear," where the young protagonist with a troubled past, Cole, pummels a scrawny classmate, Peter. Several times in the novel, Cole must learn to first forgive himself for his actions before he is able await forgiveness from Peter and ultimately make amends. This story taught me that forgiveness does not allow us to accept the wrong doer's actions, but instead it is a choice that we are able to make when we have understood the other person and we wish them well (compassion). Forgiveness means that we are ready to do more gratifying things with our time in the future. I believe that forgiveness allows us to grow wings which are capable of setting us free from the past.

Donna Voll
7/3/2013 11:18:33

“The future depends on what you do today.” Mahatma Gandhi.

I believe that this quotation supports the theme; hope for the future. Throughout time, generation upon generation has hoped that future generations will learn from the past and do great things. One is challenged to take on the weight of the past and move forward knowing that what an individual accomplishes today may positively or negatively impact the future of humankind.

I am aware that my actions can make a difference in the lives of others. I live by creating positive change fostering hope in my community through volunteering my time to many organizations and donating blood as well. I believe that my small actions assist those who are in need and that these individuals may become inspired to help others who are less fortunate.

When I read this quote I instantly thought of the novel Pay it Forward. The concept of paying it forward means that when you are the recipient of a kind act, instead of paying back the person who helped you, (by helping them in their time of need) you extend an act of kindness to someone else in their time of need thus paying it forward. This concept reinforces the idea of one small act causing a ‘domino effect’ for future generations. This quote directly relates to the movie “A Beautiful Mind” when John tries to find his place in society and discovers that he has a gift with numbers and breaking codes. John overcame his life of schizophrenia to win the Nobel Prize.

Maha Rizvi
7/3/2013 11:19:24

"Appearance is something absolute, but reality is not that way - everything is interdependent, not absolute." - Dalai Lama

As it is very commonly said, what you see on the outside, is not what there is on the inside. I think this quote is basically delivering the message that a lot of people usually tend to be taken aback by what they see, but they do not realise what hard work or perspiration one might have gone through to make something look like what it is. People are often mesmerized by the illusion of something beautiful in front of them since they are unaware of the basic reality behind the worthy object or a masterpiece. Many things, places, or even people, are mostly not what they appear. They have more deeper, more hidden realities which date back to the past, in the time of their making. This quote reminds me very vividly of the situation of the protagonist Duddy, in the book/text, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz", where he buys a very expensive land consisting of a lake through a lot of hard work, perspiration, fatigue, and suffering. But people see him as a successful entrepreneur because he is the owner of the beautiful land. What they do not see is all the blood and sweat that was spent to buy that piece of valuable land. Again, the human eye just recognises the illusion of appearance, not the reality behind it. Therefore, I think Dalai Lama has very truly stated, "Appearance is something very absolute, but reality is not that way.. ".

Victoria Guderian
7/3/2013 11:34:59

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is saying that our perception of reality is very limited, there are things that we don't sense that are in the world for example we don't see infrared light but we know it exist. However may of us refuse to believe that reality goes beyond our perceptions they only believe that nothing exists beyond what they can see, touch, smell, taste or hear.
This reminds me of the the movie "The Matrix", before Neo took the pill he no longer persisted in his limited perspective of reality but his eyes were open to a more broader side of reality. Like Neo we desire to persist in the reality that our senses reveal to us joyfully oblivious to the fact that there is a whole different reality out there.

Esra Aborig
7/3/2013 12:26:58

"If the Virgin Mary appears wearing a veil on all her pictures how can you ask me to sign on a Hijab ban law?” -Roberto Maroni (Italian Minister)
This was the response of Roberto Maroni when he was asked to sign on a law banning the religious headscarf worn by Muslim women. In many communities in European nations, wearing the hijab is considered a crime punished by law. This quote addresses the double standards society uses when it comes to Muslim women. A nun covers herself the same way a Muslim woman wears the hijab but the difference is that nuns are considered devoted but a Muslim woman is oppressed, why is that? Society always says when it comes to Muslim women that women are not objects and should not be forced to cover up, but little do they know; hijab is a choice, it is not obligatory it is voluntary. If I should have the freedom to reveal my body and hair then I should have the freedom to cover it as well. I feel like I can relate to this quote because I have unfortunately been a victim of discrimination and hate crimes because of the hijab. Society should understand Roberto Maroni’s view on this decree and realize that punishing someone for practicing their religion violates their inviolable rights. Suppressing a religious minority will only alienate people and discourage equality.

Pranav Gavirneni
7/3/2013 12:45:46

"Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them." -Bruce Lee
Courage is a trait that is rarely found in our everyday lives. People who show courage are highly praised. Being able to admit that you have committed a mistake requires a great amount of courage. This act of courage does not go unseen and the person who committed the mistake will have a greater chance of being forgiven solely due to the fact that they had courage to admit their mistakes. However if a person does not have the courage to admit his mistake to begin with and tries to deceive then the ability to forgive significantly becomes more difficult. This quote reminds me of the famous novel I recently read in my previous English class called "The Kite Runner ". In this novel the main character Amir witnesses the rape of his best friend, Hassan, who was also his servant. However instead of helping the helpless Hassan he just stood there and watched as Hassan had been sexually violated. After this Amir is not honest to his father and Hassan and tries to act like nothing has happened and also tries to deceive. He did not have the courage to tell the truth. Since he tried to deceive and lie he has not been able to forgive himself for over 20 years and possibly for his whole life. The closest he has been to forgiveness is that he atoned for his mistake. However this does not mean that he has forgiven himself.

Fahad Almutairi
7/3/2013 13:02:55

"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." -Thomas Jefferson
I think that the quote is pretty self explanatory, we have all had times were we thought of evil and good things but the decision you decide to make in the end determines what kind of person you are. It can be hard for us determine what kind of people we are when we reflect on the ideas we have and not by the deeds that we have done. I have had situations were i would be thinking about helping people, for example, bullying but when it comes up it can be hard for me to stand up for them when it can backfire on me.
This quote reminds me of literature such as "Macbeth" were Macbeth thinks he is a noble man to his king but in the end he decides to kill him to become King. This shows that Macbeth is power hungry and that he is not noble to his kingdom even though he thinks he is.

Kyle Langan
7/3/2013 13:48:38

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde

I believe this quote has a clear meaning, and that is that at one point or another we have all been in a rough point in our lives, our own gutters, but what distinguishes the ones who help themselves up and move past these rough patches is their point of view. Those that look up to the stars will succeed.

Kevin Qiu
7/3/2013 14:41:20

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” Elbert Hubbard

I think this quotation is trying to say that one should not give up when all hope is lost, instead one should focus on the task at hand and work harder to achieve greatness. I think the key part of this quote is the “a little more effort” part because I believe that anyone can be successful if they put in the effort and commitment. People are always giving up whenever they are faced with an obstacle ahead because quitting is easier than working hard. I myself have wanted to quit several times when times were tough, however I stayed motivated and it eventually paid off. For example, when I got cut from the tennis team in grade 10, it made me practise and work harder to make it the following year. As a result, what seemed hopeless at first was in fact a blessing in disguise. This quote reminds me of the novel “Survivor”. In the novel, the main character Tender Branson is the last surviving member of the Creedish Church death cult. He had no job, no family and the only way for him to get out of his miserable life was to deliver himself to God by committing suicide. As badly as he wanted to end his life, he stayed persistent and eventually saw a greater meaning to his existence.

Fahad Almutairi
7/4/2013 11:45:17

Good Job Kevin :)

Kevin Qiu
7/5/2013 01:10:39

Thanks man :)

Adrian Gheju
7/4/2013 07:13:09

"A lie can travel half way around the word while the truth is putting on its shoes"-Mark Twain

I think everyone can relate to this quotation. We think that when we tell a lie we will be able to control it and keep it from spreading. However, the truth is that we lie to ourselves by thinking that. A lie will spread quickly, and in most cases by the time we decide to tell the truth that lie will have already spread into something uncontrollable. This quotation brings Shakespeare's play Macbeth to mind. Macbeth thought he could evade the truth after killing the king. As he withheld the truth from everyone the situation had escalated into something he could not control and ended with his death.

Katie Henderson
7/4/2013 21:02:16

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth" -Buddha

In my opinion, this quote is trying to compare the truth to the sun and the moon to emphasize the importance of honesty. It is undeniably true that both the sun and the moon must become visible in the sky at some point in the day, so they can definitely not be hidden long. Buddha compares the truth, something that many people also attempt to conceal, to the sun and the moon in order to convince people that the truth will eventually emerge. Like the sun and the moon, the truth must come out. It cannot be hidden forever.
This idea has been proven many times in multiple works of literature but the one that comes to mind is one that I recently studied called Macbeth by William Shakespeare. In the play, Macbeth commits an act of regicide and proceeds to lie about who killed the king to all of the other characters (excluding his wife who helped him commit the crime). But, as the story escalates, many characters begin to get suspicious and a small crack of the truth begins to emerge from Macbeth's wall of lies. As Macbeth soon figured out, the truth of his terrible actions could not be hidden forever. This huge deception ultimately caused Macbeth to become greatly despised by his countrymen and eventually lead to his death. He learned that truth will come out eventually an that, because of this, it is better to be honest straight from the beginning. This just goes to show that, similar to the sun and the moon, the truth will eventually rear its giant head and break through the surface of a sea of deception.

Sarah Moslehi
7/6/2013 05:02:59

"To be a in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself, opinionated, free-spirited and who you truly are is a treasurable accomplishment and one that is not easily achieved. Just because you are doing something your own way does not mean you are doing it the wrong way, however society would like you to think otherwise. Too many people act like robots in today’s society. They do what is expected of them, get their rewards, repeat. This has become a repetitive cycle for so many people now a days. Society has started to turn people into something that they aren’t born to be. And as a people get older, it becomes harder and harder to break free from the strong grasp of society. What does it take to be yourself? For one, it takes a lot of courage, a trait that is highly praised by many. Whenever someone goes against societies standards, they will take a lot of heat for it. This resistance from others is just a sign that you are doing something right. No one said that being yourself was easy. Is it difficult? Yes. Is it rewarding? Extremely. In the end, the people that are able to go against the grain of society are the truly great people in our world.

Ahmed Owity
7/24/2013 23:20:03

“Forgiveness isn’t something I’m preoccupied with — turning the other cheek isn’t my trip.” - Karl Lagerfeld

This quote by Karl Lagerfeld stats that forgiveness in his belief is not something which he is preoccupied with, forgiving is not Karl's favourite thing to do, he prefers not to.

This quote instantly reminded me of Atonement by Ian Mcewan. Forgiveness is a major subject in the book, forgiveness is something Briony attempts to achieve throughout most of the novel. I also begin to think of The Kite Runner, another novel which consists of the subject forgiveness throughout majority of the novel.


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    J. Taylor's 4UI

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    June 2013