From own experience
Just last Saturday morning, I can not forget my experience when I plan to have my breakfast in one of the fast-food chains near our valley. My sister is not around so nobody’s about to cook our breakfast, so I have to go outside to have something to eat or to avail breakfast meal. I did not bring my car because it lacks of gasoline. I went there walking with my pair of sneakers. It’s a nice morning for me because the sun shines early and the air is fresh. Our neighborhoods’ gardens have blooming flowers and the butterflies are flying on top of them. It’s such a very good morning.
On the way to the food chain, a couple of talking man passed by me. I noticed that they seem to just got out from bed because they have an uncombed hair. I can remember how stinky they are when they passed by. They seem to forget brushing their teeth when they woke up. They almost ruined my appetite for breakfast. Gee, how could they went out of their house without even washing their mouth? And they had the gall to talk easily on the street considering that
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I have forgotten that scenario already when I get into the food chain. The crews are very attentive and they are very hospitable with the customer. I found out that a smiling faced crew was in front of me and taking my order for the great breakfast. It’s been two kilometers that I walked, which made me really hungry for that meal.
Burgers, fries, and drinks. Those foods, I have decided to completed my morning. After paying the bills, I ate them and I’ve been satisfactory full. The food quality of food pleased me, plus the hospitable treatment of the crews in the service area.
When I was just eating the half of my large, double-pattied burger, I’ve been hearing munches as if there’s a pig at the back of my seat. I looked at the back of my shoulder and seen a fat oily-faced black American largely bite his cheesy burger and chews it noisily. He’s very untidy. The fries are on the top of the catsup already, and the catsup is littered in the very white table. I’m wondering if he knows that he is in a public place so he acted that way. He’s so messy.
After breakfast, I went out from the food chain and took some wandering in the plaza nearby. I saw a bench without anoyone sitting so I went there. I also bought a daily newspaper and read the business section.
I was on the article of my favorite writer when I heard loud voices from a group of teenagers. They were discussing something and they have a uniformed red bandages on their heads as if they are into some outdoor activity. As I have guessed, they are into an amazing race and I was one of the victim of their gimmick.
Their task in coming to me is to ask a question, ask something out of my answer, ask sometnig out of it again, until I ran out of answer. Instead I had fun with them, I’ve been pissed off with the red team.
For me, there’s no problem in being part of the race. It’s just so happened that my mood on that day was not that too cool and flexible that I ran out of patince when they naughtily asked me stupid questions. What I felt that moment is that this guys are trying to fool me. Unfortunately, I am not in mood to ride on your trips, so I got mad. I do not want to answer your questions anymore because it has no sense at all. I was really pissed off that time.
The one who is wearing an eyeglasses is obvious to be determined as the team leader because he’s the one who approached me. I noticed also that his members asks his advice for something that they are about to do. He is also the one who talked to me and explained that they were just on a race and they are sorry that I got mad. He also asked sorry if I’ve been disturbed by them.
After receiving their sorries, it’s been fine with me and I started reading the newspaper again. From the bottom of my heart, I also feel sorry for the group. I understand that they are in a race, but my mood that moment was not about to sympatize with their activity because actually, I came there to relax. Then, they came there making noise and asking me to participate with their game by making me feel fool and stupid by talking with them.
That feeling is what irritated me, so it’s a sorry that I could not join them. If ever only that they had a different approach to me, maybe I enjoyed playing with them and both of us had a good time.
Nobody can be blamed for what happened between me and the amazing race team. If they are about to react with my sreactions, then I can throw many words to them as my defense because I am the one who has been quiet there, making my own world when they came. So, if they are about to disturbe somebody, they should have choose other non-kill-joy person. They should have looked for a person who is willing to feel being fooled and stupid for the sake of joining the fun of their activity.
But I can not tell those things to them also, because they do not know my mood in the first place. We do not know each other, so if I have a special behaviour of getting pissed off and irritated, they could not tell it themselves. So, they tried to disturb me and took chance to make me part of their game.
It is understood that amazign race is a game wherein the team is about to disturb people who are not part of their group because the challenge for them is to get information from the person they don’t know. I’ve been once into that activity, so I understand that it’s just part of the game that I have been used as their respondent. It just came to and end that their approach to me did not please me.
Aristotle, one of the legend in philosophies of life, stresses out the differences of people’s opinion about what is best for human beings (Kraut, Richard, 2007).
The man at the food chain having mess with himself and his table looks like he doesn’t care of what other people will say about his way of eating. All he wants to do is to satisfy himself with the food in front of him, regardless if there are people who dislikes his table manners. He will act in his prerogative, because that is where he is comfortable, and that is what can make him happy.
Aristotle says that “human happiness does not consist in every kind of pleasure, but it does consist in one kind of pleasure—the pleasure felt by a human being who engages in theoretical activity and thereby imitates the pleasurable thinking of God…” (Kraut, Richard, 2007).
The happiness of the man in chewing his burger noisily is one of the happiness by pleasure that Aristotle says. The fat man appreciates the food he eats, that’s why he’s luxuriating in the pleasure of having it in his mouth. That is his happiness.
I have nothing to do with his style of happiness if that statement is correct. Even though I, when I’m eating my meal, I do not act the way he does. I do not make noises, and as much as possible, I do not want to make even small amount of mess in the table where I am eating. For me, that’s the table manner, and that manner should be present during meals because that is one thing that respects the others. Being clean in the table is better than having litters on it. It’s good in the eye, not just of mine, but also of the others’. The food looks more delicious if the packaging is nice and it doesn’t mess with the catsups and other food articles.
That is what me and the fat guy alters each other. I do give importance and value to table manners, while he does not. But that does not give me any right to say that what he did was unethical. It has just so happened that our pleasures when it comes to table interferes each other.
But like what Kraut, Richard noted in his study, he stated that in the Book VII of Ethics made by Aristotle that “…even if all kinds of pleasures are good, it does not follow that all of them are worth choosing.” I think, among the kinds of pleasure between the two of us, I have the kind that is better to be considered as one worth choosing.
The couple of man I passed by who has a poor sanitation to their bodies; I do not know if it just so happened that they are not aware, or they just don’t care about their smell and look, or if they are just happy with their lifestyle. I can not judge them by saying that their being gross means that they are unethical already. But I assume that it is not their lifestyle that they do not brush their teeth or even combe their hairs, although it causes destruction and mishap to others. Again, that kind of pleasure they have is one thing that is not to be considered as one worth choosing.
About the group of teenagers who came to me and asked me for any participation, maybe I did not make them happy, because of what I did. Snobbing them at the latter part of the game would mean to them that I am one unethical.
If I will be putting my feet on their shoes, I may say that I am type of a person who is very rude. I can not empathize with their situation. In spite of their explanation that they were just having an activity that is very obvious to be an amazing race, considering their very colorful bandages. It will be a very sad feeling of me(if I were on their shoes) when a person I expected to give appreciation with my proposal will be pissed off by our approach.
The person (me) has the right to refuse, but that’s one thing that we have agreed that will not happen in the perforance of the team. It’s a sad feeling that the peson did not join the activity because of the displeasing approach of my team.
I do not know already if the team may think that it just so happened that we have different perspectives in life, that’s why we have different acceptance of the matters that are happening to us. The team may thhink many things against me. Say I am rude, unethical, inconsiderate, impertinent or whatever they want to name me, it’s all because they do not understand my stand.
Aristole’s point of what is good thinking, is that “…there is no way of telling what is genuinely pleasurable (and therefore what is most pleasurable) unless we already have some other standard of value… to live our lives well we must focus on one sort of good above all others: virtuous activity. It is the good in terms of which all other goods must be understood. ” (Kraut, Richard, 2007).
So that’s it, Aristotle himself said that there is no definite matter that is pleasurable, unless there is the understanding between the two different people. A person would not be able to understand the perception of the other, unless he or she will make a study and understanding about it. It would be better if he or she will put some empathy, because through empathizing the other’s perspective, there will rise consideration which will lead to understanding.
In life, there are lots of things that are hard to understand. I also have an argument with my boyfriend because of some religious matter. I can not understand why he can not tell me his real perception about the religious practices. We are both Christian, but there are some misunderstanding because he and I have our own interpretaion about the lectures in the Bible.
We came to the point that even in a single matter, we are arguing each other because we can not make into a conclussion that is made by both of us. He pushes his understandign which is opposed to what I believe is right.
Actually, we are both right of our stands. The thing is, he wants me to believe what he believes in. I, too, wants him to understand what I am trying to say. I understand what he argues, but it seems to me that he do not understand my side.
Sometimes, I get annoyed at him because I think he’s someone who’s immature, self-centered, and childish… but later I can realize, why is it happening to us? Considring that what we argues about is a religious matter? We should have make a better agreement and a very good understanding about it. We should agree with each other’s perspective instead of arguing about it.
Other people says that it’s just normal that people argues with the religious matter. It is still because of the effect of a very diversified groups of religions according to them. It has been the politics and the religion that are very unstoppable to argue about because both side of the argument can prove righteousness and can justify each other.
But what is really good anyway? I believe that good is something that makes other people happy and that does not offend, hurt or destroy other people’s interest. But as Aristotle have stated on his writings, “…what is good does not require expertise in any other field.” (Kraut, Richard, 2007).
How can we determine if it’s good with other people, when ther is a given fact that people has their own perspectives in life and has their own idea of what is good or not. Also, the concept of happiness still has classifications. There are happiness for other people and not happiness for others. Because of different perspectives in life, people do not understand each other, even sometimes, extreme explanations have been tried to deliver, but still the misunderstanding is present.
I would like to acknowledge the idea I am getting from Aristole’s books of ethics that is noted by the author Kraut that is the source of this case study. Aristotle, as I have understand, wants to stress out that here is no definite good and bad in this world. What is ethics is what people understand as the right from wrong.
The three examples of experiences mentioned in this paper shows different scenarios and different people involved, except me. The first example is the couple who did not have a sanitaion before they went to street. For me, that is bad. That’s unethical. That’s not the proper attitude in the society. But who am I to say they are wrong with what they showed and acted in my presence? They have their own reasons and perspectives. I would not know if for them, that is what they call as normal, or that is just how they are being casual in living their lives.
The second scenario, the fat guy. He’s very notable for me because of his very unconscious behavior when I took a look at him. I seemed to be informing him by my stare, but he seemed to be as if he’s not aware of my message, or he just doesn’t care if I found him very disorganized and dirty with his meal.
I may not know if he do that just because he prefers to be pig out in the table. I may not know if he just do it because that’s the way he found eating as pleasant as it is. Maybe he founds pleasure with the sounds of his chews or the sound of his mouth. Maybe that noice adds savor on the food he eats. That’s his perspective, and that what makes him happy.
The last example about the amazing race team is something that is more related to me because of the presence of my own reaction. The incident was not just an example to study the other people’s perspective about what can make a self happy through their perspectives of what is happiness in life.
The team had nothing to do with my decision of quitting their game. I quitted because that is my will and that is what I think they deserve after making me feel I’m fooled. For me, that is good for them. That is what they deserve. That is what I think they will learn from. I got irritated, so that action I made me satisfied because I think I have punished them by the mistake they have made to me.
Their perceptions also, is something I can not blame. They may think that if they approached me, I will join them. They may think that if they invited me to be part of the game, I will be pleased. That maybe their perception in what the both of us will enjoy, or make us happy. They are in their teen’s age, the age where a person is very active in his or her life. Maybe, they think I can be one of them, at my look that is not obvious of it’s age.
When there are people who is hard to understand the other’s perception, it would be better if respect will be given to them. If you know that the person doesn’t understand you, then it is your turn to understand them like you understand your perception of what is good and what is not. As we have discussed earlier on this paper, ethics does not require expertise in any other field. It only requires understanding others as much as a person understands himself.
Kraut, Richard. (2007). Aristotle’s Ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.