Barriers, Redemption, & Karma

Following in the vein of the liberal arts as a tool for critical thinking, another tale for the reader.

Barriers are built for the purpose of keeping people/things from gaining access to something, whether it be a village, an economic opportunity, or University. Self-defense, self-interest, or self-improvement, all require effort to achieve. The return to school was no different. Given my documented history (recorded for posterity in the Office of the Registrar), I had to overcome institutional resistance to the notion of my return. Having overcome this obstacle…..

Redemption is the price one must pay for overcoming the Barrier of Re-Admission. As noted in Wikipedia’s discussion on Christian redemption: “After one’s sins are forgiven, the individual’s suffering can reduce the penalty due for sin.” I am re-admitted, but I must pay for my past sins. Here, the penalty is not the absence of educational opportunity, but acknowledgement, during the present, that my previous acts were worthy of punishment. Having re-gained the opportunity for education, I must pay for my omissive acts of earlier decades. This penance comes, in part, through my mandatory enrollment in a class designed to help students who are currently adrift in the Bermudic Triangle of academic confusion, lost motivation, and social distractions…..

Karma is the Buddhist/Hindu concept which says, if I may be brief, that our past acts have future consequences. As I sit in my “penance” class, I am forced to listen to excuses, snores, the chatter of text-messaging, insolence, and the pearls of wisdom that drop from the professor’s mouth. That she speaks the Truth is lost on the class. That I know she speaks the Truth, and that I am the manifestation of that Truth, is also lost on the class. That I am forced to observe, closely, the kind of behavior that was a hallmark of my earlier college experience, is perfect Karmic justice.

It may be that I have been put on Earth to teach someone else this valuable lesson, only they’re not listening.



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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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