Reflection: Understanding Personal Realities

People do not usually actively take time to contemplate on the reality that exists simultaneously as their day to day lives. In my psychology class, during the lesson on cognitive dissonance, we (as a class) were invited by my professor reflect on personal realities. During this time, I was reminded of a quote from David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water”, that conveys the message to always remind ourselves of the obvious, staying conscious and alive in the adult world. People do not take time to step out of their reality, but in doing so I realize that I can roughly divide mine into: the self, the social, and the society.

My day to day life consists of dealing with these factions of my reality, and the problems I face in each. Firstly, there are problems concerning the self; an example would be physiological such as, “am I getting enough sleep?” or “am I eating enough?” These concern self-care, and whether or not I am meeting the normal requirements for a happy and functioning human being. There are also problems regarding my growth and development as an individual. These are the challenges wherein academics fall under, which on its own is an overwhelming one. Secondly, the problems that concern social aspects of my life. Under this falls family obligations, as well as my duty to my friends and other relationships. This is easy enough to categorize, as there are many problems that stem from relationships to other beings such as misunderstandings. Lastly, society poses its own set of challenges for myself. This is concerned with bigger questions of purpose and basically how to become an effective, and in my personal goal, a kind member of society.

 In talking about and identifying these aspects, I gained a new perspective on my encounters with these problems. The application of what I learned, that is the act of stepping back from my current reality and reflecting, and the continuous practice of doing so actively for the past few months, has taught me a lot about myself. I know where my personal dilemmas come from, I know the actual weight and importance of the people around me, and I know what questions of purpose and existence govern how I act. Through everyday reflection, I know how to better deal with my personal reality.

– Selena Jao, PH101 JTA A


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