Leadership is something that is not perfected, but rather a skill that is continuously molded as one moves from group to group. Simon Sinek explores the many shapes of leadership by sharing different stories across organizations in his book Leaders Eat Last. Key takeaways from Sinek that have impacted my views of leadership and how I will lead include the ideas of empathy, trust, and collective well-being within an organization.
Education is the realization of pain. To see life through the lens of a rhetorically informed citizen, is to bring into focus the struggles of the world. David Foster Wallace believed that a liberal arts education gives the ability to see the world beyond the self centered needs held inside an individual. Education is in fact the key to unlocking the “default setting” of living “day in and day out”. In 2005, a year after marrying and three years before his suicide, Wallace gave a commencement speech to the graduating class of Kenyon University. This speech segments a deep look into the philosophical ideas of what Wallace believed leads to a fulfilling and “good life”. The core ideas he presented reflect the struggle he may have been experiencing in himself. Indeed, his awareness of the world and inability to fix it may have led him to suicide. These core ideas included the development of awareness through education giving the ability to reveal emotions and all things good and bad in everyday life.
Scholars have discussed the validity, the use, and the definition of Rhetoric for centuries. Plato believed Rhetoric to be an art of mere flattery within the the realm of politics. Aristotle took the idea of Rhetoric and built a foundation based upon three primary principles: ethos, logos, and pathos. Edwin Black further evaluated the ethics involved in Rhetoric. As the discussion continued towards the modern day, the theories of Kenneth Burke were introduced and additionally explored by Richard Vatz and Lloyd Bitzer. Both Bitzer and Vatz have widely different views on what is called the rhetorical situation.
As I sat preparing to type, my laptop’s battery died. Looking at a black screen waiting for it to recharge, I began thinking about how dependent my life is on technology and what an examined life truly meant. American society as whole often misses out on key moments in life because they are too absorbed in one thing: a relationship, work, pleasure, wealth. Across five dimensions, some sort of balance had been incorporated or indirectly suggested in order to live both a fulfilling and joyful life.