Personal Statement: How Philosophy Changed Me
My interest in studying Philosophy is the embodiment of the etymology of the word itself, the love of knowledge and nature of life. I have grown up as an avid reader and have been fond of riddles and problem solving since my childhood. Over the years, I have grown in inquisition and enjoy exploring the moral compasses of our species.
My deep interest in philosophy also stems from my enthusiasm in the books written by Edgar Allan Poe, whose enigma-filled plots always have underlying philosophies of life. A quote that well represents my drive to study Philosophy is from Poe’s short story The Gold Bug: “…it may be well noted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma of the kind which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, solve”. I strive to offer my own ingenuity to the world of problem solving, as well as to better understand the way of thought and questioning, and thought processing.
In my study of Literature in English for four years, I have developed a deeper sense of awareness that the function of the mind is far more miraculous than it is perceived. The authors and playwrights I have studied of the 16th century and beyond relate to issues faced by our world in the 21st century, and appear way ahead of their time. The similarity between the way of understanding the world then and now, and the way in which I am able to relate to the beliefs of men who lived centuries before me fascinates me. It is true that philosophy pushes the boundaries of society and questions their existence in the first place. My psyche has been influenced by the awe-inspiring perspective of the immortal playwright William Shakespeare about this world being a stage and would like to explore why the characters we play may or may not be interchangeable and illusionary and challenge our preconceptions.
I also very much stand by Plato’s take on education as the way to achieve both individual and social justice. I, just as he did, believe that excellence is virtuous, and this excellence can only be derived from uncovering the fullest ability of our knowledge. The study of human decision-making runs through the A Level courses I have opted for: Literature in English, Economics and Business—each dealing with decisions and their effects, as well as rationality and emotional intelligence.
My practice of Taekwondo has been invaluable to my interest in Philosophy. Taekwondo is a way to achieve epiphany. The art of taekwondo has allowed me to identify in myself the nature of all things around me, and how to coexist peacefully. The principles of Taekwondo echo the Ethics school of thought, with emphasis on ethical, moral and spiritual guides to harmonious living with each other. Taekwondo has taught me to explore not only the power of will of the mind, but also the virtue that is realizing what is wrong and right. What I can bring to my study of Philosophy from my practice of Taekwondo is the ability to understand the power of the mind and how courtesy and strong will power can expand our capability of realization, bringing us closer to epiphany.
After my graduation from the University, I would like to become a Surrealism Artist and I believe that the study of Philosophy renders me a vantage point from where I can unravel the realms of more mentally and emotionally stimulating art pieces. My leisure reading on the study of Aesthetics has inspired me to include Philosophy in every art piece I produce so as to create the kind of art which is truly beautiful, rather than formless. My usual subject choices for my paintings are candid human beings because of the extensive observation involved in doing unlike the usual landscapes or still life, or posed portraits. I prefer to capture still moments in buzzing life, a significant moment in the lives of people. With the support of the deep insight into Philosophy, I hope to be able to create artworks that stimulate more questioning about life and the love of learning.
Having held the great responsibility of the School Captain for the session 2017-18 and the Prefect of the Topaz house for two years, I have gained the experience of organizing many events such as Debates, Model United Nations Conferences, African Union Day, School Annual Day, Graduation Days and school assemblies in the school under the guidance of my teachers. The role of a leader has nourished my skill of event management. I have also helped the school community by collecting feedback on the development of facilities and bridging the gap between the teachers and the students. I have also assisted the art teachers to hold art exhibitions and the music teacher to organize the Musical Night.
All these novel experiences have boosted my morale and I am very optimistic about my ability to study Philosophy in your esteemed university and commit myself for the welfare of the humanity.
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