There is this simple saying; be your own superhero. Throughout a persons life, he will face many obstacles and some he will overcome, while others he may not. A person creates many relationships with others, some people will love and accept him for who he is, others will not.
Often, one will not know why his peers do not like him, or if they even have a motif to. At the end of the day, it is how a person carries himself, and what he does about it that makes him a stronger individual. In the poem, “There Will Be No Peace,” W.N. Auden advises an individual who has been singled out to act with courage and honesty. I have noticed myself, on occasion, without any support but my own, having to be my own hero and how my own validation has helped me grow.
Acts of courage can often develop and nurture personal integrity because when an individual has been singled out by a group, and must rely solely on himself to figure out his morals, he builds confidence and with that honesty, enforcing what he will stand for.
Often, one will find himself relying less and less on his peers while his friendships disintegrate and life moves along. As he puffs out his chest, clenches his fists and puts on a courageous face, he gains confidence and bravery to follow his conscience. Even if an individual wants to fit in and be part of the group, he needs to stop and do what is morally right, not compromise his values just to be accepted.
The braver the person is, the better he grows his personal integrity. In this poem, Auden realizes that to build one’s morals, he must be courageous and trust in himself. He states, “Fight back, then, with such courage you have…” (5. 2) Auden is implying that no matter what happens, one must fight back for himself in order to stay honest and true. In another stanza, the poet writes, “Smile again on the shore of your esteem… the storm has changed you: you will not forget, ever.”(1. 2-4) He is basically saying that an individual will remember all the negative times and how he pulled through them, and he will smile at the thought of having a great self esteem, which fuels his “staying true to himself.” It is very important to be courageous and true to oneself in order to build and nourish his personal integrity.
Another point Auden is trying to portray in his poem is not to change for anyone. If one does not morally agree with and idea, he should not do it just to fit in. Auden illustrates this when he writes, “You will find yourself wishing you could make them laugh, you will long for their friendship.
There will be no peace. Fight back…”(4-5. 3-5) In this excerpt from the poem, the poet implies that to nurture and build one’s personal integrity, he must stay honest with himself about what is right and wrong, and have the courage not to please people but instead, please himself. One should have the confidence to make his own decisions and stand up whether it is to one person or an entire group. As one goes on through life, he will learn that the more morals he has, the stronger and more respected he will become. He should never compromise his beliefs to agree with others, because his beliefs are his principles and his principles make up his identity.
Even if nobody but the individual knows that he went against his own values, it still makes him feel like he cheated himself and he was dishonest to himself. It is extremely important to say honest and have courage to do what one knows is right. This builds and nurtures ones personal integrity.
When one respects his morals and does not bend his principles, that shows that he respects himself and others will respect him for sticking with his values. Even though what he does may not be popular, and his choices may not be consistent with those of his fellow peers, it will give that individual satisfaction and others will admire his willingness to live by his own rules. For example, being new to high school, I made many new friends and some do not like me while others will stay in my life for a very long time.
Making new friends means building new friendships and they are built by hanging out and doing stuff as a group. One night, me and my two best friends went to have a sleepover. They wanted to drop by a party, not to do anything, but just say hey to some of our other friends. I already had a bad feeling about the party but couldn’t let them go alone, so I tagged along. When we got to the house, there were about 50 or so people, all drunk or doing some kind of drug. I remember thinking to myself that these were all kids my age, wanting to grow up too fast and be accepted by their peers by doing harmful things. A couple of people we knew came up to us and offered us some pot and alcohol. I immediately said that I didn’t do that kind of
stuff and looked at my friends to see what they would say.
They started to follow my lead until one of the boys started pressuring us. I walked away and they followed the boy, which resulted in many negative consequences. In all 50 people at the party, I was the only one who stood in the bathroom refusing to change my morals just to be accepted. Later I carried my friends back and they cried saying how they wished they didn’t give into peer pressure. At school the next day, everyone respected me more and to this day, nobody has pushed me into doing something against my values. I stayed true to myself, chose what I wanted to do and what I knew was right, and this took a lot of courage. Going against 50 or so friends from my school and my 2 best friends. Yet, as I look back on this memory, the courage and bravery I had to say no, really built and nurtured my personal integrity.
Acts of courage can often develop and nurture personal integrity because when an individual has been singled out by a group, he must use his confidence and stick with his morals, being his own super hero. Even if one doesn’t have the confidence to do so, he must fake it, and even this will build his personal integrity. An individual should never compromise his values or beliefs for someone else’s, or just to fit in.
By doing so, he will lose respect for himself and by his peers. In, “There Will Be No Peace,” W.H. Auden shows that no matter what, an individual must be his own backbone or superhero. He must validate himself and do things that will benefit his future, not for the acceptance of others. In return, he will nurture and develop his personal integrity. If one finds the courage to be different and it will benefit him and prove that he is not a follower, but has his own identity and stays true to it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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