Age-Old Questions

In the video below, Dr. Todd Lidh, a scholar of English literature and the former Director of CUA’s First-Year Experience, discusses this morning’s reading, “My Expectation.” This is one to watch on as big a screen as you can.

Dr. Lidh mentions the opposite responses to the vastness of the universe of not trying hard and of trying too hard. Which response to do have more often? What effect do you think that considering the interconnectedness of all things might have on our goals?

(Incoming CUA Class or 2021, please let us know what you think in the comments section below.)

Photo: “2004 Transit of Venus Egress: 11:26 UT” by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC (Figure 4, Large Size, in “Predictions for the 2004 Transit of Venus“)

6 Comments Add yours

  1. John Gaudreau says:

    Within my universe which is made up of family, friends, and faith, I don’t feel the least bit insignificant or unconnected. In fact, I feel just the opposite. I find that my relationships with those around me keep me grounded and inspired to do great things in my world. In setting audacious goals, I find that trying hard has helped me to find where I fit in my own universe.

    In the 24/7 news cycle and social media outlets, “interconnectedness” is undeniable and ever present. I, however, seek disconnect from the drumbeat of excessive communication. My way of disconnection or getting off the grid is reading, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. I am also looking forward to making new friends and creating new connections at CUA.

  2. Julia Kelley says:

    In my life, I am usually a very busy person. There are some days where I have so much I stress, but other days I wish I did more or have something to do. I think it depends on the situation if I tried too hard or not trying enough. I too feel like if I try too hard for something that seems impossible the best solution is to give us. I know though that there I is always that part of me that says if you don’t try hard enough then you will miss your chance and someday regret it.

    When I think of the interconnectedness of all things and how that effects our goals, I think of opportunities. We all are given tools and opportunities to explore the world. We just have to take the risk and take the chance we are given. Since everything is connected, I believe there is always a way something can be fixed, made, changed or thought of. I believe in a positive effect on our goals to make the world a better place.

  3. Mary Conroy says:

    In my own personal experience, I have found that making high expectations and goals for myself push me to work harder. Ten months ago, I made a goal to recover from an injury and return to competition. I have beat the odds with perseverance and determination by qualifying for nationals. I feel that as humans if we really put our minds to our goals, we can not only meet them but surpass them. Sometimes, reaching a certain goal may feel overwhelming and unrealistic. We need to take a deep breath and maybe clear our heads by taking a walk or finally finishing the book we have been putting off. Our connectedness to our family and friends can also help us reach our goals. Their guidance will lead us to the path of success. If we miss the sign, they will always be their to support us not matter what.
    In our technologically advanced society, we have many ways to feel connected to the rest of the world. From liking pictures of our families that live far way on Facebook or by sending friends pictures on Snapchat, we can easily connect to our loved ones with a simple click. I may be old fashioned, but I think the best way of communication is face to face. I have made my best memories in person rather than behind a screen.

  4. Jaesen Evangelista says:

    Hmmm…trying too hard vs not trying hard enough? Ha, I think I’m a combination of both with a speciality in going a little too overboard. I swear, there are times when I am at home in bed for three days straight (like right now) and other times when I can’t sleep because of all the work I want to get done. But, if I could interpret my role in the universe in any way, it would be a role that goes with the flow of the universe and at the same time defies it. I’m one to take on challenges, especially ones that I feel need to be solved. However, I also like to accept things as they are and work with what is given to me. It’s so weird, I know, but I think that is the role we as humans are meant to have. We are meant to stand up and make our place in this universe, and at the same time, accept that this universe is incomprehensibly large. It’s so weird.

    The interconnectedness of things has always been interesting to me. Everything, from the minuteness of an atom to the vastness of the entire universe, is connected. With that, we can also address people. If everything is connected, then people are connected too. Though we may look different, live in different places, and have different beliefs, in the end, we are all one people, all connected. So, when we, as people, make goals, we should consider that everything and everyone is connected. Our actions affect other people, other things. Our motives are not entirely our own and we will not have results that will only affect ourselves, but everyone and everything around us. When we make goals, we should consider the presence of others. And it’s more fun that way too because then you realize that you’re never alone in this great big world.

  5. Emily Law says:

    I think everyone shifts their responses to life from not trying enough to trying too hard, relatively frequently. For myself, it depends on what is happening around me. I typically try too hard in a situation, but take my time to learn from my mistakes and appreciate my accomplishments. I always attempt to try the hardest I can, without losing my true self in the process.

    The way we approach a situation has a great impact on its result and our future goals. When people are close-minded, they see only one true solution, when there are plenty. When we realize that our singular presence can not solely alter a goal. We must let ourselves view every aspect of a situation as a unit, and work alongside that. This parallels the question of should we try too hard or not try enough? I believe that there is a different definition of ‘trying’ for every person, it is all relative. What is crucial is when we try until we reach our personal limits, recognize that failure is part of the goal, and learn from our mistakes to fulfill our sense of self.

  6. Deanna Eichelberger says:

    In my daily life, it is truly a struggle sometimes determining when not to try and trying to hard. I believe by this point in our lives most have in fact heard the saying “when at first you don’t succeed try, try, again.” This saying alone seems to imply that in our daily lives we have to put an unnecessary amount of work into things we don’t comprehend or can achieve yet yet we have been taught to live by it in fact (like I have). This saying in idea sounds like a ideal most should try and strive for but instead acknowledges our human flaw of trying to succeed in something that may be unreachable for you as a specific person and in fact embraces the idea instead that as humans it is only natural to rely on other people with specific abilities you may not have so you can succeed as a whole. In reality some goals are just unobtainable without other peoples help. So coming back to trying to hard and not trying enough that balance everyone looks for is truly found in your common sense and other people. Acknowledging your limits will ironically give you the strength to push forward, and grant you the ability to determine when to try and when not to try in order to benefit the greater good of not only yourself but the people around you also. The truth is no matter what you do you have to try because in the end you will do better, and be happier.

    In continuing, by considering the interconnectedness of all things our goals would be greatly effected by this. The best evidence of this can be found in our government.When the president for example declares war on another country his motivation can be found in his goals and that is to protect the country at any cost. You can see that, even if it was only a minute an acknowledgment was made that an imminent threat was present which therefore resulted in war. Really, you have to get a sense of what the big picture is and what it is you want to personally achieve. By acknowledging that all actions are interconnected you find more and more you have to consider the big picture which ultimately impacts your life style which is based off your life choices. Countless theories like the butterfly effect, which states that any decision or action like a butterfly flapping its wings can have great effects somewhere else, stem out of the fact that everything is interconnected. In the end, when a person starts thinking along these lines they start to look for a balance in their decisions (one which does not tip the scale to much) and really start to think about the bigger picture I mentioned before, and this alone will shift your beliefs which effect the goals you have in both big and small ways.

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