October reading response NO:2 For August Pullman

“When given the choice from being right and being kind, always choose kind”-Dr Wayne

This goes with August for many reasons, some are obvious like how he did not seek revenge on Jack Will like I would have for trashing me like that. The other reason is that August decides to always be nice, he never does anything out of anger. Take for instance when August was being bullied by those 7th graders. August was taking quite the verbal beating but he just faced it off and his friends stood up for him. Now here is a question, when someone has been bullying you, should you be kind and just take it or should you fight? Take the issue about slavery, the blacks were being bullied by the whites. The blacks did not back down, the revolted. They were not kind. To me, being right in a situation where you are going to be harmed will be a time to be right. The time when you are having an argument with your parents and you are being mean, back down.

“Have no friends not equal to yourself”-Confucius

This is very important for August. He is trying to make friends in a new school and he has never really been out much. When making friends, August only made friend with the people who actually made an effort to be his friend. That is what good friends come from, when someone is sitting alone then someone goes and talks to them. Making friends is a hard, tiring, painful ordeal in which you test your personality against others. In the end of it, a friend is made. Afterwards comes the ordeal of keeping a friend in which we ask ourselves: “did we make the right choice?” If the answer is yes, the friendship continues. But is it worth it? This answer will depend on experience.

“Kind words do not cost much yet they accomplish much”- Blaise Pascal

Kind words are the cheapest thing ever. They are very easy to give and yet, they change lives. August just had to have Jack and Summer to be by his side and say kind things. That was all he needed to get by. Kind words did not just accomplish much, they gave inspiration to August. For me, kind words are only just 30% percent of the battle to change lives. You make the rest by doing kind things to them. When someone says things and does not do them, they are just people the world will pass by. To be kind, you must understand kind. To be kind is to give something to someone in need. In the end, you feel good. Everything in the world will come back to you. The product of being kind is happiness which feels good.

Why indeed do we bound our lives to a few words on a paper. Why indeed. The answers are as plentiful as the stars. It all depends on your point of view. But no matter what way you see these precepts, they are ultimately true to you. The reason people follow these guidelines or letters on a peice of paper is because these letters are what you believe in. So, what do you believe in?

October reading response NO:1 Jack Will’s top 4 precepts

1. Fourtune favours the bold- Virgil

This precept is for Jack Will because by being bold and becoming friends with August, good things happened to him. One of the many things was becoming more popular, having better grades and making a good friend. The other reason for me picking this is because Jack Will was a very popular character and did not want to jeopardise it. So by making friends with August, he was putting his popularity at risk. But as he made friends August, he changed, he saw that popularity did not really matter. The important virtues of a human being is to share the experiences of life and to help others improve. From this, I learned that people who are popular don’t take risks that jeopardise their popularity. Only those who have lost will try super hard and go for it. Think of it this way, what do they have to lose? The small businessman will go for the opportunity while the big businessman will hesitate before making the jump. For me, this quote should be fortune favours those who give it their best shot.

2. Be the change you want to be in the world- Mahatma Ghandi

This precept reflects Jack Will’s nature of not believing in revenge. Julian and the gang do many nasty things to Jack over the course of the year and Jack just stays calm and keeps persisting. The change Jack wanted was for people to see that August was not a freak with special needs. All August is is just a normal kid with normal ambitions and normal desires. When Jack became friends with August, he was showing the school that August could have normal friends. In the world, no game changer has ever done one thing to change the world but say they did something else. Let’s take the person who said the quote himself, Mahatma Ghandi. Mahatma did not want war to move the British out. He wanted peace and he also wanted the British people out so he made peaceful protests and what happened to the world that followed were peaceful. The British moved out peacefully. Mahatma beat the British not by force but by justice and he is a good example of human will and game changing abilities.

3. Keep calm and carry on- The Queen of England

This is a great precept for Jack Will. As I said before, Jack was being bullied by Julian and his goons but instead of seeking revenge, he was calm about it and this eventually led him to defeat Julian in the popularity contest. Just think about it, if someone was always right up in your grill; saying mean things and doing rude gestures, what would your response be? Mine would be to sock him right in the jaw. Jack does do this once to Julian but after that,  he just keeps calm and carries on. For me, to keep calm and carry on is a very hard thing to do. Look in history, revenge has managed to wipe out many different cultures. The concept of revenge is quite weird. When one person harms you, just to feel good, you harm him back. Harming people does not feel good, you feel guilty when you punch someone but for some reason, getting revenge is some way to bypass that mental block of guilt. To keep calm and carry on is to beat the wild human and as a civilised human, become a better person. I feel that the whole human race should follow the advice of the queen.

4. Your deeds are your monuments- Inscription on an Egyptian tomb

This is a perfect way to describe Jack Will. He does not say, he does things. When he accomplishes some things he feels great about it. His greatest deed is becoming friends with August. (why does this seem to come up every single paragraph?) That deed earned him a lot of respect later in the book. He was not known and Jack the guy but as Jack the funny one or Jack, August’s friend. Also, what he did to August during Halloween was a bad deed. By saying that, August now identified him as the one who betrayed him. But as the story progresses, Jack does apologize to August and they become friends again. For me, your deeds being your monuments could not be more true. To be know as a person, first you must show the world how good you are at something. Then people will know you as the one who is good at something. But if you are a bad person, it is hard to demolish the statues of evil. Good monuments are super hard to build but once they are up there. They will be a pillar that the human race strives to beat. If your monument is a pillar of good, then you did it. You beat life.

These are the 4 main precepts I found worked for the character Jack will in the book Wonder by: Raquel J. Palacio.