Factors that Contribute to the Development of One’s Life
As Fuller puts it, poverty is not just the lack of money but it is amatter of choice and support. These two aspects are primarycontributors to the patterns of an individual’s life. Self-awareness plays an important role in helping one recognize theopportunities found in their environment. Culture acts as aninhibitor to ones development. However, education and self-awarenesscan help one to counter these challenges.
In the Legend of Colton, Fuller presents the story of Colton, a majorcharacter. His life revolves around Wyoming that the author describesas wild and open. The nature of the place fill Colton’s mind, andall he can think of is fishing and hunting even when he attendsschool. As the author puts it, Colton could not force himself toconcentrate on his studies. He was only wondering about the animalshe would catch on his hunting escapades. He even considers himselfpoor academically such that he even announces that, “At my Funeral,you will all feel sorry for making me waste so much time in school”(Fuller 25). The author portrays the effects of culture on thechoices that people make in life. Colton admired the K-Mart Cowboyswho roamed Wyoming, and he looked forward to becoming big like themand save himself from being harassed. The culture and way of life inthe region could not influence him to seek another way of life.Colton and his brother grew wanting to have the freedom to sleep outlike cowboys and hunt.
Culture can be an obstacle for one to achieve self made goals. Forexample, Barrett’s story presents a lady who is under the influenceof cultural contexts that influences the decision she makes. SarahAnn is passionate about getting facts right and looking for evidencefor publicized stories. When stories ran that swallows hibernate inwater during winter, she is eager to make her point that it is almostimpossible but her hypothetical theory is dismissed by the men aroundher. She says, “and how is that possible the birds are under waterfor so long” (Barrett 63). Although she confirms her idea secretly,culture acts as a limiting factor to her exploration and her femaleposition restricts her from performing experiments autonomously.
Lack of self-awareness can result in one lacking a specificdirection in life. For example, Colton does not seem to have a senseof awareness because he inclines hi life to the direction taken byothers. He even ends up working on the oil rig like his fatherbecause he does not pursue another dream. He even confesses that heknows he will die young. Lack of self-awareness limits thediversification of life that one pursues. Without it, one takes theavailable options, and they are not always the best.
There is a notable difference between an individual with an attributeof self-awareness and those devoid of the characteristic. UnlikeColton, Sarah Ann is aware of herself and the capacities she harbors.She devises ways to counter the cultural limitation in herenvironment, and she pursues her interests. Self-awareness seems toplay an important role as the driving force towards defying the odds.Secretly, she hires a farm boy to bring her swallows so that she andher friend could prove whatever the birds could survive in water. Atlast she discovers that the birds had no capacity to breathe underwater, and she confirms her hypothesis. She contrasts with Colton,who takes the available ideas and follows them comfortable withouthaving a unique interest. Colton cannot be said to be leading thebest form of life. As the author states about the condition ofColton’s place of work, “…because the humans involved in theprocess of oil drilling aren’t always robotic extensions of theirdrill bits” (Fuller 32). His state of life is out of the choices hemakes to shun education and fulfill his cowboy life. When Saran Annbreaks away to seek her freedom to a place unknown to Christopher, ita choice she makes to move away from unending control.
Education also plays an important role in the decisions that peoplemake and the direction taken by their future. Colton was not amongthe best students, and he did not pursue higher education. Even inhis early years in schools he detested the lessons, and his mind wasin the field where he could hunt. Finally, he does not have much tochoose from, and he ended up working on the oil rig. Sarah Ann, iseducated, and she first expresses this when he argues withChristopher and Collison about the ability of the swallow to stayunder water without the adaptive respiratory system. Despite thecultural influence that tends to hold her down, knowledge gives herauthority tongue. She says, “Respiration and circulation mustsomehow continue, to some degree” (Barrett 63). It is also herknowledge that instigates her to disprove the hypothesis thatswallows can survive under water. After dissection the birds she didnot find specialized features modified for breathing under water.According to her findings, “A four-chambered heart…there is nosign of a gill-like organ that might allow the bird to breath underwater” (Barrett 77).
In conclusion, cultural beliefs are a major hindrance to people’sdevelopment and moving out of their cocoons. Education andself-awareness are primary in helping individuals defy the culturallimits and seek self-fulfillment. Colton and Sarah’s ordeals areevidence that the factors in the environment shape people’s livesand how individual efforts can assist in forging a direction in life.Education provides opportunities, and it is a source of authority.Self-awareness can help to break free from influential culturalpractices as individuals seek a unique direction for their lives.
Barrett, Andrea.Ship fever: stories. New York: WW Norton & Company, 1996.Print.
Fuller, Alexandra. The Legend of Colton H. Bryant.Westminster: Penguin, 2008. Print.