Assertion of This is Water

This is Water by David Foster Wallace conveys the message of being more self aware and open minded. Wallace clearly states the meaning of being simply aware, at the end of his commencement speech, “It is about simple awareness— awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: “This is water, this is water.”’(8) This quote directs people to be more conscious about the world and the people around them because we really don’t do that. Throughout his commencement speech Wallace mentions the different ways people act because they have their natural setting of being “self centered.” “This is not the matter of virtue— its matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow alternating or getting free of my natural , hard wired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self centered, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.”(2) Wallace describes that everyone just naturally has the feeling of being the “center of the universe.” We automatically become self centered; to become “well adjusted” one needs to learn “how to think.”  We have many experiences in our lifetime and we are always brought to the point where we need to make different choices. Now whether someone decides to make a good choice or a bad choice is up to the way they think. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort and being able to truly care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, everyday.”(8) This quote suggests that the way you think has to be based upon the idea that you will not be self centered, but rather more open minded and caring of others; the decisions you make can truly affect the people you may interact with.


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