In Frankenstein, Theology, and Tableau a common theme that I see is the betterment of yourself, and it is funny how extremely closely related to meditation this theme is. In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the betterment of yourself that I clearly saw was when the monster, started to tell the story of how he got to his point in his life in chapter 11. The idea that he learned so quickly about being what a human is like shows that he was dedicated to becoming a better person. In the poem Theology by Paul Laurence Dunbar, it is a little bit of a stretch to talk about the betterment of yourself but it is possible because, seeing that the speaker thinks that only he should go to heaven and that his neighbors should go to hell shows that he needs to work on becoming a better more open minded person. Finally in Tableau by Countee Cullen the betterment of yourself as a theme can be seen by the reader because of the way she describes the way that the different races see the interracial interaction going on. All three of these writings show something different about how we can become better people, and the meditation sessions I have been going to relate to this an insane amount.
In Frankenstein the betterment of yourself can be seen and taught when the monster created by Victor Frankenstein sits him down and has a conversation with him about what his life has been like since he left Victor’s apartment. Since he left he has been observing a family and basically learning what it is like to be human from them, but from a distance. This can relate to the meditations that I have been going to since, meditation is a way to practice trying to better yourself to become the best person that you can be. Frankenstein shows us that we can learn how to better ourselves simply by watching others. This is the same message that the meditation is trying to get across. The message that we need to want to become better on our own, but that we also need to be open to watching others and letting ourselves learn from others. By learning from other people we are able to acquire attributes that we otherwise would not have been able to acquire on our own. These attributes lead us to be the best people that we can possibly be.
In the poem Theology, we are taught that we may see ourselves as better than others, but we have to remain with the thought that those around us are our equals and that everyone has the same rights. We have to learn to be better people and to treat others with the respect that we wanted to be treated with. By respecting people in this way we would become better people. The speaker of this poem has a lot of work to do with respect because he does not respect his neighbors, and says that they are going to hell. In meditation, we better ourselves with a lot of respect. We have to respect the practice of meditation, we have to respect those around us, we have to respect the silence, and we have to respect our leader. All of this respect that we have to practice will lead us to be better people because the more respect is practiced, the easier it is to do as second nature. And if respect becomes second nature, then you truly have bettered yourself.
Finally in the poem Tableau the betterment of yourself can be seen through the children that see past the color of their skin and just see another human being. The children do not mind walking arm in arm with one another even though they are a different race and I assume that this poem was written during segregation. The children show us that to make ourselves and others better we may have to do things that make us and others uncomfortable. But in the end it is for the better. This is similar to the actual practice of meditation, because during meditation we have to sit in uncomfortable positions because it will give us better balance which will make it easier for us to focus on what we need to focus on, on the inside.
Overall in Frankenstein, Theology, and Tableau they all show how we can be better people if we apply ourselves. The same goes for meditation because the more you apply yourself to getting better, and becoming a better meditator inside and out the better you will become. You can become better by watching others. You can become better by recognizing that you are not already a great person. And you can become better by doing certain things that make you uncomfortable. In the end as long as you are becoming a better person, I think the goal of these writings and meditation would be achieved.