Prof. Alex Green
English 04: Composition
March 4, 2015
You wake up one morning and you realize that you are about to leave your family, your friends, your home, for another life as a college student 7000 miles away in the United States of America, and knowing that this change would affect my future. It wasn’t an easy decision for me to leave the Philippines, and I had always questioned myself whether I made the right decision to study abroad. Growing up, I have learned to love the Philippines and comfortably calling it my home, as the memories that I have made throughout my childhood, has been plastered all over my mind, that I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I left for good. I knew that going to college in another country was inevitable for me because my parents have high regards for me attaining a higher education in another country like the U.S. With my decision to attend Saint Mary’s College, I knew in my gut that despite the fact that I was leaving home and receiving criticisms as to why I was leaving home, I knew eventually that I had made a right decision as to invest in my future by studying abroad and leaving home.
What is unpopularity? In today’s modern world, the term “unpopularity” is something that people use to determine whether one is deemed to fit into society or not. Especially in today’s world, the idea of fitting into society has become a big deal due to the effect of social media on people’s lives. The idea of “unpopularity” does not toy into the right minds of humans, as we think of the term as a negative connotation towards our own self-pride and dignity no matter what the reason is. For example, when someone does something that is considered “unpopular”, like, say, getting the new Damian Lillard shoes instead of the new Kobe Bryant shoes, whereas the new Damian Lillard shoes would be cheaper and less known , and therefore, deemed “unpopular”. Essentially, whether it be unpopularity or popularity, it is what society makes of it. As Alain de Botton in The Consolations of Philosophy says, “every society has notions of what one should believe and how one should have in order to avoid suspicion and unpopularity” (9). Alain De Botton attempts to help readers through their everyday difficulties by using ideas, advices, informational data, and quotes from early traditional philosophers. Further, he talks about the life of Socrates. The book opens with the topic of “unpopularity” by introducing the death of Socrates, an ancient well-known philosopher. Botton, throughout the chapter, explains how Socrates stood out from the masses during this time period. Botton further explains that Socrates, because of his strong and passionate personality, went against the norm and was willing to die for what he believed was correct. Through the quotation mentioned earlier, that “every society has notions of what one should believe and how one should have in order to avoid suspicion and unpopularity” (9), Botton illustrates how Socrates was not considered popular among the masses but he was willing to go against the opposition because of his strong beliefs, even though it made him what Botton calls “unpopular” or generally speaking, an outcast. Additionally, his philosophies later led him to his eventual death. Botton tries to make readers connect with their own personal philosophies and try to think of examples of what Socrates believed in. To be “popular” is not something every one should hope to accomplish. Socrates believed that if you believe in something, then you should go for it without question. Furthermore, Botton says that “we stifle our doubts and follow the flock because we cannot conceive of ourselves as pioneers of hitherto unknown, difficult truths” (13). He feels that every one normally follows what is deemed “popular”, rather than staying true to what we feel is right and following our common sense. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist