Selflessness Essay Sample

Jonathan Lethem is one of the most notable authors of the modern history. He has published several texts, including novels, collections of stories, essays, comics, and novellas. Such aspect means that the scholar does not focus on one genre of literature as he attempts to explore various fields. Lethem talks about the issue of plagiarism, and how it has adversely affected the growth of younger artists who get influenced by the work of their mentors. Robert Thurman is, in most cases, viewed as the Buddhism ambassador in the United States. His writings focus on the Tibetan culture where he seeks to familiarize the Western audience with the Buddhism teachings. For instance, Thurman uses this concept to explain the relevance of the religion, such as the need for sharing, to most of the problems experienced in the modern world. Through selflessness, the assertions of Thurman significantly agree with Lethem’s understanding of plagiarism as both authors advocate for the importance of contributing to the society and helping the less privileged.

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Lethem’s concept of plagiarism can be evaluated as an attack on the next generation of writers and other creative minds. The “Prolific,” as most critics call him, explains the effects of plagiarism to the contemporary society. As an expert who ventures into several fields of literature, Lethem points out the impact an artist can have on an emerging writer who closely follows the work of his mentor to develop some skills. It is only logical that this young man will create much of his work in a somewhat similar way to that of his role model. While explaining the aspect of usemonopoly, Lethem says: “The idea that culture can be property—intellectual property—is used to justify everything from attempts to force the Girl Scouts to pay for singing songs around campfires to the infringement suit brought by the estate of Margaret Mitchell against the publishers of Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone” (p.217). It is vital to note that, in this case, the author is trying to describe the severity of the perception of plagiarism. Young minds no longer have the freedom to use the content “possessed” by the more experienced artists. In this article, Lethem also points out that creating a significant problem out of plagiarism can equate to “attacking the next generation of creators for the crime of being influenced, for the crime of responding with the same mixture of intoxication, resentment, lust, and glee that characterizes all artistic successors” (p.219). Therefore, it is vital to find a better way of addressing the issue of plagiarism to avoid creating a society that is somewhat skeptical of referring to the works of the senior members. If this matter is not solved, the chances are high that the quality of future literature content will be low.

Thurman’s idea of selflessness significantly agrees with the assertions of Lethem as the two authors play a substantial role in ensuring that the members of the society share their possessions. Ideally, Lethem explains that experienced artists should not deny the upcoming authors the chance to get influenced by their exceptional skills in the name of plagiarism. In other words, the writer refers to the element of copyright as a form of selfishness. Thurman teaches the values and culture of Buddhism in the United States. His provisions are based on the fact that people live in a social system where they interact each day. In the text titled “Wisdom,” Thurman points out that the concept of self represents the general desire for human beings to judge and develop their own identity. This search for personal development can increase the level of egocentrism among people such that nobody cares about the rest of the community. In his article, Thurman asserts: “Realizing your selflessness does not mean that you become a nobody, it means that you become the type of somebody who is viable, useful somebody, not a rigid, fixated, I’m-the-center-of-the-universe, isolated-from-others somebody” (p.443). He continues to explain that “When you become aware of your selflessness, you realize that any way you feel yourself to be at any time is just relational, changing construction. When that happens, you have a huge inner release of compassion” (Thurman 444). Therefore, both Lethem and Thurman teach about selflessness by encouraging the members of the society to care for those who are less privileged, whether that would be socially, politically, financially, or academically.

In summary, it is vital to recapitulate that the teachings of Lethem and Thurman follow the same line of argument. While Thurman focuses on educating the society on the importance of living harmoniously as part of the values and culture of Buddhism, Lethem aims to encourage scholars not to concentrate significantly on the aspect of plagiarism which can potentially prevent the next generation from growing academically. It is logical to point out that both writers emphasize the need for selflessness in a bid to give every person in the community the chance to develop in various ways, including socially, academically, and politically.

Works Cited

Lethem, Jonathan. “The Ecstasy of Influence.” (2007). Thurman, Robert. “Wisdom.”

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