Persuasive Essay - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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"If a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, then he hasn't got a reason to live." These were famous words of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoken June 23, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. Why do so many people fear death, fight for their country, defend their honor, seek love, stand up for their principles, go on living in the face of adversity, or believe in God? Each of these things involves living beyond the immediate moment, and all of them have at least one thing in common, and that is a sense of meaning. These are examples of big meaning, but in fact every conscious event has significance, no matter how small, fleeting, or trivial the event might be. Even if we can someday explain all behavior in terms of biological evolution, brain chemistry, and social theory, there will still be meaning in the world. Why, because meaning is a phenomenon of mind. So long as there is at least one brain having an experience of meaningfulness in the universe, there is sense in the universe. Meaning is not a condition imposed upon consciousness from some outside source. It is, rather, inherent in the nature of consciousness itself, just as is the potential for experiencing a sense of being one's self. Different meanings may be found in different things, but ultimately there is but one meaning at the root of all things, and this significance is a singular state of mind held in common by all conscious life. Entire books have been written about the nature of this state of mind called "meaning," but this is the focus one aspect of this deep and subtle mode of consciousness, namely, it's tendency to permeate and transform every mental state. Meaning in one way or another colors every mental state, because it is the foundation of every conscious level. We don't always focus specifically on the sense of import in every experience, but it is precisely this sense of meaning, whether conscious or unconscious, that turns each and every experience into a conscious...
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