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Unusual circumstances in my life: Moral ambivalence in a running bus -CommonApp Essay

leonardjo 3 / 4  
Oct 20, 2011   #1
I'm going to attach this essay to CommonApp.com.
The topic is: Unusual circumstances in my life
Please help me to improve it.
Be as harsh as you can!

At one summer day of 2006, after three hours of rigorous kendo training, I was barely standing in a bus station, waiting for no.7 bus that would guide me home. It takes almost 40 minutes to go back home and my body ceaselessly sent a message to my brain to spot a seat on my getting on the bus. Wow, it was my lucky day (...or not). Though it was five o'clock when usually all buses are full, I found a seat as soon as I got into the bus. It magnetized my fragile body with such a compelling power. I had fallen asleep as soon as I hit the seat.

...Huh? With no reason, suddenly my eyes opened wide. The bus was already full. I looked out to see where I was. I was almost halfway to home. At the moment of closing my eyes again, I saw an old lady standing right beside me. Unfortunately, my superego defeated my id that I almost instinctively offered my seat to her. Then, a textbook scenario developed and we exchanged some textbook dialogues.

"Please sit here, mam!"

"No, I'm fine, you can just stay there."

I offered her my seat several times, but she was firm. I really wanted to let her sit, but was afraid that reiterating the same words would annoy her. I sensed a necessity of deliberate other methods to persuade her. I stood up and told her that I'm getting off at next station. Finally, she sat down with a smile and I was pleased with odd satisfaction. I imaged myself to be one of those people who would appear in a public service advertisement or in a pamphlet that encourages people to observe public order and etiquette. Unable to sleep, I related a topic to another, making up my own messy story. When I finally decide to finish it, I was a billionaire dwelling in an old shack.

Suddenly, I felt a pat on my shoulder. It was the old lady. I smiled to her and was ready to listen courteously to whatever she says. To my surprise, the old lady was... umm... frowning and looked extremely unpleasant. Not expected this kind of reaction, I was stunned. She didn't say anything; she just stared at me with such a weird look. On the moment of getting of the bus, the old lady pointed a finger of blame at me, and spat grumbling words, saying: "You didn't get off! You little cheater! You fooled me!" Then, she hurried off the bus.

...I was shocked. I didn't know why I deserve such blame. All what I had done was just to practice what I considered to be the right moral judgment. I felt as if the lady wrapped her hands around the stem of my moral universe and pulled it until the roots gave in.

What was wrong?

It was so a difficult questions for a 12 years old boy with immature moral value. I couldn't think of anything else. Every part of my body was concentrating on this question that my ears couldn't hear the noise of rush hour; my eyes lost their focus. When I finally came back to myself, I missed my stop and was at the final station. But I still couldn't find the answer. After I got back home, I didn't tell my family what happened on the bus, because I wanted to meditate upon it and find the answer by myself. A day had passed and I was still unable to find the right answer.

Then, suddenly, an idea occurred to me. I found out that chasing after the answer is meaningless, because I am the only one who is responsible and eligible for building my moral universe and value. If I blindly accept what other people force on me, than my moral judgment would lost its meaning as the result of my independent consciousness.

New moral value took roots.

Few days later, when I was on my way home sitting in no.7 bus, I saw an old gentlemen getting on the bus.

"Please sit here sir!"

fineboy 2 / 6  
Oct 20, 2011   #2
The second half of the essay, that is, the reaction of the old lady, really surprised me, and your point of view is mind-inspiring.
Then, I think you need some revising in following parts:
1. I think that your conclusion, the last four paragraphs, is not strong enough. You may tell your story more succintly so that you can leave more space to explain your conclusion. I belive you can make a very good point by doing that.

2.This part: Unable to sleep, I related a topic to another, making up my own messy story. When I finally decide to finish it, I was a billionaire dwelling in an old shack. is detracting. I simply do not understand what this sentence has to do with your overall idea.

3 . Adding more details may make your essay more lively.
I wish my advice helps :-)

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