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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

My Renaissance

Throughout time, civilizations have developed from thousands of years of mixed culture, breakthroughs in new developments, and ideologies allowing them to form foundations that seem unbreakable. Despite this, somehow as inevitable as it may seem, these foundations are eventually swept away by a trivial weakness, a weakness that could only exist to be of tailored harm or a ramification created during the development of the foundation itself. As for the antiquity of humanity to have continued its existence, it is only evident to say that continuation of existence was due to a renaissance. On a much smaller scale there exists a common battle in which we all face that requires the need for a renaissance to allow for us to flourish. Similar to this common battle my renaissance was being able to find my place in academia.


Since the renaissance of the dark ages around 500 to 1000 A.D, humanity has regained its control on what we call critical thinking. Restoration from the dark ages is known as one of the most prominent renaissances in history. The downfall of Rome was a result of many factors, but was sparked by the introduction of Christianity to the Romans. According to Edward Engh “People prospered under a thousand years of Roman law, and they benefited from the freedom to mingle and assemble in private intellectual conversation: but when things fell the people began to believe that this life was evil. They were taught to moderate the evidence of their own senses. This life did not matter because this life is not the one that matters: This life is a deception, put forward to tempt mankind into thinking the physical Universe mattered” (Engh, 2013). Similar to the Fall of Rome, my downfall was sparked by a loss of direction of myself which resulted in a six year break from academia. My time wasn’t wasted, but my direction became slightly misaligned with my true goals and passions. What lead me to a renaissance was being able to rediscover my passion for knowledge and understanding which I found in academia through a connection of a variety of disciplines and challenging the understanding of likeminded individuals.


When one is to redeem success, just like the rebuilding of a civilization they must start from the foundation and focus on the essential components before completing the rest. The essential components that allowed for me to start building on my success was learning how to critically think, discovering the purpose of money to how it relates to happiness, and finding a purpose.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to identify error. According to Edward Engh, “Students must look at their own thoughts, examine in their own writings, not so much for spelling errors but for errors in reason… [e]ven things we are raised to value such as patriotism, culture, gender and race are often obstacles to good thinking” (Engh, 2012). The reading by Engh encouraged me to question where I could apply critical thinking more in my own life. Living in the 21st century I have found myself indulged in the rhetoric that shapes online marketing and the media. For me to be able to consciously analyze and evaluate logic, could allow for me to make concise decisions that coincide with my motives. The key point that one must remember is even our own motives, values, and morals are subjected to critical thinking because they too can be falsely perceived.

Wealth and Happiness

Money is what allows for us to acquire the things we desire, but many times the things that we truly need to be comfortably happy, and what we think we need, are inequivalent. So why do people desire so much more than they actually need for happiness? Thorstein Veblen states that wealth has developed into a placement determinant of our social status and honor (Veblen, 2009). Sometimes reality is harsh, but if society became richer as a whole the separation of status would still remain and would still be a determinant to unhappiness amongst the poor. It’s not becoming rich that will make someone happy, but the understanding of the way society works.

Finding a Purpose

For a renaissance to take place many times involves a variety of factors. With such factors, finding a divine purpose within society is inevitably important. In Wealth of the Nations Adam Smith uses a metaphor called the invisible hand that describes how if people individually make decisions in their own interest, the economy will be lifted, as if by an invisible hand in the interest of the public (Smith, 1817). The result of people acting in self-interest is that businesses that can’t meet the needs of the people will fade, leaving only good businesses to benefit society. Just like businesses people that should seek a salary should work, not only to make money, but to contribute to benefit society as a whole. The money earned is just a result of the contributions made. What I learned from this is that we all must find our interest in how we want to contribute to society if we want to be successful.


Whether it be rediscovering critical thinking or realigning oneself with their interests, renaissances vary from how they are tailored to meet the needs of a society or person. One of the most essential things for a renaissance to take place is an openness for change. This openness is what allows for creativity and reinvention. Societies are built upon numerous years of development, but that shouldn’t stop one from analyzing a foundation or questioning the logic within.


Engh, E. (2012). Critical Thinking, Readings from the Literature of Business and Society. Pearson.

Engh, E. (2013). Physics of Business. SLCC Assistant Professor.

Smith, A. (1817). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Vol. 2). Рипол Классик.

Veblen, T., & Banta, M. (2009). The Theory of the Leisure Class. Oxford University Press.



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