McKenzie L. M. Clark
High School Senior, Superhero & Comic Book Expert & Fencer
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September 22, 2002
I would save these things for the future because each, in its own way, has contributed to the way that I think. They've influenced my world view and my personal philosophy. The comic books and the action figures introduced me to the philosophies of different religions and mythology because each of these characters had a history that extended far into the past and I was interested in where the ideas had come from and what the author was trying to say with that character. You'll also notice that in the case the action figures are paired with their nemesis, the very classic posture of good versus evil. That question, good versus evil, has interested me for a long time. If you look at the comic book, it is a novel where Superman is engaged in a battle against the greatest evil he has faced, Imperiex. Superman has always been my favorite character. It's not his amazing powers but that he represents what every man can hope to be if he does his best. None of us can fly or have xray vision, but Superman is totally good and is the ultimate embodiment of the hero. That's what I admire about him.
Ironically, my ideas of truth and justice did not come from Superman, but from the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. I found the idea of a man who was willing to stand up against the pressures and prejudices of the society he lived in in order to defend his fellow man and do what was right was profoundly moving. It was the first book that I read that interested me in the law. I've dropped that interest, but the issues dealt with in the novel are still very important to me. When I read Atlas Shrugged a year ago, it asked some of the same questions in a different fashion; what is just? what can be taken? what should one give or get? It was a book about economy but it was also a book about morality. This book became even more important to me during the summer when I had my first job. In the process of applying for it I had to fill out an income tax form. I always considered myself pretty socially liberal, but I was incensed with the idea that the government was going to take some of my hard earned money! I decided that citizens have to do our part to support our society and infra structure and those who can't support themselves, but we must be careful that such a system is not abused and leads to harm to both. It also made me realize what it was like to actually work for something and to take pride in what you had accomplished and know that you deserved what you gained form your work.
The ring was my grandfather's. I received it on my seventeenth birthday from my mom and though my grandfather has been dead for almost ten years, I immediately felt a re-connection to him through this ring. He died when I was pretty young, and I only have a few memories of him. My mom tells me stories about him all the time and through that I've gotten to know him well and he is one of the people I admire most. The ring is a signet ring with the letter M on it, for his last name, Mullally, and one of my middle names. Having it makes me feel that I have been given responsibility for that side of the family. Every time I look at it I have renewed purpose to become someone my grandfather would be proud of.