Wooden-Headedness Essay, Research Paper
Barbara Tuchman Quotation
Why was Julius Caesar assassinated in 44 B.C. by his best friend, yet? Why did the Roman Empire crumble in the 5th century A.D. historians are still puzzled by that disaster? Why did William of Normandy attack England in 1066 A.D. the date every school boy should know? The stars positions, moon phases, and especially divine influences, according to the ancients, were without a doubt responsible for such assassinations, collapsed kingdoms and invasions. Certainly, eclipses too were assigned enormous influence over political disasters. Ultimately, of course, thinking became much more sophisticated, but new explanations were still simplistic Hitler did not cause World War II all by himself; Uncle Tom s Cabin couldn t possibly be the only cause of the Civil War, and the Catholic Church was not solely responsible for The Crusades.
The noted contemporary historian, Barbara Tuchman, on the other hand, takes a psychological/sociological approach to assigning causes for national and international failures such as the recent Russian economic collapse, the ongoing Palestine-Israeli hostility and past Apartheid policies in South Africa. In her book, The March of Folly she identifies wooden-headedness acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts, as a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. Some people would even go so far as to claim that Tuchman s theory can be applied much more broadly to life in general on a personal level. Indeed, wooden-headedness does play a remarkable large role in bungled human affairs as well as state affairs.
Probably the saddest failures occur in human relationships. Some people just can t keep a relationship with another person, because of their wooden-headedness. Wooden-headedness might just be in the persons mind or how they think about current issues. Wooden-headedness could even come from when we were kids, and in how our parents brought us up. Sometimes a person will not give in and admit fault or that they re wrong, even when the facts are right there. For some people a prejudice is what causes them to be wooden-headed, and this issue has been known to get many people in trouble. Marriage is another example. This is a big decision in one s life and some people don t even think twice about what they re getting themselves into. This is when abuse becomes a major issue in American life. Sometimes they won t even take advice from friends and family, who can see the obvious signs of danger. Simply overlooking these signs can lead into bad relationships, including abusive ones. Abusers could be woodenheaded in that they know it is wrong, but they can t help themselves. But, also, the abused can be woodenheaded in that they won t get help. This causes many problems and it leads to many people getting hurt mentally and/or physically.
Some people like to ignore facts and go on living as they always have. Addictions are a big problem with people around the world. One example would be gambling. This is a highly addictive, wooden-headed trait of mankind. Even though odds are against us, we still visit casinos to simply satisfy our addiction. Sometimes people have such a severe problem that it gets them into financial trouble. Another example of how people can be wooden headed is in finances. Some people are woodenheaded because they don t know how to effectively manage their money. They know that they should, but they just choose not to. Others are impulsive. They buy whatever they see without thinking of the consequences. The economy weakens because of the instability of peoples financial status. Because of poor money-management, impulsive buying, and failure to set financial budgets, some people get themselves in a lot of trouble economically. Many become bankrupt and need to use government aid. The government has to get involved to help out the wooden-headed people so the economy, for the rest of us, remains steady. When we ignore the facts, we tend to make an economic mess of our lives.
Politicians are, unmistakably, woodenheaded. They tend to do what they want, even if it is against the majority of the general public. One recent example is the proposed tax cut. Republicans keep trying to get it passed, even though the majority is against the proposal. Wooden-headedness is unmistakable in civic affairs. Some people, will say, It ll never work, before they even take a second to let someone explain how it might. School shootings are another issue that currently proves that some people/organizations are woodenheaded. Whose fault is it? They will not stop backstabbing each other and the blame keeps getting dumped on someone else.
Another mess results when we ignore the constraints of time. Some people have problems organizing there time properly. They might not plan enough time and end up breaking laws trying to get places on time. Others don t budget their time well and hardly leave themselves a moment to sleep. This not only hurts your body, but it also affects people around you. Everything we do is based around time. Wooden-headed people, who poorly manage their time, live in a chaotic world that sometimes gets the best of them. Time is the essence of all. If it isn t controlled properly, you ll be down and out in a hurry.
Wooden-headedness can prove detrimental to the physical well being of anyone who is careless in his or her actions. Although studies upon studies show that some addictions are serious health risks, some people are still wooden-headed, and seek their cravings out of need. Cigarettes, cigars, alcohol, caffeine, and other addictive drugs have been proven to be detrimental to the people who use them, and sometimes even the people surrounding them. Environmental issues can also be harmful. Littering and air pollution harms not only people as a whole, but also the wild life surrounding us. People need to take care of their bodies. We need to watch what we eat, making sure we re taking in the nutrition needed to sustain life. Skin cancer and other forms of cancer have been large problems in society. We are told time and again that the sun is very damaging to the skin. However, we neglect to simply apply sunscreen that may prevent disease. Some even go as far as to sit in harmful UVB and UVA rays, just to make their skin look a certain way. We have all heard the warnings about AIDS and HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. We know that there is a chance of pregnancy if we decide to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage. Some use protection, others don t. Even though we know of these tragic diseases, some still have sex, because of the pleasure. This is yet another wooden headed trait of all mankind.
Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. The Roman Empire fell in the 5th century A.D. William of Normandy attacked in 1066 A.D. Were all of these disasters caused by the stars positions, moon phases, or by divine influences; or were they all caused by the natural human flaw of wooden-headedness. Barbara Tuchman brings up fascinating concept that seems to explain quite a few disasters of human history. Why is it not understood in history as wooden-headedness? Well, most historians want to find more factual evidence than just a simple explanation such as wooden-headedness. They go to the books and have been studying since the beginning of time trying to find an answer. When, in actuality, wooden-headedness cannot only be applied to government issues, but also it can be applied to our own personal lives. Wooden-headedness is a major problem in today s society. It has remarkably changed many peoples lives in everyone s personal lives and, indeed, in state affairs, also.