Darius White
Professor Ramos
“The Universe of Obligation” talks about the effects the universe of obligation has on people’s views and the enigma of belonging to a group or a society. This article was written by Facing History, Facing Ourselves “which is a nonprofit international educational and professional development organization with 10 base locations in the U.S. and educational partnerships around the world (China, France, Northern Ireland, and South Africa)1. “Facing History, Facing Ourselves works with teachers, students, and communities worldwide through online professional development, international events, and their free library of classroom resources.”2 In “The Universe of Obligation” the writer seems to want the readers to gain the understanding of how the universe of obligation has impacted people’s, group’s, and society’s understanding of belonging and the effects of one’s per say classification. The reading seems to be more directed into a more scholarliness way of informing readers. Subjecting to the fact that whoever reads this article will be gaining the insight from the writer to understand that as people, one doesn’t just fall into a category as opposed to being placed there by the universe of obligation. This essay is will help with the understanding of being/becoming a member of a group (and its benefits) and how people, groups, and societies universe of obligation effects the group one belongs to, with the tools of rhetorical analysis; ethos – ethical appeal, pathos – emotional appeal, and logos – logical appeal. These tools allow the gathers of a special but different type of insight that might allow someone to dig a little bit deeper into the mind of the writer when it comes to reviewing their work.
“What does it mean to be a member of a group? In groups, we meet our basic needs; in groups, we learn a language and a culture way of life.”3 This text lays down a basis of the usefulness and some benefits of a group. Facing History, Facing Ourselves use a method of ethos by ensuing that when they talk about groups they are well informed for being an organization that is established not only in the U.S. but around the world. Working with students and teachers but also communities worldwide gives them more of a cultural insight to the idea that we learn a language and a cultural way of life when joining a group. The organization of “Facing History, Facing Ourselves” is an effective example of a group that comes together as a culture way of life. They do this by offering services in “fosters empathy and reflection, improves students’ academic performance, reinvigorates teachers, and builds safe and inclusive schools.” 4 If one were to join the “Facing History, Facing Ourselves” they will be opened to all the services (benefits) that they provide as an organization. An in enlightenment to joining a group you also become exposed to pathos in the sense of “groups also satisfy our yearning to belong, receive comfort in times of trouble, and find companions who share or dreams, values, and beliefs.”5 As people the since of belonging is crucial to us because no one likes being alone for too long. Joining a group could provide us with the happiness or the comfort that we might be missing, like a sense of purpose to do something greater than those that have come before or just to get the fire ignited for someone to get back on track. The beneficial effects can become an everlasting sanctuary with all the new bonds formed, great ideas thought of, or methods to get out of an unhealthy mindset. “Belonging can have significant advantages; being excluded can leave a person vulnerable”6 this quote displays logos that if a person were to join a club of some sort. That person now as access to maybe not all the but majority of the resources that is entailed with joining. When starting at a new job you now become part of the company and get to enjoy the exclusive benefits that come with working at the job such as a discount, new methods/challenges, experience, etc. Everyone belongs to a group or a community of some sort that is based off their obligation to the universe.
Belonging to anything is truly a special thought that as a human being we crave the idea of fitting but just wanting to join isn’t just good enough. Comprehension of how to become a member is just as crucial as knowing how members decide who becomes a part of the group. A good point of view isn’t that only certain people can join but that when it comes to a group they usually only want the right people to join. In a logical (logos) term of speaking a company won’t just hire anyone, universities don’t just accept everyone, and the Olympics doesn’t just let every athlete compete. There is always some type of qualifications that one must fit into to become part of that unique class. “How members of a group, a nation, or a community define who belongs and who does not have to do with how they define their universe of obligation.”7 In some cases, this can appeal to people in either a positive or a negative. Being able to appeal and being an acceptable prospect for a specific group can make a person feel amazing. Having that one thing that sets you apart from the rest of the pack to meet all the qualifications to gain access to the special opportunities/perks that are only withheld for members. Just as great it might be to have all the right qualifications it can be saddening or depressing to come to the realization of being unqualified. “Facing History, Facing Ourselves” allows any all to join their own personal organization to better themselves with usage of their own personal resources at one’s disposal. “Sociologist Helen Fein coined this phrase to describe the group of individuals within a society ‘toward whom obligations are owed, to whom rules apply, and whose injuries call for amends.’”8 For one to be able to access all the resources of “Facing History, Facing Ourselves” they must abide by the rules to continue progressing into the future with them.
The Universe of obligation applies to all but to each in their own mindset or sense of wellbeing when it come to a person becoming a part of a group and or society. Logically (logos) speaking we all have free will to do as we all pleased but there are limitations to that same free will when a person becomes a part of something bigger than themselves like a group, company, organization, etc. For example, The United States of America a country that has laws emplaced to make sure there is structure in their society. Everyone is given the choice to follows these implications but if you break them like the law the will be repercussions to pay for defiance of authority in the society. Feelings professional athletes know all too well in fact because if they speak negatively to the press about their society (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, etc.) they will be fined and maybe even suspend for going against their own. There are mixed emotions on certain situations because you can feel suppressed that your own free will has become limited for becoming a part of the society. “A society’s universe of obligation can change. Individuals and groups that are respected and protected members of a society at one time may find themselves outside of the universe of obligation when circumstances are different – such as during a war or economic depression.”9 Which in this instance if a player talks about how bad or lack of ref officiating in a game then the society’s rule change for that person for going against their own society as a repercussion. “Beliefs and attitudes that are widely shared among members of a society may also affect the way that society defines its universe of obligation.”10 Coming together to works with teachers, students, and communities worldwide through online professional development, international events, and their free library of classroom resources“ Facing History, Facing Ourselves is implemented around the world bring together people around the world with liked mines to help, mentor, and lead.
The Universe of obligation dictates to everyone; people, groups, societies, classes and more. Not dictated by anyone except a person’s own universe of obligation which can differ from others which ultimately place people in their own but also others own stigma of universe of obligation ultimately connecting them together. All people fall into a group or a society of some sort that matches up well with their own universe of obligation. With those groups being in place implements that we all are either eventually going to become or continuing being a part of a society that matches one’s own ideas. Hopefully a gained understanding of being/becoming a member of a group (and its benefits) and how people, groups, and societies universe of obligation effects the group one belongs to, was displayed well enough with the tools of rhetorical analysis of the writer with the uses of; ethos – ethical appeal, pathos – emotional appeal, and logos – logical appeal.








Works Cited
1, 2, 4, “About Us.” Facing History and Ourselves, Facing History and Ourselves, http://www.facinghistory.org/about-us.
3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 “The Universe of Obligation.” Facing History and Ourselves, Facing History and Ourselves,[pdf-embedder url=”https://1afall16.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/the_universe_of_obligation.pdf”%5D