Having read “This Is Water, ” andlistened to as an audio file on my iPhone countless times, it has to be one ofthe most prevalent and crucial pieces of work – ever. Whenever I’m feeling down about the world, I listento it again and it makes me feel so much better. The entire speech is strewn with ethos,pathos and logos. From the beginning, there is a clear example of ethos, whenhe says, “If anybody feels like perspiring, I’d invite you to go ahead becauseI am sure going to.” (Also one of the reasons he wore a bandana his entirelife, he sweats when he gets nervous or uncomfortable) He already provides the audience with comfort,that he isn’t above them, he isn’t any different than them, he is human – just likethe rest of us. “If at this moment, you’re worried that Iplan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is toyou younger fish, please don’t be.
I am not the wise old fish.” Here, again he istrying to tell them and show them that he is not above them by any authority,because we are all humans. (ETHOS)When he tells the story of the Atheist,the Christian having an argument about God, he says later of the Atheist’sstory of survival, when he got on his knees and prayed to this “God” and then abunch of eskimos came by and saved him, later telling this story he says thatit had nothing to do with God and it was just coincidence, which may or may notbe true or false. We all feel different and believe differently about certainthings. We all have our own philosophies, beliefs – and that separates us fromone another.
He makes the claim that if we think one person’s beliefs aren’ttrue in comparison to another’s that we fail to do the logical and ethicalthing about talking about just where our individualized philosophies come from.We don’t know anything – and if we as humans immediately without hesitationascribe or believe anything, without asking why, we ultimately fail and areshut off from any other interpretation. (LOGOS)In the last segment of his speech, as heis detailing our trips to the grocery store and their mundanity, he says thatif we give people, everybody the benefit of the doubt, it won’t be asmiserable. That when we are stuck in traffic and cursing about the SUV in frontof us, we don’t know if, “Some of these people in SUV’s have been in horribleauto accidents in the past and now find driving so traumatic that theirtherapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feelsafe enough to drive ; or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe beingdriven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him,and he’s trying to rush to the hospital. He’s in a way bigger, more legitimatehurry than I am – it is actually I whoam in his way.” We have no idea what other people’s livesconsist of, we must give them the benefit of the doubt because the world doesnot revolve around ourselves. (PATHOS