This essay should focus more on the influence that John has had on you and less on John himself. For you, you have learned that each person has a unique experience and might have different ways of being happy in the world. Interestingly you perceive him as not fully human but as some kind of alien, as though the true humans are like you. That is perhaps correct in the sense that, if this is something you would agree with, one needs a full faculty of reason in order to be most fully human. Of course other species and "aliens" might be fulfilled with different kinds of things, but what is fulfilling to a human being as such? This is touched on briefly in the essay, and perhaps you have more to say about how you have been influenced by John to think along these lines.
How does 'choosing what he wants' show John's unusual character? Is it only about the trucking/radio-speak? What actually does fulfill John and make him happy? How have you seen your own uniqueness through considering John's?
Finally, what do humans have in common that you share--and that John shares or does not share? Which of these are the fundamental things about being human? All of this is to say that you could make a lot more out of the material here as you consider how John has influenced you through his own life and condition.
Further comments are given below. Please make sure you understand and agree with all revisions that you accept. My suggested revision follows below and in a separate attachment.
--- your essay ---
Martians exist! My proof is my brother.
- good start . . . although later I am not sure I feel good about characterizing his condition as Other in such an extreme way.
On May 3, 1984, he was born John Smith.
- is this a coincidence (Sotomayor and Soto's)?
Four years, seven months, and eleven days later, I joined his family, along with another brother, a Terran, or human. John is far different from my Terran brother,
- ok, I guess, to keep up the science fiction aspect
because John possesses an easily noticeable charm that is very special. John will either make you fall in love with his alternate reality or abhor his childish, alien antics.
- kind of sad that people either love him or hate him.
John is not really a Martian from Mars, but a Martian from our society. His mind thinks in ways that no Terran can understand. His special abilities are unrivaled by any other Terran. From birth, his fate was sealed, and he will live the rest of his life with this gift. John's gift is a rare genetic disorder called Soto's Syndrome, "a rare genetic disorder characterized by excessive physical growth during the first [two] to [three] years of life. The disorder may be accompanied by mild mental retardation, delayed motor, cognitive, and social development, hypotonia (low muscle tone), and speech impairments." While some people may look at his condition as a setback towards living a full life, I see it as [offering] a different perspective toward what we believe is a true life of sustenance.
John is not plagued by the society that drive us, like Manchurian children, to do every order it dictates,
- strange reference here
but instead he chooses what he wants, which usually comes in the form of a two-way radio.
- I would think that his impairment impairs his ability to choose wisely or even to choose what he would truly want if he more fully understood himself. Choosing what you want is important, but not haphazardly.
The radio represents his way of trying to speak with people outside his Terran comrades and family, to show that there are other forms of life and other ways to live. His reciprocation of the "ten-four" and other trucker idioms may vex some, but may enlighten others towards the diversity that this universe contains.
- interesting manifestation of his condition. What kind of diversity is he thinking about? Truckers are of course people/Terrans too.
At times, it brings me to tears when I think about what John will never experience, what he will never be able to do, think, or live. What I think is necessary for a human being to experience and live might be completely different in his world. What are we missing that he has? What do we have that is so important that he is missing?
- good questions!
Expanding on those thoughts, I began to thank God everyday for blessing me with such a brother and for giving me the ability to set myself apart from the crowd, to learn of things that no one else can experience.
This epiphany leads me towards a Road to Damascus, where I begin to perceive a higher purpose to my life.
- check out the details of the Biblical story of Paul's conversion to see if this is really the right comparison for you. Saul already had a perception of a higher purpose before his conversion and name change to Paul.
I am not meant to be a normal Terran kid, but instead one destined towards great things once I can truly understand why I was given such a brother.
- of course a lot of kids have siblings with various kinds of physical or mental disabilities.
As states in Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another," John has truly sharpened my skills towards becoming a better human being and I would not trade him for any Terran brother in the whole entire world.
- how do you sharpen him?
--- my revision ---
My Favorite Martian
Do Martians exist? The proof, some would say, is my brother. On May 3, 1984, he was born to earthling parents and named John Smith. He has a rare genetic disorder called Soto's Syndrome, "a rare genetic disorder characterized by excessive physical growth during the first [two] to [three] years of life. The disorder may be accompanied by mild mental retardation, delayed motor, cognitive, and social development, hypotonia (low muscle tone), and speech impairments."* While some humans may look at his condition as a setback that prevents him from living a full human life, I see it as offering a different perspective on what makes a human life fulfilling. When I joined his family four years and seven months later, I joined a fully human family with two very different brothers.
John is far different from my Terran (earthling) brother, because John possesses an easily noticeable, special charm. John will either make you fall in love with his alternate reality or abhor his childish, alien antics. I fear that John will always seem like a Martian in our society. His mind thinks in ways that no Terran can understand. His special abilities are unrivaled by few other Terrans. From birth, these aspects of his fate were sealed, and he will live the rest of his life with these gifts.
John's greatest gift is that he never feels plagued by the society that drives so many of us, like Manchurian children, to follow every order dictated from outside ourselves. Instead, John freely chooses what he wants. This choice usually comes in the language of a two-way radio. The radio-speak represents his way of communicating with people in the understanding that they are outside his world. He teaches me that there are other forms of human life than the kinds we think are normal. His reiterations of "ten-four" and other trucker idioms may vex some, but his teaching enlightens me to appreciate the diversity of the human universe.
At times I am in tears thinking about the worlds that John will never experience, what he will never be able to do, think, or live out. Yet, what I think is necessary for a human being to experience in order to live well might be incorrect, and what is fulfilling might be completely different to him. What are we missing that he has? What do we have that is so important and that he is missing? Once I began to ask such questions, I began to thank God every day for blessing me with such a brother, who gives me the ability to set myself apart from the crowd in order to learn in ways that few others do. When I think about John, my tears now turn to joy as I perceive the higher purposes in my life.
I am not meant to be a normal Terran adult either. John has influenced me to become a human being with the ambition to achieve the great things that will fulfill me. Now that I understand why I have such a brother, I can appreciate what he has done for me. I believe that as in Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another," John has truly sharpened my skills in becoming a better human being. I perceive each person's uniqueness even while all of us are humans in the same world.