The Slums


The Slums Essay, Research Paper

Being raised in the slums of New York City there were not many role models for me to take after. At seventeen years old, I dropped out of school to pursue my only chance of success; long distance running. My dream would be to win the marathon that will be held in Chicago next month. If I win this race, I will receive $50,000 and hopefully a contract with Nike. There is only one problem that I face; there are a few women that are faster than I am. I am in constant training, and I have placed amongst the top ten women in the Boston Marathon, but I have never won a major race. How am I going to win when there are other people that can out run me?

While I was talking to one of my friends, who happens to be an athletic trainer, I told her of my worries. She informed me that there is a new experimental drug that can help to improve my endurance by preventing the build up of lactic acid in my muscles, and she had access to these pills. The drug has not yet been tested on humans, yet when animals were given the drug they had no series side effects. My friend offered me a one months sampling of the drug in return for $5000 if I win the race and nothing if I loose. She swore to me that it is not on the list of drugs that are banned and it will not show up on a blood test. What should I do?

The main issue that I ask myself is whether or not I should take the drugs. All of my life I have dreamed of being an Olympic runner and if I take these pills I may get my chance. These pills can help build up my muscles and endurance which will give me a better chance of taking home the gold. If these pills do work than I will be able to take the $50,000 I win and move myself out of this hole I am living in. If I am in a better environment, I may want to do something with myself; perhaps I could get my GED and take college courses. If I take these pills, I could possibly be the best runner there ever could be.

On the contrary, I have also come up with the down sides of taking these pills. This drug was never tested on humans. What if side effects happen in humans that do not happen in animals? What if I get addicted to the drugs and never stop using them? These drugs may build up my muscles and endurance for a little while, but who knows if later on in life the drug deteriorates my muscles and causes more damage then a short period of fame. What if this drug has a reverse effect on me and slows me down, both mentally and physically? This could lead to clinical depression and other mental illnesses. The question I ask myself again is what should I do?

I have to give my friend an answer in the next two days and I am so confused. Should I take the drug and hope that nothing bad happens, such as dying, or should I take the drug and hope that something good happens, like winning the race? I must look to the great philosopher, Aristotle. Although he will not give me a direct answer, he can teach me to believe in how I feel. Aristotle is interested in virtue, unlike Kant and Mill, who are interested in duty. Will I be happy (virtuous) if I take the drug, or will it cause me more pain?

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