Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hope


Hope is a feeling of desire for something to happen and is felt everyday. People hope for all sort of tings that is going to appeal to them or benefit them or someone else. People hope so that the can feel a sense of happiness and picture a goal being achieved. It comes from within a person but can also be influenced by another. Hope is not something that is taught or forced, instead it is something that is felt caused by an action that has been done by something or someone. Nowadays many people are losing hope due to a lack of confidence in the situation they are hoping for.

Many things threaten the ability to have/feel hope such as politics, the economy, environment, people, etc. In my opinion, the two key factors contributing to the downfall of hope are people and politics. Politics is an everyday topic that helps determine the future of the people. The main figures in politics are the president and the government. They decide how much people are paid and taxed, if we go to war, etc. Some decisions made cause people to get discouraged and eventually lose hope. Another key factor threatening hope is people. People who don't have or feel the same hope as others may point out its flaws and all the negatives about it causing those who have it to lose it.

Although is being lost, it can be restored. It can be restored through faith and helping change/shape the things or person(s) killing it. The many people fighting world problems gives me hope. It's nice to know that all over the world, many people are doing things to solve major problems such as world hunger, human trafficking, right, etc. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Response to "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"


In Ursula Le Guin's short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas", she tells of a city that is beautiful in every aspect and whose people are always happy and beautiful. She goes on to explain how the city and the people in it are are perfect, but there is one condition in order to keep their happiness and perfect society. Their perfect world must depend on the misery of one child. They shall not speak nor give one kind look to the child and must keep them locked up in a basement with no contact with the outside world. Some who go to see this child accept what is going on and continue with their lives, but some end up leaving the city of Omelas without a word and never return.

This society seems to think that the only way for them to be happy is to keep one person, or in this case a child, miserable. From the time a child is old enough to understand, they are taught to not like the child in the basement and only think of them as an outsider. This society tends to think they are the greatest and that if someone is not like them, then they are not worthy. I think the significance of the child is to show that even in a "perfect" world, there is still going to be some type of injustice happening. I think the ones who walk away are the people who don't like what is going on, see the cruelty that is happening, and realize it is wrong. So, instead of protesting with violence or acceptance, they leave peacefully probably hoping that if enough people leave, others will see the cruelness in what they are doing and put an end to it. This society is similar to our society in the way that many people witness cruelty being done to others and do nothing about it just to "mind their business" and stay happy without worry.

Thinking About Social Justice


Sanford Biggers in the TED Talk, "An artist's unflinching look at racial violence", explains how he uses painting, sculpture, video, and performance to spark challenging conversations about the history and trauma of Black America. In his talk, he details two of his works and shares the motivation behind his art. His first work is of a lotus blossom. Within the petals of the blossom are drawings from a British slave manual to show the atrocities of slavery. The second work he features are of his mini sculptures to represent the many lives lost to gun violence. Each sculpture is shot with a gun to represent "battle wounds" or "scars". He does these types of art to help people better understand the history of black lives and to help encourage discussions over these topics.

It is important to value social justice because so many cruel things have happened and are still happening to people around the world. Not that many people are doing anything to prevent it because of stereotypes, beliefs, and history. So many people have been killed over the color of their skin or their religion. They are judged instantly and categorized into groups based on their ethnicity, skin color, or religion. For example, if a person is Muslim, people instantly associate them with Isis and if someone is black they are automatically considered "ghetto". These stereotypes have been around for so long that it becomes natural for people to categorize others. This is unfair to a lot of people because they are judged before someone actually gets to know them. This is what causes issues between people and keeps them from obtaining peace. Some of the most prevalent issues today have to do with the color of someone's skin and their ethnicity. Violence that has stemmed from this are gun violence and false convictions of people. Personally, I find gun violence against innocents to be a major concern that need to be resolved quickly. People are dying from just walking on the street just because they look" suspicious". History seems to be repeating itself for no apparent reason. History is taught to help people learn from others mistakes, it is not taught to be repeated.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Miranda July's "Birthmark" Response


Miranda July in the short story, "Birthmark", explains how a woman removing something she hated ends up regretting it and misses it. When it returns, she feels somewhat sad but accepts it.

 I think the narrator regretted removing her "port-wine stain", as she described it, because after seeing people with the same birthmark and how happy they were she realized that it doesn't matter what you look like, it's how you choose to make the best of things to be happy. She realized that looks don't have the power to change the way people perceive others to be. I think because she grew up with it and had it for so long she grew attached to it and so when she had it removed, it was like she had taken a big chunk of her life and identity and erased it. To her, this symbolized a sign of uniqueness and a sign of being beautiful in her own way. People close to her had always knew she had a birthmark and so when she removed it, people began to see her differently not only in her looks, but in her demeanor as well. So for them, it represented something that was apart of her that made her who she was. When her port-wine stain returned she felt a little sad but somewhat at peace and content that it had returned. After it reappeared her husband felt she would finally want to have a child with him because she had finally accepted who she was and nothing would stop her from doing what she wanted to do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Graham Hill's "Less stuff, more happiness" Reflection

Graham Hill in the TED Talk, "Less stuff, more happiness" claims that when you have less stuff and less space, you are more happy. Hill supports his claim by listing the various ways on how you can become happy by having less stuff and less space. He first starts out by introducing his three approaches to happiness. The first approach, is to edit ruthlessly. By doing this you are cutting the extraneous out of your life. The second approach is to think small. By doing this he says, you can save some money and leave a smaller environmental footprint. His last approach is to make multi-functional spaces and housewares. In doing this you can save money and according to Hill, get a little more ease in your life. Hill concludes by establishing that having less stuff and space makes you happier. The author's purpose is to show that by having less you gain more not only physically, but mentally as well.

These findings are definitely eyeopening. The take-aways from this TED Talk would be that most of the time the people who have less and space are usually the most happiest. They are just happy to be alive and to be able too focus on other people's happiness and the finer things in life. People who have more stuff and space keep adding on to it because they think if they had more, they would be happier when in reality they aren't.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dan Gilbert's "The Surprising Science of Happiness" Reflection

Dan Gilbert in the TED Talk "The Surprising Science of Happiness" claims that people can make themselves happy without trying to search for their happiness. Gilbert supports his assertion by showing data about how happiness comes to mind when it is synthesized. Synthesized happiness is the ability to think differently about something to help people think better about it. He first starts out by showing that a person who synthesizes their happiness can be as happy as a regular person. He then declares that people can be happier with limitations on their options rather than have free will on their options. Gilbert concludes by stating that people are capable of making their own happiness.

These findings I would say, are pretty accurate. The take-aways from this TED Talk would be that people making happiness a goal is unnecessary. For a while now people have been trying to find ways to make their lives better and more happier, but the outcome doesn't turn out in their favor. The use of synthetic happiness is significant because it is necessary in some situations such as stressful times and hardships. It helps to cheer people up and give them the happiness they need temporarily.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What is happiness to me?


Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotion ranging from contentment to intense joy. The meaning of happiness is different to everyone. Some people connect their happiness to an object, a person, a place, a view, or even a sound. Whatever they connect it to, it means something very special to them. The first thought that usually comes to mind when you think of happiness is a place filled with rainbows, waterfalls, green grass etc. But this is not the case for everyone.

When I think of happiness, I thin of my family and friends surrounding me laughing, smiling, and having a great time. Happiness to me means having fun and spending my time where I love and with the ones I love. I couldn't imagine my happiness not being associated with my family nor friends. The place I am most happiest at is at the beach. I love gazing upon the waves crashing into the shoreline, walking on the sand, and watching the sunset. What makes it even more better is when I can share these moments with someone I love. My happiness mostly consists of creating memories and living in the moment. Whenever I am down I can always just think back to one of my happiest memories and it will lift me up.

I think one of the main reasons some people are unhappy is because they try to force their happiness by associating it with a materialistic item. They try to convince themselves they are happy but fail to do so and realize they really aren't happy. Instead of trying to force happiness upon yourself you should just go with the flow and with luck, happiness will find you. So I ask you, what does happiness mean to you?