Posted in life, media, world

History repeats (and repeats and repeats)

In a different time, in a different era, the world still sought out peace. No one had the answers then and no one has the answers now.

54 years ago a nation decided they might have found a way to deal with the problems that were plaguing them. At least for the time being, at least so that everyone would take their gaze off America. At least so that things could be normal for a time.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was and still is a landmark civil rights law in the United States. It was monumental in the way in which it specified how civil rights should be applied based on race, religion, color, sex, or national origin. Powers were weak at first but grew more supportive as years went by and supplements were made. It was initially proposed by President John F. Kennedy asking for legislation to be made which gives all Americans the rights to places and things that are open to the public already (hotels, restaurants). Please keep in mind that, especially in the South, Jim Crow laws were really still being enforced until 1965. A lot of places were still segregated, including public schools.

Anyway, since the bill was filibustered in the Senate in President Kennedy’s time, it was President Lyndon B. Johnson that pushed it forward and signed it into law on July 2, 1964. A quote that might speak to the political climate of the time: “The bill divided and engendered a long-term change in the demographic support of support of both parties.” Things were heating up, for sure not everyone liked the bill. Some were sure it would lead to things they were not comfortable with such as desegregation and the possibility of infringing on the right to segregate based on race. So, yes there were numerous concerns and a multitude of race concerns that this bill was not addressing at the core.

On the topic of segregation today we are great. On the topic of racial discrimination and iniquity, we are scores better than during this time. However, today people think deeper. People worry more about how they will be perceived by someone of another race, gender or class in their workplace and in public. If you’re black, we’re talking about the police here. If you’re Hispanic, you worry about your safety and home being taken away from you as well as your family. If you’re Muslim, you worry when there is a terrorist attack that they might just be Muslim even though you try to remember that America is supposed to be passed that, right?

No answers. Cold shoulders. Locked out Senate. Mismanaged White House.

Still searching, still hoping that the phrase “history repeats itself” means nothing anymore.

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Posted in media, society, world

On failing to live out a surmountable goal

(also read this on this occasion).

They say you’ve reached the main location of promise. Of discovery. Of eternal bliss. It’s the place between forgiveness and dissent. No country is really there yet but we can hope to get there sometime soon. We can dream that we have achieved greatness by ignoring the needs of the most responsible or upright citizens. Who is to say that anyone has ignored anyone. Suffice to say, it’s not a “war.” It’s a battle, if it was a real war there would be more ships cruising along in the clouds with blood splattering everywhere feeling all revolutionary. Oh wait. Guess that already happened, we’re just waiting for the last moments of sanity to come crashing down.

***

I think that in the current year, 2018, it is a good time to be raw. Let’s get honest about what we as a society expect. We can’t fully appreciate what we have and the opportunities we have if we always take them for granted. What is real equality and have we reached it? Are women equal? Are people equal?

The answer to all these things is a firm no. There might not be any balance to be found there either. If there is then it will be found at a later time. At a time when we are are living our last moments on Earth is when we stop caring because we know that it doesn’t matter what efforts we made, what matters is how the next group tries to fix the problems. We try to raise up a generation that will care about the environment, social causes, human rights, and equality. However, we also want children to have a mind to think for themselves. To be able to know what they want, but also be smart enough to know the difference between right and wrong. The things that are right are seldom made as an example to do again, while we stress the wrongs even as they continue to occur. For example: It’s wrong to punch or hit so it is “wrong.” What about helping a stranger or donating money to a local charity? Those are the “right” that we don’t talk about unless it’s in one of those “people on the street” videos that many seem to love doing.

Anyway, on this day remember what you have. Remember what others do not have. Always be grateful. What can you do more of? You can be the change you want to see, by giving back your time. You can start a chain reaction by simply creating connections with people who are not like you or those your social circle does not associate with. Step outside your comfort zone and realize that people, regardless of skin color, age, gender, ethnicity, background, or social status are all just people.

“How about this weather?” seems lame but in this case try it and see where it takes you. I hope you have many scintillating conversations with all kinds of people this year.

 

[image attribution: Ebony Magazine, 1955 (public domain) via Wikimedia Commons]

Posted in lists, media, personal

Highlights 2016

The last month of the year has arrived and that makes me feel both apprehensive and excited. But, isn’t everyone excited to begin a new slate? Most are, to others its just another day. To those people I say, come on guys get motivated! Be goal reachers, not just goal setters!

I hope you’re not about to think about new year’s resolutions right now. You better not be. If its the same thing is is every year: To lose weight. Then get something else. Besides, what are you waiting for? The year was eventful to say the least, here are the top highlights.

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GIPHY Studios Originals

1) I decided to try a new thing. That new thing became teaching and that was in the works since last year, but this year was another step on that journey. It was a small step, but it could get bigger and open new doors for the future which is always exciting.

2) I gave Snapchat a try. But, I gave up a month ago or so on it. But, I’ll probably be back. I’m an analyzer so I like to check out the content and see what’s going on with it, but if it’s not working for me I’m out. But, like I said not for long likely. It’s an amazing app that is changing social media and world discussions.

3) I read more non-fiction. This is a personal best for me because I’m always telling myself to read more stories about actual people, things that are not fictional. I still have a few more I want to read before the year is through but I would say at least 4 or five large non-fiction works. Not a lot and it could have been more, but it counts.

4) I walked more. I go for a walk almost every day. It helps that the weather is not so bad yet. If it rains then of course no walk, but the walk is a great primer for a good workout in mid-morning after breakfast.

5) I gave conventions/conferences a try. I didn’t go to any music festivals this year, which is kind of a bummer but I did spend money on some interesting conferences. The kind that I want to go back to. The kinds of intellectual and creative conversations I want to be a part of. It was over a year ago that I put down money for a great conference in California.

6) I cooked more fun things. I made things that I found online, tried to change it up and had fun (still having fun) making random things that I shared with my mother who passed her love of cooking to me.

7) I gave yoga teaching a chance. It was something I thought about for awhile, but decided to take a chance and give it a go. It became a launchpad for seeking out yoga in my everyday life. More than I had before.

8) I called myself a teacher. I still call myself a writer and blogger as well, but this was a new title. A mark that I was turning the page and choosing to help students. That I was a leader for them even if I didn’t see it that way quite yet.

9) I made new friends. Mostly through the great place I work, reminding me that there are always new people to meet when you least expect it. I hope to meet plenty more exciting people in the future that will challenge my thinking and broaden my mind. And also are just nice people.

10) The news gave me daily headaches. It was an election year in the U.S. and the disappointing conclusion to the race means that headaches still exists. But, I’m addicted now so I can’t turn away.

All in all, not a bad end to a good year in my book.

How was your year, not ready to talk about it yet? That’s all right, you’ve still got time to think through the past year and what occurred.

Cover image source.

Posted in goals, media

Making dull plans that stick

Onto to another post then. It was recently when I realized that I’m turning into one of those people that spends all their time in traffic. I don’t want to be those people, I just want to be the person that has a job that is not more than a 25 minute drive, has a few friends and likes to go out from time to time while also enjoying a good multitude of television and books. Is this too much to ask? (Apparently it is, when you’re me).

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(source: DJ Many)

Regardless of the situation I find myself in, I want to be doing things that make me happy. Maybe with people I hate, maybe with people whose company I enjoy. So maybe I need to take the initiative and reach out to meet people and be able to make myself more open to connections. I seem to keep missing out on all the good times. I just want to know what everyone is doing and why they have to be doing it every other weekend? Or if not, what are the cool shows because apparently I watch all the lame ones. Don’t worry, I don’t mind watching more.

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Thank you for the cool information non-existent friends! (source) 

Once I figure out how to hang and be successful or better at what I’m doing (because clearly I’m doing something wrong, since I’ve made so many mistakes).

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Drake love (source)

But, let me stop comparing for a minute because comparison is the thief of joy. That quote is one that I do agree with. Let me say that the plans I make are ones that are going to lead me to big things. I don’t know this as 100% percent certain, but more at 75% right now. (I could have said even lower, but gifs make you confident- yay gifs!)

So, since I have nothing else to say here except that I want to continue to strive for more I’ll stop typing anymore. Right after I make sure to note that I hate being compared to siblings. It is the absolute worst and my plans are way better because they are mine. No one else’s.

(oh and sidenote, if you’re American then there’s a special day coming up next month that can only allow participation if you’re a citizen. If you don’t know then welcome to the internet because you’ll figure it out soon).

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Me on the whole election. Source.

 

Posted in journalism, life, media, writing

On seeking the good news

Hello world!

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gif source

I like thinking that people are good. And somehow finding things that remind me that they are good. Now, sure there are plenty more bad stories in the news than there are good, but just try to weed out the good and you’ll find a gem somewhere.

No really, I’m not just talking about reading things on Upworthy though that is a good site filled with good sense. Sometimes its the small stories about a kid that rescued a dog that was dying or a grandfather that tells an emotional story of his life making you realize that you take life for granted. Your local news has more feature stories than you think and they are largely uninteresting, but exciting to the person(s) being featured so always give them a quick spotlight if you can. Everyone needs a little love sometimes.

I was a feature reporter for a hot minute once (I don’t really say that phrase, because like how hot was that 60 seconds supposed to be anyway?) and wrote mostly about pets, people and their dogs. Dog groomers mostly, some art shows, an pro-life rally (which I didn’t end attending but talked with the organizer which was enough for a short blurb). Most of my interviews are done via phone call. I very seldom did things in person, because I didn’t live in the same place (I was 45 min away) and so I commuted. I thought the experience was a fairly fulfilling one though and one that I won’t forget. But, I wish I was more forthright and spoke up more. Basically, I wish I did more in-person interviews. That’s where the real gold conversations and photos are likely to occur.

But, since I no longer do this. I can say that reading local feature stories reminds me of the reporter that I was. But, a better version.

So step outside of your Twitter filled with political angst and refrain from commenting any further. Instead, think about seeking out good. Any piece of media that reminds you what it means to be human. What it means to be imperfect. And then you will inevitably smile because you know that no one or nothing can take this feeling away (unless you let them, and you won’t! 😉

(cover image source).

 

Posted in goals, media

On following the news cycle

It’s easy for me to say that you can do whatever you want when I don’t know you at all.

That’s a weird way to start a post. Hello, how are you? Do you have any idea what it’s like to live in the U.S. this year with all the nonsensical political discourse going on? Maybe you do, but you might not pay attention to politics at all. Maybe that’s good right now. You shouldn’t let yourself get tainted by someone that thinks they know whats right for all despite being loved by a select few. But paying attention to news is something that everyone, no matter where you live should care about and participate in. Why? Because, things like news and current events can shape the type of person you are.

I like to read. Mostly everything. I like to experiment, but one more than one occasion I have stopped reading a book if I simply didn’t like it. If you don’t like what you hear, you don’t need to hear it but sometimes if its important its those things we hate to hear that are the most important. I’m brining it back to news now. I follow the news cycle like I’m still a reporter. I despise the term “news junkie” as it implies someone that likes the news which is seen to be depressing. In short, someone that is amused or thrilled by news events. For most this is not the case, but for me when I am Twitter it is this very place. I share news, I contemplate news, and I share some more news all while knowing that in 24 hours none of what I’m sharing will matter any longer or events will have changed. That is how it works. The news cycle is always changing and is always different and that is why it is the most interesting thing you will read all day.

But don’t get me wrong, there are those moments when I forget to follow the news for few days. I miss an important update to a political story, I miss the news that someone famous has died, I miss that some child has gone missing and I miss breaking news. All in one day.

 

We can’t all be perfect, but we can try to follow the things that remind us of how we’re all screwed up too.

 

Posted in journalism, media, writing

What news can you tell?

 

The news is easy to follow if you have internet or Twitter and even easier if you have an interest in the matter.

My favorite story in the last week or so was that of a young girl covering her local news and she even broke the news of a homicide (go her!). Go here for more: https://orangestreetnews.com/ That’s news I like to hear, that of people reaching out in their community, young or old wanting to change people’s minds and wanting to be able to share the news with others. To be able to inform and do a civic duty is what journalism is all about.

Those are the moments when I wonder why I am not working in media right now. I sure don’t know, I did like it. I hope to return when I can write on health news, maybe science too but I won’t go too deep since its not my forte. But, why do any of us stop doing something because of another’s influence? Maybe not directly, but in a way that moves us in another direction perhaps. Maybe for better or for worse. I can say that Hilde is doing a service with her paper and she can’t do it all (of course not) and whether she ends up in the media or veers off into investigative reporting is up to the future.

We think we all have it all figured out but then life throws us curves and some of those curves are sharp, some might even have blades. Not too be too dark, but the truth is that no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Sorry, but we don’t. Anything is possible on any day.

So, I write here and to me that is something that I will hold onto for as long as I can. Actually, scratch that. I will hold on to that. Because why would I not want to write?

Always do what makes you happy.