Sunday, March 19, 2017

"The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas" RESPONSE

In the short story "The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin, tells the story of Omelas which is a utopian society situated near a beautiful, shimmering sea. Underneath this happy city, a child has been locked in a cage and forced to live in its own filth. The child's suffering is meant to teach the people of Omelas how cruel justice can be and how precious happiness can be. Sooner or later, every citizen of Omelas learns of the caged child's existence and is taught about the meaning of suffering. Horrified, some people walk away from Omelas, never to return

Now lets just think for a moment: Walking away doesn’t help the child. At all. That child will suffer just as much whether you’re in Omelas or not. The kid just gets to be as miserable as they always were. It’ll be exactly the same as if the person never walked away… Actually, that’s wrong. It wouldn’t be exactly the same, because instead of suffering in this person’s stead, the kid now gets to suffer for no reason.



Well, no reason except for the satisfaction of the person walking away They get to feel like they’re a Good Person, because they wouldn’t just stand by and watch a child suffer. Instead Good People apparently see a child suffer, avert their eyes and think, “I’m such a Good Person for not watching this child suffer, unlike all the others.” This way they aren’t doing the 'wrong thing'.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Social Justice.

In the TED Talk, "Social Justice--Is It Still Relevant In The 21st Century?" by Charles L. Robbins, describes the ways in which social injustices are clearly happening even in today's "modernized" century. Social justice is extremely important to me. There are all kinds of people in the world and some are welcomed by all, but some are not. All minorities strive for equality and fairness. Some of the minority groups include the Hispanic (Latino)/African-American communities and the LGBT community but we all know there are soo much more than that, and even though it is the 21st century, we still see injustices towards these groups whether they are out in the clear or hidden stories.

The black community isn't getting true justice for the killings of innocent lives such as African-American teenager Trayvon Martin, who was walking down the street and thought to be suspicious by a white police officer and for that, he was shot and killed. I'd also like to bring up Tamir Rice, a 12 year old African-American boy, was shot and killed by Cleveland police after officers mistook his toy gun for a real weapon. Another very obvious issue that deals with immigrants in the U.S. is our very own POTUS, Donald Trump. He is probably one of the most hated presidents ever by the minority groups of America, but this really doesn't come as a surprise. Considering he has proposed policies like making Mexico pay for a wall across the U.S./Mexico border to keep out immigrants for good. He doesn't realize that a mass deportation of Hispanic/Latino immigrants would lead to a decrease in America's economy and the unemployment rates would increase dramatically because America's working class is 21.2% made up of that race. Charles Robbins acknowledges the issue that there is voter suppression (limiting the voting to not allow poor people and people of color) happening still in the U.S. and republicans have been wildly successful at doing just that. In the years leading up to 2016, Republican governors and state legislatures implemented new laws restricting when, where, and how people could vote .  The laws disproportionately harmed studentsthe poor, and people of color. A lot of the time you saw lawmakers pushing such policies said explicitly that their goal was suppression of voters who favor the Democratic Party. The LGBT community are one such group that hasn't been universally accepted, they are an “invisible” minority. Robbins says, "There are still young people today who are afraid there are still young people today subjected to bullying and violence and rejection in fact the largest percentage of homeless youth on the street are gay and lesbian youth who have been thrown out by the parents" (Robbins). We can't forget about the young teenagers who would rather kill themselves because they can't tolerate the unnecessary hate for just being gay. Quoting Charles Robbins, "We can't forget about recently the trans woman in Brooklyn who is fighting for her life in New York City Hospital now simply because of who she is and because she was walking down the street with the gay man" (Robbins). To be honest, I can't even believe that people still have to go through this in the "modernized" and more "developed" society.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Birthmark"

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 Birthmark is a captivating short story that connects
people together on a similar level. Miranda July writes about a woman who gets a huge birthmark removed after living with it all her life. She feels a sense of loss after a couple of days without the mark until one day, it magicaly reappears again.

The narrator regrets the decision to remove her birthmark because it's something she was born with and has had all her life and losing it makes her feel a loss without it. "And she felt a real sense of loss. Even though she knew that she had never had an accent. It was just the birthmark, which in its density had lent color to even her voice" (July 3). The stain represents individuality to others and so when her friend saw her without the birthmark, she even thought that something was missing and tried to point out maybe something else unique that they might have noticed. "He had only seen it for a moment but he was already used to it. It was good. It somehow allowed them to have more. They could have a child now, he thought" (July 8).  Her husband starts believeing that she believes that she finally wants to have a child because she's finally made a breakthrough and before she got her birthmark back she knew she was missing something.

Happiness is usually connected to our physical appearance and materialistic objects. Once we get rid of something we have had our whole life, you then feel like apart of you is lost. We take the smallest things in life for granted, and once we lose it, we then notice the lack of what made us who we are. Our Identity.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Everyone wants to be happy, but exactly how does one go about it?

In the TED Talk, "What makes a good life?", Robert Waldinger goes in depth about what is the best way for a person to maintain a healthy and happy life. He begins by describing a survey taken by millennials that asked them what their most important goals were. Over 80% of them said to get rich and once they got a new group of youths,  50% of those said that they wanted to become famous. The impression we have to being able to get a better life is to work harder in school and at work. Most of the things we ask for in life are almost impossible to get. Although, Waldinger suggests that humans could study the actions of an individual to see what actually keeps people happy and healthy. He takes part in conducting a Harvard study during 1938 of adult development that collected data from about 60 men for 75 years.

Waldinger introduces the clear message from this study, that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. He develops a couple lessons that were learned from this study. One of them is that the social connections people make are very important so that they don't end up isolated because of, for example, reaching out to family members who you haven't talked to in years can help your life. He adds that loneliness can result in people living shorter lives. Waldinger supports this idea by adding that the quality of close relationships matter because high conflict marriages can take a toll on one's physical pain compared to a healthy relationship which wouldn't result in that extra pain and that only the bad relationships would have more magnified emotional pain.

To conclude my analysis of this TED Talk, I'd like to say that what Robert Waldinger is explaining is very insightful to me because I had never thought that my close relationships are what the source of my happiness was. A lot of other people think in a very materialistic way which is why I think the youth said they want money and fame. On the other hand, humans like quick fixes such as something to fix our problems so that they stay fixed. Which is another reason why I agreed with Waldinger's ideas about relationship's being the complicated fix but the long-lasting one as well.

"A goo life is built with good relationships" - Mark Twain.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"The Science of Happiness" Blog Post Analysis

Daniel Gilbert in the TED Talk "In the Pursuit of Unhappiness" begins by debating that us humans are wrong when we predict what does and doesn't make us happy. Gilbert asserts that because our brains gain new structure. they also gain a new function called the prefrontal cortex which allows the human mind to stimulate an experience before one has it. He demonstrates two different examples of one reality where a person wins the lottery and get 314 million dollars as opposed to the reality of one becoming paraplegic. He explains how the amount of something you have cant compare to one's synthesized happiness. Even after a year, the person without legs is much happier than the one with millions of dollars. Synthesized happiness is the ability for a human to make themselves feel happy in unlucky situations or where a person might find themselves in limited situations. He clarifies why people can become even happier when they simply have less choices while still living with the free will to choose what they want. Gilbert concludes that humans are much happier when they don't feel the need to change what they already have in their life.

Now that I have analyzed this TED Talk, I can easily say that it has definitely enlightened my thoughts on happiness and how humans perceive it. I didn't know that until now because I always thought that we needed more things to be happy when in fact, we needed less. When one has less time to make a choice they don't overthink their decision and end up much happier with what they chose. When one finally acquires synthesized happiness, I think that they will be satisfied with their lives.

The Concept of Happiness

Image result for happiness

Most of this materialistic world thinks of happiness as having everything you ever wanted like an expensive car, money, the best clothes, fancy homes... but that doesn't really fulfill one's needs and more of their desires/wants. Simplicity is the key when you are striving for happiness. You will always have a moment of happiness at least once or twice in your life, but I think that the catch with happiness is exactly that. 

For me, happiness is eating pizza (and not having to share) while my dog sleeps on my lap and my best friends are over watching a funny/scary movie together while we laugh our butts off until our stomachs start hurting. I realize that it isn't the movie or the food that made me happy though... I think it was just sharing that good company and quality time with friends because when people are around then you get a sense of home I suppose because home is somewhere you feel free and be around people you like.

One can never have their whole life not experienced one meer moment of sorrow or struggle in their life. With that said, happiness is no more than a feeling in a moment in time because it doesn't last forever. i think that the things that make people happy are hat they take for granted most in life. I actually do that myself to be truly honest... I feel like we are thinking about happiness in the wrong way and it really gets us confused with what makes us truly happy. 




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The City of Ember (Alternate Ending)...

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¨Citizens of Ember shall be assigned work at twelve years of age…¨

Lina Mayfleet desperately wants to be a messenger--but draws pipeworks. Doon Harrow draws messenger-- but wants to be working underground. That is where the generator is, and Doon has ideas about how to fix it. For as long as anyone can remember, the great lights of Ember have kept the endless darkness at bay. But now the lights are beginning to flicker…

Let's rewind: Lina, Doon, and Poppy escape Ember and as the kids emerge into the world above, they see the moon and stars, and witness their first sunrise (which is totally amazerrific). They realize that they've come from this world, and were meant to return to it. But Lina´s disappointed because they don't find the city she's been dreaming of, but rather a big landscape full of nature. And the kids now realize that they escaped Ember without telling anyone else about the details of the escape route, so that's just another bummer added to the list. Things haven't gone quite as they expected.
But because they manage to get the message to Mrs. Murdo, there is in fact still hope. If someone like one of the mayor's guards got the message, we would have thrown up our hands, because they wouldn't do anything with the message. But Mrs. Murdo is trustworthy, responsible and caring. If anyones gonna read the message and actually implement it, we'd trust her to do it (though Clary is a close second).

So the conclusion of The City of Ember is a little open-ended, because we don't know exactly what will happen next. But we're hoping that Mrs. Murdo manages to lead everyone out of Ember to safety. Or at least to a place that isn't falling apart.