To Dream

To Dream

Everyone has some sort of dream, ambition, desire, or wish they want. Some may want to be rich. Others just want a happy life. Dreams may last for an hour or even an entire lifetime. They fill our minds and they want to be fulfilled. These dreams are the drive for people. Everyone is driven by some sort of wish or desire they want to be granted no matter how small and petty they may be. A desire can be as simple and short as just wanting to get something to eat or it can be can long  and complicated as wishing to spend a lifetime with someone else.

Dreams can be broken up into two parts. The first part is the dream/desire/goal itself. It can be anything that one can think of, but it is limited by the second part of the dream. The second part is the steps required to reach said drea/desire/goal. The amount of steps does not have a limit, but the second part of dreams is limited to whether or not there are steps and whether or not the steps are possible. For example, if a person wanted to fly, a step they might have thought of is to grow wings, but the problem is that no human can sprout wings yet. However, the steps can be changed. One can change the step from the previous example from “grow wings” to “get on a plane”. They are both solutions to achieving the dream, but one is more feasible than the other.

Not everyone has their wish granted and that is the sad part about dreams. One must put in the time and effort to achieve a goal, but even that is still not enough. Even though there are steps to the dream and the steps are possible, there are still a variety of factors that can affect whether or not one can reach and attain their goal. These factors vary from one’s physical appearance to one’s upbringing to one’s religious stance. There are many factors that can block one’s path towards their goal. If one were to raised in a poor family and one’s goal was to go college, it would be quite difficult to be able to pay for college. Problems and obstacles plague the road to success and they are not easy to overcome.

Many big dreams will be left just as that, dreams, and nothing will become of them. The thing is it is not the big dreams that push us along the path of life, but instead it is the small, simple ones. The ones that can be easily thought up of and completed are the ones that are able to make us feel more than what we are. Without any desire, what is the point of being alive? In the day and age that is today, we should not just exist. We should live. And the first step of living is fulfilling your dreams, no matter how small they may be.

People’s Morals

People’s Morals

Everyone should have a set of morals that they abide by. I have a set of morals myself. To live by certain values of your choosing means that you are able to control yourself. Laws and rules made by others are not what I consider morals. These ethics are what you yourself choose to follow. Laws and rules are important in the society that you might live in, but ultimately the rules that you make yourself are the most important.

In the young years of a person’s life, morals are not made from one’s thoughts. Beliefs are determined by what their parents or caregivers believed in. It is not until a child is older that they will develop what their values are.

ethicsMorals and beliefs can have a prominent effect not only on you but also the people around you. Like I said before, one’s parents or caregivers influence your early ideals. Once you get older you can influence others by proclaiming your morals and showing what you believe in. In doing so people might be able to learn more about you as a person. You could learn about others if they too are able to profess their values.

Though asserting your ideals may allow others to see you in a clearer light, it is important to know you should not force your morals on others. To try to force people to see the way that you do will not work. Everyone has their own beliefs and nothing you might say will change them. It is just like if a person were to try to force a religion on another. Just because you believe in something, I don’t necessarily have to think the same way. Though people with relatable beliefs are a different story.

People with similar values can get along well. Those who cherish their families, those who chose to focus on money, those who just want to laze around all day, and many other beliefs are out there. It is very likely that you will find someone with similar values. That is how many friendships start and the reason why friendships stay together. But of course people that are too similar will drift apart.

It is sometimes a good thing to have different beliefs. Arguments may pop up occasionally, but from these arguments, an understanding can grow from it. Like I said before, people can understand you better if you are able to communicate your values clearly. Through meaningful interactions with different morals, a friendship can form as well.

Everyone has different morals. Everyone has their own rules that dictate their actions. The one thing that you can do with other’s morals is try to understand.

Question Exploration: Economy

Question Exploration: Economy

Money. As the saying goes, money makes the world go round. Money is a power of large proportions that can be used in many scenarios. Notice how I said many and not all. Today we shall talk about money and its ability.

To what extent can money solve problems?

I can’t really answer this question on my own. To answer this question, we must delve into several different works.

The first work we shall look at is a book called The Grapes of Wrath. I shall provide a brief summary to those who don’t know about it. The Grapes of Wrath is a book written by John Steinbeck that takes place in the 1930s in The United States of America. We follow a man by the name of Tom Joad, who recently got released from jail, and his family as they travel west to California to find new jobs because the Oklahoma was not the best place to farm due to the Dust Bowl and California was offering many jobs at the time. They must travel with nothing but what they could fit into the car and each other.

This book provides many examples of when money could have solved their problems. It also provides the opposite as well, things that can’t be solved with money. Let’s start with the beginning of the novel. If the Joads had enough money to sustain themselves during the Dust Bowl, they could have just stayed in Oklahoma and not have gone on that journey to California. They could buy the food needed to live and they don’t need to farm for money.

Notice how the problems are. They are problems that are caused by the lack of something physical. It may be the lack of food or possibly the lack of jobs. Most of the problems encountered in the book involve the lack of something.

Here we delve into the problems of the people themselves. Let’s talk about Tom’s uncle, Uncle John. In chapter we listen into the details of Uncle John from Tom as he tells it to Casy. Tom calls him the “lonest goddamn man in the world.(68)” We learn that he lost his wife after he dismisses his wife’s stomach pains as just a stomachache. Tom then tells Casy that he brings a doctor every time one of his nieces or nephews gets stomach pains. Tom even states that John had given most of what he had so he could make it up to his mistake, but he is still not happy in the end. We even learn that he buys liquor and prostitutes to try to feel better. His money has not solved his problem at all. Sadness haunts him no matter what he does. Now we look at Tom. No matter how much money Tom has, he cannot escape the fact he murdered a man due to anger in chapter 26. Tom knew that he couldn’t get involved in anything that might get him in trouble, but he did it anyway. He understands that he is a burden to his own family and he realizes that he must leave them for there is no saving him. There is no solution that could get him out of his predicament. Even money can’t help a wanted man. The psychological change in a person that comes from killing another lasts for the rest of person’s life. Money can’t fix that.

Another work that we will be looking at is the book Nickel and DimedNickel and Dimed is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich that details her journey as she attempts to live through a month of her working at a job that pays minimum wage at different locations in the United States. In this book, one can learn about all the ways money could help improve the lives of the people mentioned in the book.

In the chapter “Serving in Florida”, she learns about the struggle of the people that only work for minimum wage go through. She learns about George, a Czech dishwasher that lives on 5 dollars an hour that lives with other Czech dishwashers. He was accused of stealing in third to last paragraph of the chapter. It is easy to see that money could improve his life. If he had money, he wouldn’t need to do things like stealing. He wouldn’t have to live with other Czech dishwashers. Lives such as his could be fixed if they had more money.

The last work we shall examine is a work in a website called The Globe and Mail. In it is an article that deals with problems that money can’t solve. It was conveniently called “Problems that money can’t solve.”

John Heinzl states that many wealthy people are not as happy as we think. He states that with money comes problems that people that don’t have much money experience. If a person wins the lottery, the sudden change from having little to a lot of money is too much. The person that won the money will not understand the new problems that faces them. They begin to spend more and more money as they don’t know how to manage it as it seems inexhaustible to them. Providing money to children is a bigger problem than before as you must worry about not spoiling them. Providing too much money will lead to children believing they can get everything they want in life by just asking you. Problems appear in everywhere in the world regardless the amount of money you have.

In examining these works I have come up with a conclusion. There are problems that can be solved by money, but there are not many problems that can only be solved by money. In the end, money is just a solution to problems that have many answers. I would love to have a lot of money, but I know that not all my problems will go away. Some problems you cannot control. Some cannot be solved at all. With that this discussion is brought to a close.

There Are Two Boats…

There Are Two Boats…

I like to think about a lot of things in my free time. They flux between mundane to philosophical. They may start as an idea or a question. I get these ideas or questions from things I read online or I form them from myself. I recently remembered a question that got me to ponder for around a half hour and I thought I should share it.

So here is how the question goes. There are 500 people on an island. They recently heard on the news that a tsunami will occur and the island would be engulfed with nothing left. The 500 people split into two groups. One group has 300 people in it and the other has 200 people on it. Each group finds a boat that could fit their respective group’s amount of people and one more person, you. Unfortunately both boats are broken and there is only one person that could fix it, you. You are running out of time as the tsunami approaches the island, but are given enough time to fix only one boat. The question is which boat would you fix? Do you fix the group with 300 people’s boat or the group with 200 people’s boat.

I thought for only a seconds before I came to the conclusion that I should save the boat with 300 people. I then thought why. I responded to that by thinking that the lives of 300 people is worth more than the lives of 200 people. This has got to be the logically correct decision.

You sacrifice the few for the many.

Most people would choose to save the group of 300 people as well since that is the most logical decision, so I then thought of ways to add to this question to make it more of a challenge. I wanted to make this choice a hard one and I wanted to expand a bit upon what would happen afterwards. So this is what I thought up.

After you make your choice, which is most likely the group of 300 people, I would say this.

“What if I told you the group of 300 people you chose to save was full of murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and others that could be considered the scum of the Earth while the other boat was full of normal civilians and families. Would you change your answer?”

In this statement, I changed the question from a logical one to one of morals. Would you instead save the boat of 200 people instead the boat of 300 people? The numbers are still the same. I just added a bit more detail on what kind of people were on the boats. Now the question is when are the lives of 200 people worth more than the lives of 300 people? What is morally right for you?

Let’s move on to another thing we could add in the original question. What if I said this instead?

“The island is many miles away from the mainland. It will take many days, possibly weeks before help arrives. The big problem is that each group is given an equal amount of food and water. Do you change your mind?”

Like the last problem, this little bit of detail changes the question. It delves into what you think is best for you. Should you save the boat with more people because the lives of 300 people is worth more than the lives of 200 or do you save the boat of 200 people because there is more food and water that can be distributed among the people? I wanted people to factor in their own survival and if they should try to save themselves. So what would you do now?

Let’s add one more thing to the original question. What if I said this?

“Your friends, family, and loved ones are in the group of 200 people. Should you save these people that you care for or save the group of more people?

Now I involve people that you know. You most likely care about these people. This bit of detail changes the question yet again. Is the group of 200 people now worth more than the group of 300 people? Is it worth it to sacrifice the larger amount of people to save the smaller amount just because people you care about are in the smaller group?

Now I want to talk about one last thing about this question and I’m not going to include something to add to it. What I am going to do is question what happens after you made your decision.

So after you fixed the boat of whatever group you chose, you get on the tsunami engulfs the entire island. The group that you didn’t helped all perished. The question is would you feel guilt for knowing that you killed the other group or would you be elated that you were able to save the people of the group that chose?

I like questions like these because they cause me to think and ponder. I might want to share another question for another time.

Question Exploration: In what ways are gender roles present in society?

Question Exploration: In what ways are gender roles present in society?

Gender roles. Yet another controversial topic among many. The thing about gender roles is that people in the past accepted it. It was a normal thing for men and women to be separated into different categories. People in different parts of the world still believe in this idea of gender roles in places such as China and India. Gender equality involves a variety of different arguments popping up in areas like culture, politics, economy, etc. The idea of gender roles is changing, but it still retains the same aspects as it did in the past.

In the early 19th century United States, women were see as house workers. Their only job was to bear children, raise them to be good people, cook, and take care of the house while the husband is out working. This idea was spread all throughout the United States and everyone accepted it. Even most of the women accepted it. There was a small vocal minority that openly stated their discomforts about the gender roles, but they didn’t gain much support because people were mainly focused on the abolition movement going on in the mid 19th century. The movement for women didn’t really kick off until the 20th century.

After the Civil War, women started to fight to gain more and more rights. The problem was that people were still fixated on the view that women should stay in the household and not do any sort of job outside of the house. The second industrial revolution started to change things for women. More and more school were being created so they needed more people to teach in them. Women were the best solution they could think of because educated men were considered to only take jobs that were important like being a politician. Women started to campaign for more rights and many started to join in it. Women wanted equality between men and women.

In the early 20th century, during World War I, women made progress with jobs in the US. Men were sent out to the front lines while women were stuck at home. Women wanted to help out so they joined jobs that were left vacant when the men left. Some women even chose to join the army by pretending to be a man. Thought that didn’t last very long as the war ended a year later, but progress was still made.

The 1920s came and women actually gained the right to vote in all states. Men still held their views however. In the book “The Great Gatsby”, the character Tom Buchanan is the perfect example of a man holding this view. Tom Buchanan is a man that sees women not as equals but as objects. They are possessions to him, nothing more than trophies to win. He treats both his wife and his mistress like this, but in chapter 7, “Tom was feeling the hot whips of panic. His wife and his mistress, until and hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control.” He wants to maintain control on both of them and keep his grasp on them.

The mid 20th century was still as bad as the 1920s. The nuclear family was still made up of a husband that works and a wife that stays home to take care of the kids and do house work. Judy Brady does a fantastic job of mocking the idea of a wife that takes care of everything in her piece of writing, “I Want a Wife.” To summarize it, she talks about how great it would be to have a wife that can do everything that she wants her to do. She takes the idea of a housewife and cranks it up to 11. She ends it with a phrase that many would agree with. “My God who wouldn’t want a wife.”

The late 20th century had a big boom of women starting to work in jobs that were originally only full of men. Women on news stations even began to wear shoulder pads to start looking more to be equal to them. The idea of women staying in the house was changing. By 2000, the nuclear family had changed from only the father working to both parents working. The book “Nickeled and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich provides a commentary of her time as a minimum wage worker as a woman. Though the main topic of the book was about low wage workers, she did talk about the subject of women workers. She talks about how women still get treated differently from men in jobs.

Gender roles will probably not go away anytime soon. They were widely accepted in the early 19th century, but as the time passes by, they slowly change. Gender roles are deeply rooted in things like culture and tradition. Though gender roles will stay put, there will always be people that will change that.

To Be Alone

To Be Alone

I wanted the comfort of others. I wanted to be in the company of others. I didn’t want to be left out. I didn’t want to be all alone. Unfortunately, life thought otherwise.

I was not that great at making friends. I had a hard time talking with people I haven’t met yet. This social ineptness has been with me since I was born.

When a baby is born, they are born with an innate temperament that is not influenced by surroundings nor genetics. It is separated into two categories; high reactive and low reactive. The high reactive category can be separated into sub categories: sensitive and aggressive. I was born with the sensitive temperament. People with the sensitive temperament usually are fussy, timid, nervous, shy, and more likely to show their emotions.

But even with these ideas of temperaments, humans are a social species. We want to be with others. We want to interact and connect to each other. I truly want to have friends who will laugh, talk, help, and other things friends would do. But as I said, life finds a way.

I never made friends in preschool. I just tolerated it. I preferred to draw and read by myself. I specifically remembered staying awake during nap-time to read and wait for my parents to pick me up. When I got to kindergarten, I actually made a friend. He approached me first To me, he was the coolest person around. He introduced me to more and more people and as he did that, I slowly gained more self-confidence. But in the third grade, I passed the GATE Test for the GATE Program. The GATE Program stood for the “Gifted and Talented Education Program.” It was a test to find kids who were smarter than others. I was one of only five kids to pass in my school. I had to transfer to another school because there was not a GATE Program class in my school.

I lost everyone. I had no more friends. Strangers surround me once again. I had to start all over again. Or did I? As I said before, four other kids passed the test with me. So I thought, “All I need to do is attach myself to one of them that knows me and then I will gain friends again.” I did so and then I gained friends yet again. It was a perfect plan. I had a group that I continuously played with. We even had a group name. But life struck once again.

Nearing the end of the fourth grade my mother got a better job at another bank. The problem was that it would become hard to drive my brother and me to our different schools. My parents then decided to transfer both of us to schools closer to my mom’s work. I lost my friends once again. I was surrounded by strangers for a third time.

I had no one to help me this time. Everyone had already made their groups and cliques by the fifth grade. I had nobody. I couldn’t really talk to anyone because I always depended on someone else. I never got to develop my social skills because of that. At this school, the closest thing to a friend that I had was a kid that asked for a piece of my lunch everyday. I walked around the perimeter of the blacktop for fun for a month. I developed a long time habit because of that, but that is irrelevant. I finally made friends when a kid asked if I wanted to join their game of handball. I agreed and I didn’t regret it. I became integrated with this group of friends. I would consider them to be the closest I have ever been to a group from school. I got invited to parties and would hang out with them every chance I got.

We all went to the same middle school, which was great. The great thing about the GATE Program, which I didn’t experience in the other school, was that everyone in it had at least four classes together. This allowed me to actually try to develop my social skills since I was stuck with them for three years. I got to have more friends than I ever did before. But life had other plans.

In high school, I thought that my group of friends would stick together just like how we did in middle school. That wasn’t the case. One friend went to a private school. The rest joined clubs and sports and began to hang out with the people in those groups. I was left alone. My social skills were still underdeveloped. I became desperate. I looked for a person or a group to latch onto. I did find one within the first week, but it was not a good decision. They were not a good influence. They were rude and not that intelligent. Some of them did things that I would consider to be morally wrong. It, unfortunately, took me over a year to realize this. Maybe it wasn’t that it took me a year to realize this, but it took me a year to break my fear of being alone again if I left them. I found a group that I believed was full of good people and joined them. I’ve been with them ever since.

I’m still afraid. I know that our group with break off when we go our separate ways to different colleges. I don’t want to be alone again, but I know it will happen. I just want people to remember me. I joke around, make fun at myself, and laugh a lot to make sure at least one person remembers me. If one person remembers me, I won’t feel as lonely anymore. I will try to make the most of the time I have left before we all go about our separate paths. I just hope that I won’t be forgotten.

Attack on Paris

A terrible event has happened this week. If you have not heard about this, you must be living under a rock with no contact with civilization or technology. The obvious event that I am talking about is the recent attacks in France, which is speculated to have caused by the terrorist group ISIS.

On Friday November 13, 2015, a series of attacks occurred in Paris. Starting around 9:20 P.M., an explosion was heard in the stadium, Stade de France, during a soccer game between France and Germany. Just around five minutes later, several gunmen fired upon the Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge. At around 9:30 P.M., more shooting occurred at a pizza restaurant near Avenue de la République. At around the same time a second explosion occurred in the Stade de France. At around 9:36 P.M., another shooting happened at another restaurant, La Belle Équipe. A few minutes later at around 9:40 P.M., a suicide bomber bombs a restaurant on Boulevard Voltaire. Around the same time, an explosion occurred near the Bataclan Concert Hall while the band, Eagles of Death Metal, was performing at the hall. Shots were then reported at Bataclan Concert Hall at around 9:49 P.M. At around 9:53 P.M., a third explosion occurred at the Stade de France.

It was stated that there were 129 deaths and 352 wounded and 99 of the wounded were in critical condition. This has been the one of the worst terrorist attacks in Europe in ten years.

This is a truly tragic event. Many innocent lives were killed for no good reason. These terrorists are a menace to society and must be stopped before any more harm is done to innocent citizens. Nobody deserved this.

Fortunately, French President François Hollande has announced that France would go into a “state of emergency” with tightened borders and a mobilized military. American President Obama has made a statement to assist France.

The leader of Isis has made a declaration that they were the ones responsible for the attacks. There is some evidence that points to Isis being the ones who caused this, but there is no hard proof that they were truly the ones that caused it.

Even so, France launched airstrikes two days later on the Isis capital Raqqa, Syria. French President François Hollande considers the attacks to be “an act of war,”and he retaliates with attacks of his own. I do not approve that he attacked without hard evidence even though Isis claimed to have done it, but I am glad he is actually doing something to a group of terrorists.

People are now going about their lives in France in fear for their lives. Flowers have been put of the sites of the shooting. I’m horrified at this event, and I do wish the best for the people in France.