Too Little, Too Late

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has reached an all time low-at 34% as of August 2017. The poll conducted by Gallup was a survey of 1,500 people- before the recent racial controversy present in the news.

After the recent news I can only read the following introduction of every other sentence and/or paragraph of a comment “too little, too late”. The criticism about his response is that it was too late that he has condemned white supremacist and other white nationalist. It was a major criticism during the 2016 presidential elections that the racism espoused by some of his followers was never dealt with properly. As well, the criticism comes after his seemingly late response, since he has time to watch popular television shows then to comment thereafter in the characterized display of his behaviors as the President. ‘It is a little too late’, the common consensus I have gathered.

Is this a fair criticism of his response, in time, considering that he recently made a response about the evil nature of racism? The event occurred a couple of days ago, he is only to comment now, days later. In comparison to former President Obamas’ speeches on similar incidents of controversy, I say the criticism are similar about timing. Both are criticized by those that oppose them for similar or equal prejudice perceptions of ‘doing a good job of representing our nation’. Some others, though they may despise President Trump, state ‘well at least he said something to not condone the thoughts, behaviors by racist’.

In reference to ‘too little’. President Trump did not say ‘too little’. In what he had stated was written down, displayed on a teleprompter, and seemingly rehearsed. ‘It did not seem like him’ according to those that oppose him outright. Once a president has loss the trust and perhaps a feel of being genuine, there goes the support. The public are in critic in how timely, the public is in criticism of what is stated.

Again, in comparison, are the comments fair? Once again, in comparison to former President Obama speeches, I will state that the comments are still similar or the same.


How does a president of the United States actually unite the nation? As I am too young to have experienced many former presidents. Though I was aware of former President Bush and his criticism as a child, then President Obama’s criticism as a teenager and young adult. I have yet to witness a president that dispels the division, unites the nation in times of dire circumstances and controversy.

How does one unite the nation? When the people who vote and voice their opinion are so divided that their criticism of one another, in opposition, are petty? That their criticism of a president is bound by party devotion, almost like a children’s club. In a time that it is needed most to bridge the gap, not to polarize, none are able to do so…

Thus the sentiment is reflected in their approval ratings. How then can the public judge any president that they have so elected, well a matter of discussion of how we elect them, as being a poor performer?

Nuked

Waging war to achieve a mark upon history as the greatest nation ever to kill the most people ever, over an issue that no one would have ever thought was in need of a lesson.

You’ll See. Fire and Fury.

The call to wage war is still so primitive in nature. A cause to lose lives, both innocent or guilty; and those that are willing or involuntary participating in the act to fire at will to become forever scarred. For what purpose exactly, other than to avenge honor?

The Bush, The Clinton and The Obama allowed [them] to get away with everything.

All of this call to arms, the bigger the better. The strongest, most deadliest bomb one could master to achieve built and built again, as if one was not already damaging enough by simply existing. The matter now is only time and to call a bluff. The matter now is to call attention from the greater enemy determined by Commander and Chief long before the election date.

We will teach them a lesson.

And what lesson may the be in particular? That our leaders may willingly take away our lives to prove honor and blind patriotism. And no we are not the fortunate one’s-that song again about Vietnam. We may never see your sons and daughters enter battle over something senseless and inconsiderate. Hopefully the greater voting public may not be tricked into praising such dishonorable tactic to shift focus and attention from what matters in a peaceful, working society.

We are in need of affordable health care, however it may be compromised one day.

We are in need of affordable and quality housing. We are need of healthy solutions to our food alternatives; in need of better water supply; in need of a fair and just system; in need of a fairer wage; in need of funds for education not student loans; in need of relief of all other stresses causing a faction within our nation. Not bombs; a Korean… a Chinese person has never corrupted our system and caused stress onto our livelihoods.

We are in need of construction and unification-not dismay, rations, or a cause to keep the country on edge.

Public Bigotry and The Outraged

Concerning recent news of crime of another country or city, or the crimes committed by an individual of another culture or demographic- why must the public assume ‘all’ are at fault? Whether the media is to discuss India and its rape victims, Chicago and its murder rates; or Muslim men found guilty of sex trafficking, white person found to be racially insensitive in a debate, etc.. The presumption is always ‘all’, not a few and those individuals that have committed the crimes as individuals. No it is always, almost always, public bigotry and outrage attributing the cause to a collective rather than to the individual(s) or the perpetrators.

If a white person exhibits racial insensitivity then it is confirmation that all white people are racist. Or that this individual is a representation of their group-that being white America (a monolithic phrase attributed).

If a Muslim extremist decides a path to a rewarding heaven is by destruction of the livelihoods of others it is then Muslims as a whole that are barbaric in nature. Never the individual easily impressionable, and easily forgetful in the worth of self and humanity.

If there is a man obsessed with power, or one that expresses his insecurities and sickness aggressively on the innocent not consenting, the public assumes that it is men generally. Men are not to be trusted as they are all potential rapist, abusers or a danger waiting to happen.

These few examples are of major complaints that are read and heard throughout the news today, yesterday and tomorrow. To assume that ‘all’ are the case for danger, a reason for distrust rather than to aim at those that commit their crimes.

The underlying thought here is the obsession with assuming a collective understanding of how humans function in society. With the presumption that we all exist in our respective monolith, rather than as individuals first. The sudden urge to accuse the singular characteristic as the definition of all others similar-without consideration of the diversity that exist in what is thought to be sameness.

I am referring to terms such as ‘white America’. A collective, a monolith-that actually exist with distinctive identities and cultures. Though I’m referring to that white kid in class being assessed by the bitter, yet equally ignorant classmate. This kids heritage is assumed to be that of slave owners, though he may not have had any. This kid’s background of poverty is not related to the oppression or subjugation of others. A finger is pointed at him by the equally bitter and ignorant as the reason for the greater crimes committed by individuals, again, not related to him. However, since this white kid uttered something racially insensitive in class the argument then is about the racism, like his own, persisting in white America. An issue that harms the rest.

I’m referring to that comment made by Margaret and the other following made further down by John. A news story about men who appear not quite white and not quite black, yet they appear nothing like a Christian either. “A group of Muslim men”, they both snort and sneer. The news headlining that all men in the photo provided were charged with raping and kidnapping several young girls and women. It’s a common story of sex trafficking gaining interest among the media reporting something ‘new’ and forgotten. No one else may convince Margaret or John that all Muslim men are not deviant barbarians. No one may convince them-whether calmly in a thoughtful retort; or a call to shame through either mocking or carrying on back and forth in anger. Their thoughts are indeed ignorant and problematic, yet the comment thread has not gained a single light of awakening. “It is my opinion and I have a right to it”, as each reply or will eventually state. What do they say, then, when the Christian rapes and destroys the livelihood of others? Their thought is one of deflection. That  is an act of someone in-Christ like and that person exist as an individual; therefore not Christian. As to assume so would include both as having probability of committing a similar crime.

Lastly, I’m referring to those that believe a culture exist where men are free to rape without consequences. And that rape is a monopoly, held primarily among men-all men with the potential and intention to rape. “Not all men” is a phrase to specify the issue as an individual crime, whether grouped or not. The rebuttal then is that this phrase is offensive as it allows men thinking of self, to not consider the greater cause by the commonality of the victims perpetrators. Include ‘race’ and ‘religion’ to see how this topic becomes complicated. Talk about rape culture and black men and see raised concerns over the constant acquisition of young black men historically and presently accused of such a crime. It is then individual if one is black, to avoid racial insensitivities.

Why is it ‘all’ rather than a few or those individuals that have committed the crime in particular? Not much has changed with these continuing discussions of the same news, though with different details. Those that point a finger are set within their opinions, a wall built of continued anger and distrust. Nothing has been accomplished in argument assuming crime is associated to the groups most distrusted. No common understanding has been formed as such people wish to point and categorize.

From Mars, From Venus

A Google employee was fired yesterday amid outrage over his controversial statement about the differences between men and women in the tech field. The news summary highlighted the comment about ‘biological differences’ being the cause, the reason for the lack of women in STEM related fields. His comment also, carefully claimed that the comment was not meant to upset the cause for diversity in the workplace. Only that there are biological differences that give reasons for the discrepancies in the real-world demographics as related to tech industries.

The public is outraged and in debate!

Both men and women affirming that there are differences between males and females. Concerning the greater physical strength of a male compared to that of a woman. This much is true, however, what does physical strength have to do with using acquired knowledge of mathematics and software engineering-that requires years of study and brain power? As well,  both cited that males and females have differing interest because one thinks more deeply than the other. To the surprise of other commenters, a woman had stated that men think more deeply than women, since women are able to not think as much. Why, she said? Women are better able to multi-task whereas men need to concentrate more so on a single task before moving onto the next. There was an episode somewhere on popular television afternoon shows that attempted to prove this assumption: women are better able to multitask than men. However, are they better able to multitask because they are women or are they better able due to practice? The examples given on the popular television afternoon shows are housewives versus their husbands. More importantly, concerning the tech field in this case, does software engineering require a great deal of multi-tasking? If not, why is this mundane detail included in the attempt to confirm biological differences as the reason for the lack of diversity in the tech field?

Others liken ‘race’ as being the same ordeal with sex concerning the discrepancies in demographics of an occupation. There were a few that stated that black men are more dominate in football and basketball because of genetics. In reference to professional sports yes there is a dominate commonality in both basketball and football. However, does the commenter recognize that perhaps exposure to those sports in particular-or one’s environment in celebrating those two major sports more so than others-has something to do with the common interest? If simply genetics were the cause for black males being so great athletically, then why only those two major sports? Were black men specifically bred for those sports or are they only great due to exposure within their background since childhood? So on and so forth questioning why is biological differences claimed as a justification for the lack of diversity or the cause of a predominance of one demographic over another in a particular occupation?

Simply put, some people are not great in making arguments that are void of logic and contemporary empirical evidence.

Within the debate, women who happened to be software engineers, mathematicians of some kind or simply have an interest in STEM related fields chimed in. They took to their keyboards to comment on the anecdotal evidence of a few women internalizing sexism. Others took to list their qualifications to speak on the behalf of all women in STEM. Though, more importantly, they voiced themselves as women, the rarity, in STEM related fields. Their concern was addressed by others that disagreed with those ‘not great in making arguments’ as well. There are no biological differences between men and women that causes fewer women to pursue STEM related fields. However, what has been proven through empirical research is that there are sociological differences that causes more men to pursue STEM related fields, while discouraging women.

What is meant by sociological differences?

This simply means that how males and females, boys and girls, are raised in a society determines the outcomes of their interest. As well, this greatly depends on the environment, resources and anything else related that determines the interest(s) held within a society. And by society is referring to you and me, we are the people that determines the behaviors, the norms, the culture, the activities and other aspects and concerns within a society. This is all relative to the period in which we are referring to, and the history of the people that is being referred.

For example, at one period nursing was a male dominated field. Contrasted tot today, nursing is female dominated and often contributed to biological differences as being the cause of this discrepancy in demographics. I just made a point here. Today, biological differences are attributed to the cause of women being more predominate in nursing occupation, however, in centuries past men were predominate in nursing [or something similar in name]. What was the reason given then compared to today to excuse the lack of one gender? I’m regarding to a period in which “biological differences” meant women were so inferior to men that their place was not meant in places determined by men to be more of a masculine pursuit than others.

I may go further back in time. Agriculture, farming was once considered a female endeavor, while the men hunt. Though as the technology became more advanced and farming more complex, men assumed the role of being the farmer, while abandoning the hunter/gather lifestyle. This is true concerning the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers today. At one period men were the teachers, and boys were the students. Overtime, as centuries of activism called for the equal access to education systems and resources, we now see that there are more female teachers and more female students-the higher one may pursue in education.

The point here being that in each example given about nursing, agriculture and teaching was never about actual differences in biology- that made one sex more suited for an occupation. Instead this sentence here restates the topic:

“I’m referring to a period in which ‘biological differences’ meant women were so inferior to men that their place was not meant in places determined by men to be more of a masculine pursuit than others.”

That sentence is referring to the changes in social norms and the assumption of a task as determined by a man. As similarly compared to date, a change in social norms and the assumption of a task as determined by you and me. We determine whether girls are more likely to choose social work over astronomy. We determine whether boys are to become a doctor, rather than a nurse. We determine that STEM related fields are to be dominated by men because of the assumption that math and other related fields is best suited for males based, again, on a social norm or prejudice.

It’s the individual’s interest, but environment and society are major factors too.

Others within the debate will say that perhaps there is a difference not due to biology per se, though due to an individual’s personal interest. In that they state women are less likely to pursue STEM related fields as it requires [empirical] logical derivations, where men are less inclined towards socially inclined work. And by that they meant most girls simply like the color pink, whereas most boys like the color blue. Here I ask, how does one know of their interest if they have yet to have been exposed within their environment of varied interest? Here I state, we are inclined towards certain behaviors and interest still due to our nurture, rather than nature. For instance, how does a boy like most boys know that they like the color blue if they have never seen it? As relating to occupation, how does a girl know she prefers math if she is constantly encouraged to seek socially inclined task deemed more feminine? He does not know that he likes the color blue until exposed. As she does not know her preference since she is discouraged from one pursuit.

The greater question here: how are we to determine what boys and girls are more inclined to like or dislike, to pursue or to not pursue, when we do not raise them under equal terms?

The most important initiative of our time is equal access and equal terms. We are largely unaware of what an individual may like or dislike, without influences by society. We are not knowing what boys and girls would pursue if given the chance to become exposed to varied interest and pursuits equally. However, we do know that our interest and pursuits are heavily influenced by society and by exposure. What are the initiatives again? To reveal more women in the roles of STEM. Or to encourage programs that focuses on girls wanting to pursue STEM related fields as adults. In our time we are introducing them to an occupation.

That is all that is required to witness an increase in a demographic within a particular field. It’s not a simple matter of disinterest of the individual as, again, our interest are determined by societal prejudices and what we may be exposed to within our environments. It’s not even a matter of biology, as there is not a single DNA sequence that determines what we have determined and created within our society.

Woes of Womanhood

Woes of Womanhood
In the news today was yesterday news, about another country. Today BBC re-reported about at 10-year-old girl raped and now pregnant. The parents unknowing of the cause, and unknowing of their child’s term. They instead pacified her dark reality that her belly is growing due to a stone.
I sit here to read through the comments of concerned people, male and female, around the world. Those in defense of their country and others condemning the savagery of an act- not tolerated within more developed nations. Though this fact does gloss over that rape and forced pregnancy are a common occurrence around the world. Yes, rape and forced pregnancies are more likely to occur in some places more than others, but the point remains that it is occurs. And for it to happen to someone so young and innocent, though it is a matter of concern regardless of age and sex as well, is truly devastating.
The woes of being a woman.
She is told to be the backbone of the family dynamic. She is the house wife, the care giver, the cook and the mother treated as the same-a domestic animal; if not respected in some countries, and different cultural places. In some countries and places, around the world, this demand to become a domestic animal is introduced so young. At the age of 12 years-old she is a ‘woman’ without reaching womanhood. She is expected to be a mother though she is just a child herself. At the age of 9 years old she is told that her place is not outside, unless her culture demands all hands in the fields. Her place is in the kitchen or at the dinner table, mat or floor, her place is here. Her purpose is to serve and to be selfless while doing so. She is then taught to be the voiceless, compliant, master of her husband’s home.
Regarding sex she is not given any power or consideration that she too may enjoy pleasure, not pain. In some counties and places the power of sex is given to a male, who is taught to allow his desires to roam and to partake in several trials. She, then, is only allowed to be nonresistant. This too is true in more developed nations. Where the fault of her not consenting is within question of what she had worn that night or how much she had had to drink. In other cultures it is how tempting she may have been, so passively, to reveal her wrist. By this way women are taught that sex is power and that is what is given to the other sex. Then must we forget that women may enjoy sex too! She may be labeled a slut, a hoe in the process of her demanding attention as men demand attention. Or she simply enjoys the act of pleasure with her mate, preferably one that is respectful of her consent. In all what is forgotten through critic and debate, is that women enjoy pleasure.
These are a couple of vague explanations of some negative occurrences in life that impact a woman. No, as it impacts one it also impacts all. Whether we are to experience the negatives or not as individuals, we too understand the demands and dangers of it all becoming a possibility. And for others it is a significant chance of reality as they skirt through life in their environment always cautious of their surroundings.
And what is difficult to fathom here is how a child must forget being a child to experience these woes of womanhood. At 10 years old to experience a traumatic event, then to bring new life into this cycle of hurt. No, a ‘stone’ sits within her belly. What a curious way to explain the rape-as it cannot be described any other way-into her body, her mind as she carries this ‘stone’. For how long or how much longer she may think. How will this ‘stone’ may be removed? A natural cause, one by surgery or medicine? One could only imagine the difficult situation of either depending on the health resources available to her.
I can only imagine how she must feel, as her awareness of the world outside of child’s play is now stark. I’m not imaging her as herself, since a picture will never be provided. Instead I’m imaging her in different faces and facial features. Where her skin is brown, dark or white. Whether she has shoes on her feet or scrapes of cloth wrapped around, or even a sandal. The country where the rape occurred and where this child may live is not the concern so much, though only for her access to health resources. The skin color, genetic makeup of the predator, the rapist is not a concern here. The concern lies with innocence. The concern lies with a direct violation of a body. As it is something all too common in all places.

He Is Hero

‘In the beginning’, indicates a story that it is cliché and overdone. This will begin as others to tell the trope of Hero.

In the beginning, what inspired the common man- since women where often disregarded-was a Hero. A Hero was often born during mysterious, glorious, alien-like circumstances. It was his birth that predestined his good fortune, good looks and power and strength beyond that of the common man. Or simply put, someone did something so great that the common man thought to honor him- as it is usually a male- with the title of a ‘hero’. A common man witnessed another common man braver than himself, therefore the other more brave became a Hero. Or we can say that common man was much more sophisticated than we may give credit for sometimes, so a Hero was an imagined person. In regards to religion, or to gods, He or them are the imagined person(s). His purpose was to represent a figurative meaning of a few adjectives commonly associated with someone that has taken a risk or has made a (self) sacrifice for the greater good or in selfishness.

War or dangerous adventure is the hero’s normal occupation. He is surrounded by noble peers, and is magnanimous to his followers and ruthless to his enemies. In addition to his prowess in battle, he is resourceful and skillful in many crafts; he can build a house, sail a boat, and, if shipwrecked, is an expert swimmer. He is sometimes, like Odysseus, cunning and wise in counsel, but a hero is not usually given to much subtlety. He is a man of action rather than thought and lives by a personal code of honor that admits of no qualification. His responses are usually instinctive, predictable, and inevitable. He accepts challenge and sometimes even courts disaster. Thus baldly stated, the hero’s ethos seems over simple by the standards of a later age. He is childlike in his boasting and rivalry, in his love of presents and rewards, and in his concern for his reputation. He is sometimes foolhardy and wrong-headed, risking his life—and the lives of others—for trifles. Roland, for instance, dies because he is too proud to sound his horn for help when he is overwhelmed in battle.

Encyclopedia Britannica

The Hero to modern humankind is like the ancient definition- as revealed in super hero comics, movies and television. The Hero may also be one as described in Kung Fu films, anime collection films and television series. The Hero is someone that is strong, a risk taker and willing to sacrifice his life for others or the greater good. Though He or She is a conflicted character and may allow the more human emotions to overwhelm the mind. During this moment, as it is usually brief, self-reflection turns into selfish behavior that may cause greater damage to an individual or to an entire community. However, the Hero will readjust itself as good. And to remain forever timeless.

The most common, least forgotten form of the Hero is ‘God’. What is meant by ‘least forgotten’? No, ‘God’ is most often labeled as the Hero for modern humankind, but the meaning of that term ‘hero’ is often glossed over. A ‘hero’ is defined as a mythical person who is of the divine. This definition could also be applied to a warrior, or a soldier today, or just about anyone that exhibits such qualities like courage and bravery. In the sense of moral philosophy, the discussion here is the ‘God’ as the Hero that determines ethics. The Hero being part of a myth is one of divine creation by the imaginative common man (or men), in order to provide a figurative meaning of ethics for the common people.

In all tropes, either ancient or modern, there is a battle between good and evil. The successor, the one that triumphs over evil, is often regarded as the Hero. In ancient times this Hero overcame a battle either with the self or for a community of people- whether He was related to them or not. In modern times this Hero overcame a great feat often imaginary as it plays in superhero films and television. In the religious sense, every interpretation as ‘God’ or the Hero shows that He is the successor over what is evil- and that being the Devil/Satan in the Christian theology. What is evil? Evil is one that defies; a naysayer or negative thoughts and emotions; in opposition or question to what is good. The Hero then becomes an example to abide by and to follow by common people.

The purpose of these tropes are to exhibit good behavior or to have others obliged, for a common good. This purpose was exhibited in both ancient political and moral philosophy as a constant measure to ensure an ordered society, and well-behaved or well-ordered individuals. As for religious philosophy the same as true, though with an additional granting of immunity.

In the end, the Hero is simply a story of a moral code or something to achieve.

 


 

How to Explain Atheism?

The question posed to an atheist is often along the lines of ‘how could you not believe in God’?

The mindset that follows behind this question, perhaps, are along the lines of ‘you are denying your own existence along with everything else that exist’. Or, perhaps, the person or the believer posing this question may think that to not believe is the most ridiculous concept because of what the belief in ‘God’ offers.

A belief in ‘God’ offers sanity and hope. That is sanity meaning that the question of life existence is troubling to the human mind. In ancient philosophy, the undeclared atheist contemplated about how religion and the concept of the supernatural did not suffice in answering the greater question of life, especially that of human existence. Or in the case of Epicurus and Lucretius that thought if gods existed then they placed no importance on the lives of human beings, as they were absent and invisible. It is troubling to think what caused our existence and what gave us the ability to think and to question this fact. That troubling fact being one of insignificance, as I spelled out in ‘So They Believe’. And in hope meaning that there is an underlying purpose to suffering or to living on Earth. That there is some being out there beyond our sphere, well now beyond our universe, is our guidance and care-giver.

So, here I am to explain atheism. Atheism is the ‘lack of belief in gods’. This is not a ‘denial of god(s)’, as that statement requires a belief in god(s). This is not a belief system as its definition begins and ends in its initial statement. This term is not a religion as there are no doctrines, moral philosophy, and the sort attributed to the statement. There are two types of atheist: one that is gnostic and the other that is agnostic. Gnostic meaning to know something, or to know without doubt, or to know with affirmation. Agnostic meaning to be unsure of something, or to doubt, or to not know without affirmation. A gnostic atheist lacks a belief in god(s) because there is definitive proof of its or their non-existence. While an agnostic atheist are those like Epicurus and Lucretius expressing a lack of belief in gods, though not sure of that statement provability.

Therefore, to an atheist of either persuasion the mindset of a theist bears no weight on their mind. The argument that atheist are in denial of their existence, or in denial of their creator, ignores the point that an atheist thinks that the ‘creator’ was created by imaginative common people.

Then, depending on the particular atheist, the reasons in addition to their lack of belief is determined by how much that one person is convinced.


My Statement

I am asked often how and why I am an atheist. I tell them first that no liberal college poisoned my mind with liberal nonsense of the beginning or declining of everything. Actually, I first began to question the existence of ‘god’ after tattling on a younger sibling that expressed a lack of belief. It was only when I was a child that I questioned the imagery of this being, as well the purpose that this ‘god’ may serve in my life. As well, the lesson about there being different religions in the world proved to be a less convincing case for the religion I was indoctrinated into. So I told myself, though unknowing of the proper words at the time- that I will remain simply agnostic until I have read the holy text about all religions.

Over time I became simply an atheist. As a young atheist I never mocked the theist, only to question what all they stated as the exact meaning and purpose to every question and concern that can be conceived about life. I never got around to reading all of those holy text as they are many and most inaccessible to myself. Not even the Christian bible. I can only count on one hand how many times I have opened and read the Holy Bible. However, I took an interest in philosophy and the concept of religion as learned in the subject of history. As I graduated, moved on to college, I became a gnostic atheist.

How am I able to have a firm knowledge of something I have not read? To study the specific text(s) is meant to only argue the points made within the holy text(s). That was never my purpose since as a child. As a child I questioned the imagery and the purpose, not ‘what did Jacob say?’ Therefore, the confirmation and answers to the many questions I had kept silent existed in the origins of each religion. As I had moved onto college I wished to major in philosophy. Upon searching for the likelihood of making a living with that degree it encouraged me to choose history instead. Specifically, I concentrated on western civilization and that meant learning of the beginning of ancient philosophy and the philosophers, as well as the beginning of the major Western religions present today. In learning about something you learn about how and why it was created. Though the details of this topic is for another extended essay, I may state that my confirmation was found that god(s) and religion are human created.

My confirmation was not told specifically, but through several courses. This affirmation was told by Christian professors that had to explain the point of historical interpretation of religion as not being a denial or criticism of their present religious convictions. Though one could sense the discomfort in the room whenever we discussed the early Christian beliefs, as in comparison to their own as modern Christians. I was told this to be true when discussing the concept of ‘hero’s’ as told in epic poems or the history of a glorious time before the existence of writing by the ancients. This was never specific. There was never a confirmation that ‘yea all of this myth’ by professors or by the students, whom all or most are religious as well. This is simply a person, myself that came to the conclusion of all that I have been taught- and all that had been carefully worded as to not offend.


My Conclusion

What I have come to conclude: ‘He Is Hero’.

A combination of all of the courses, lessons, lectures have concluded to that specific topic. Now I admittedly failed at knowing the mundane, specific details of the epics; the purpose of Homer’s writing; the thoughts of Socrates; to actually read the text about the Jews and Christians under Roman rule; etc. All of which were disinteresting as my mind often went on a tangent about the overall idea, gathered without reading much further. My mind is primarily fascinated by concepts. I am moved by the general idea of something rather than the specifics, though the specifics like an event’s date may prove to be useful. Though not useful in understanding the underlying meaning of everything, or one specific topic and the purpose of it.

I have concluded here that He is in fact a Hero. My quest in knowing this fact was due to my thoughts and views on religion. What does Hero mean and what does Hero provide to others has always been a common topic upon my mind. And then whenever questioned about my inability to believe in a higher, supernatural being I vaguely reference that He Is [A] Hero.

A simple statement not conveying and justifying all that is known or could be known. However, in its simplicity answers a common question asked of an atheist. Here I gave my own summary of how and why I’m convinced.

A Heart That Is Gold

After writing Hashtag ‘Talk To Someone’ the thought occurred to me that I should share this fact to two people. I told my mom and I told my only associate. I told my mom that I have a strong desire to just simply walk away. I told my associate that I rather not waste time on another person again, expecting them to be honest and truthful about their nature or character. My mom called me to tell me that, of course, I’m not alone. It’s a mental illness that runs throughout our family, from a grand mother that suffered from a more severe mental illness. Depression is a common illness in my family, something I know my mom to have. She told me that she too becomes depressed, to cry at night. I know the source of her problems, one that refuses to just leave on his own accord. A selfish and self-centered human being, just as the individuals I have encountered throughout my life so far. She told me that she too will cry, only to roll over and to fall asleep. To wake up and to pray that everything will be better. She told me of her distractions too, one that I have been aware of and concerned about as I age. The two parts of the conversation that…when my mom told me that she will cry sometimes, I found it difficult to imagine. You see, in my mind and through my observations growing up, I have never once seen my mom, or my dad cry. Though every time the topic of depression surfaces my mom will tell me that yes, they are human too and that they too express a common human physical response to emotions. I still find it difficult to imagine that my mom is just as vulnerable as I am. Even if I have witnessed her sad, I have never witnessed her to cry.

She told me that yes, as I grow older the more my nature will become challenged. She has always known and accepted that her two children are different from other children. She has had to explain and to defend to her own family members why and how her children are different. Per society standards, as young black people, my younger brother and I fail to be loud, eccentric, or to ‘live in the moment’. We are so different because we both value intellectualism, idealism, concept knowledge, abstract thinking, an inclination to reason and to challenge established norms. All that is considered odd because we are black; all that is considered disrespectful in some cases. An important point to make as this a cause for our experience in being bullied and harassed, as well for others to misinterpret who we are. The greater point here is that we are both quiet introverts, something strange to a group of people that only understand ‘voices are to be raised and heard’. This is my nature, to live in a world that is so loud and demanding for myself to speak up and state your position clearly for us all to hear. What else did my mom tell me? She told me that I am sensitive because I care. And she’s right. I have always been sensitive. I have always been the one to care a great deal about how  others are in their nature.

When I care, I care to understand the purpose and point of it all. I am also inclined to apply logic to what is emotional. As I described within my article of confession, the source of my depressed state has always been other people. Not only the fact that people generally make me anxious and uncomfortable, as I am hyper-aware that they have the ability to judge. People, as individuals who are all typically self-centered, unkind, judgmental and rude. I grew up within an environment where the strongest individuals were those that are rude, seemingly uncaring of other’s emotions and careless with emotions. Though they reveal how truly vulnerable they are whenever they feel the need to take revenge on those that may mistake them as weak. That is to return hatred with hate. Or to not concern themselves with the disadvantages of others by forming an attitude whenever asked for a favor, because the thought of being ‘used’ matters more than a person truly in need.  It is along the lines of this fact and those type of behaviors that caused me to be sensitive and to care a great deal into understanding them. To understand why such forms of behavior are expected to be justified.


Love

I am to apply logic to what is emotional. If you do not love a person, yet you tell them so as an obligated response within a relationship, why do you do it? What compels you, a person with emotions, to lie to someone else with emotions as well? This may apply to your current partner, spouse, friend, or even child and parent. Why is it deemed an obligation to face another human being and to lie about how you may feel about that person? In this society, or as I’m referring to the United States poor cultural habits, we are to lie to a person in order to spare their feelings. We are to believe that initial honesty within relationships are to be forgotten and regarded as sensitive matter not worth the trouble to share and to tell. Though we are creatures with the urge to tell. Instead of initial honesty, some people may tell a person their true feelings in a more passive sense. Instead of telling the person ‘I do not love you’, the unloving individual will purposefully purchase an item different from what you asked for exactly. Instead of confessing one’s true feelings, the person may lash out in anger over something petty or insignificant. As there are many ways to tell a person that you love them without those exact words, there are many ways to do the opposite. For whatever reason the exact purpose or point of this behavior is not understood.

The question remains ‘why do you do it?’


Trust

The idea of trust is foreign.  Actually, Pew Research Center has found that U.S. Americans are unable to trust their neighbors more so now than before. This fact is associated to different environments where poverty and [apparent] crime are heavily concentrated and specific. This fact too remains as our society becomes increasingly more diverse and that our economy becomes increasingly dire. On the subject of relationships, we find it difficult to trust  another person. And whenever a person expresses a sense of distrust in others, not considering those that are in abusive situations, the attitude that surfaces proves to be damaging. The idea of a lack of trust in individuals initially is the fear that all others will prove to be damaging to the person. Then a vicious cycle has been created. One person refusing to trust may become agitated, rude and the like towards someone that may be honest with their emotions.  Then the one honest by their emotions may then become distrustful of others, because of their experience with people that are agitated and rude. So on and so forth until a large population of people warn their children, or to give advice to someone that is troubled-that this is simply how people are.

Then there are those whose fears are confirmed as they are left abandoned in their personal issue to trust. In their minds it is then confirmed that people are not only untrustworthy, but they are just as uncaring as expected. A misunderstanding is then formed as every relationship is either sabotaged or put to a test.


Judgement

The fear to be ‘used’ is a fear to be judged by others. It seems that within our culture we must display a hard surface that is not easily penetrated by others. This is to say, if we are ever to find ourselves in a situation that causes for the kindness of heart we are told to never let it bleed. If we are to allow the heart to bleed we may find ourselves stripped of our dignity; of our possessions, time, money and body. If we are to allow ourselves to be ‘used’ we may find ourselves weak and judged. The last association we should want to have to our name is that we are easy and vulnerable. And the last thought we wish to have is someone, either closely associated or a stranger, to judge us.

So in turn a person establish clear boundaries of what requests are okay. One may find a person reluctant to give another person in need a ride to work. The reason given that it is their responsibility to have their own transportation, so if I were to forget then oh well. They will know. Of course a favor that is offered is a favor given in kindness. However, this is deed is concerned by how others may interpret the action as being ‘too much’. And by ‘too much’ meaning too easy, too vulnerable, well then anyone can ask this person anything and they will give. The fear to be judged, as applies to this examples and others not mentioned here, trumps the act of kindness.

 

unsung hero
Unsung Hero Commercial

 


A Heart That is Gold

It is those subjects and others more personal that causes me to feel disheartened. It is those understandings I have formed that leaves me to be questionable and concerned about others. But my mom told me, too in this conversation-that I will certainly lose myself in them. She told me, encouraged me to find my happy.  As she told me about her distractions from reality, or what keeps her going and anticipating for more, I was thinking of my happy. I had written in my confession that walking and writing are my happy. If one ever writes something sad or discouraging it always best to end with something that is hopeful or that it is a remedy. I am truthful in what allows me to escape though. I find my happy in those activities and in exercise. Obesity in the U.S. is another anticipated writing, as it was my personal experience as well. I never knew that exercise, taking a risk to lift something heavy would excite me so.

As I partake in all activities that are my happy, the conclusion then is that I should focus on myself. As my close associate told me, it’s alright to focus on yourself now. Then when you are ready to open up and to allow a person into your life again it will be worth it. If someone cannot accept who you are then it is their loss- to forget someone worth knowing about.

I’m not in the belief that my heart is so pure that I am without flaws too. I understand how my nature can be off-putting; seeming to cause conflict with others. This is true that I am sensitive about the greater sense of human behavior, but as far as individual troubles I seem more bothered by the request to listen and to answer. Well, especially since I assume the person is wanting for an answer to their troubles that is based on logic, rather than to simply listen and to agree. I disregard social cues. I may even belittle a person for simply being human without understanding what all I am saying or doing to that person. I am always willing to add self-criticism in addition to what I understand to be flaws in human behavior. I am human too, of course. And I am guilty of assuming one of those subjects of behaviors listed above. My inability to trust as I deny any chance to have close association with others or to form a relationship of any kind. My attitude then becomes of rudeness and being overcritical of how this too may fail. All because of my depression, pessimism and the like.

My mom told me to find my happy, but to also form happy thoughts. The concept here is that if I accept the negative thoughts that only deepens my depression, then to assume positive thoughts will increase my level of contentment. In that time I may attract the same within my environment and with others to be happy, as my close associate told me. In that case, to find what will work is the ability to find a balance.

 

Hashtag ‘Talk To Someone’

I revealed today that I am in fact depressed. I took to my most frequented social media sites to confess what all I have been feeling. That is, I am depressed and have been this way since for as long as I can remember. I took to Facebook to tell the few high school classmates, college associates, immediate family members and strangers- that like my thought processing- that I suffer with social anxiety and depression. And that I have felt this way since I was 10 years old, maybe younger or slightly older.

This was a late night/early morning confession so the response was of only one private message. One of the strangers told me that she wholly empathize with me, then to suggest medication and therapy. Why, then? I had revealed within the confession that people, generally, are the source of my fears and pessimism. That I find discomfort not only in being around people, but people as individuals. People as in judgmental, uncaring, self-centered individuals that I have not understood and will never come close to understanding in time. These people, generally, are the source of my stress, anxiety, social phobia, dating phobia, etc. As I told her, the stranger, I have been medicated for this condition before. All the while taking the pills, feeling the medicine or rather feeling emotions that have been inactive for so long jitter about inside of me. Not once did it cure my response to how others mistreat and misinterpret me. I thanked her for the advice and the shared empathy anyway. In a minute later my mom ‘liked’ my post. She always accuses me of writing excessively, too much for her to read so she ‘likes’ the post, pictures and comments anyway. I then made a rash decision to delete, then to deactivate my profile.

I was a social media user since the age of 14 years old, around 2008 when I wanted to connect with my peers. As a quiet, introverted teenager never afforded the ability or the will to express myself it proved useful. I used social media to express my immature nature; my dumbed down nature to better relate to those around me in school. As well, I used it as a platform to discuss relevant issues that I normally kept quiet and complacent about. After some time I deleted the 13/14 year old ‘me’ to tackle important issues in politics, or about religion and other social issues. Not that I was popular anyway, not that anyone cared, but I posted and shared my opinions that my conservative Christian ‘friends’ disagreed with. As a result I became largely ignored. I continued to post and debate, alone, and to myself, anyway.

Today I deleted pictures, memories, post, and removed tags. The task was simple. Again by no means was I ever popular and I did not share as much compared to others. Today, as well I found a note from 2011 that I did not delete. The note was about my frustration with the homophobic comments my circle of associates, classmates, etc. often expressed delightfully. I expressed how disheartening it is to hear people speak in ignorance to those like myself. People like me who had yet to come out, my first story that I had shared here. I remember how I was feeling the time I had typed the note-a depressed teen, pessimistic and suffering from social anxiety. As I went further back I noticed more of largely ignored political social interest, and then more about my confessions. This has not been the first time, now as I was beginning to remember. This is not the first time I have deleted memories, confessions and the like. And in every time I deleted, only to retype and to reword again, my quality of life remained the same. I am depressed, as I stated this one last time.

The cause of my frustrations, pessimism and fears have been other people. Recently, all three are related to my recent heart break. I had to come to terms that I was using social media to make her understand how much her apathy, and unloving nature tormented me daily. And that her new found love just confirmed all that I have feared and confessed to her. I had told her that I had gone through bouts of depression since I was a teenager. No, I had not fully recovered though in my mind I thought I had done so, compared to her confusion and fears she too confessed to me. I had confessed that I am broken and expected her to break the cycle, to be different from others and to be understanding. It was then that I had failed to realize that she is like all other individuals. She is like all the others-the source of my frustrations and fears. One message after another for a month, all disconnected and all in repetition wanting her to acknowledge, understand then to apologize. My pessimism called for her to block me, to reveal that she is who I know her to be… Though it is difficult to say when you love that person. I had to block her instead, once I found out she blocked me as well, I had to make my last confession.


Celebrities are coming out to confess their thoughts as well. They make a head liner-‘I’m Depressed’. Or, at least, they vaguely mention how they are feeling so the editor comes to that conclusion to write that viral title. The public responds by saying: how can this be that someone rich and famous who is given all that they may ask for in life, only to be discontent? And as we read of another who has died due to suicide, we have the public reacting by stating even money cannot buy happiness. And now we must talk about depression. It is only during these moments that someone beloved and talented confess and/or dies that we must have this discussion. ‘#talktosomeone’ surfaces on popular sharing sites. The long passionate quotes liked and shared by those that agree are about encouraging people to come out and confess. To find someone, anyone to empathize with your suffering. The reason given is that you are not alone.

The reality of depression is that you are alone. You are alone in your thoughts. You are to deal with it alone despite the helpful advice, therapy sessions, or sympathetic individuals that struggle and fumble with their words of circular positive encouragement. Depression affects the individual and by no means will talking to someone help, or always help concerning the severity and specifics of the illness. The depression may last a short while, given the changes in environment or other self-improvement tactics may help. Then there are others that will suffer through it, or probably not that much longer considering the common end of this illness. Something that I too have contemplated from time to time. It is when the negative thoughts, expected behavior of others, the low self-esteem; the conditions for living on this Earth, in this society, etc. becomes too overwhelming for the person to handle mentally. The ill person then release their emotions and thoughts through silent tears, music, writing, drugs, alcohol, anger, or something else to distract them. In whatever way the person may deal with or to solve their illness the person does so alone.


How do I best deal with my illness? I take a walk. Reconnecting with nature has been something recent and fulfilling. It’s the thought of the pavement or the feel of the grass beneath your shoes do I feel grounded. Most certainly I feel something the moment I walk, to feel the world around me slowed down to a normal, walking pace. To feel nature surround my body, pushing and pulling at my hair, clothes and skin. To feel the heat of the sun…It is then that I feel a sense of release, my mind just as chaotic as ever, but simple. My thoughts become slowed as well, but simple.

I may park my car somewhere, lock it of course, and just walk. I walk away from the noise, the commotion of people. Then to walk away from my life-responsibilities, concerns and anxieties about my future. I take so much pleasure from the brief moment to walk away from the noise and to walk away from my present life. So much so that my thoughts, whenever inclined to self-harm and neglect I think instead of simply walking away. And if it weren’t for the demands of society to have a job, car, and house to survive I would do just that. If it did not mean upsetting my mom as I leave, disappear without a trace, I would do just that.

Since I feel shackled by obligations I only dream to be either taken away or to disappear. I have dreamt of an airplane crash, though I have never flown before, where I became stranded and alone. I could imagine how I would feel based on the brief moments of freedom I have now. To feel nature pushing and pulling me. This is not likely to happen, so instead I like National Geographic pictures of indigenous people whose feet have been shaped by the land. In other dreams I thought to quit, to sell, to remove the excess baggage and just walk away. Where would I go? I would go everywhere, in the heat, under the sun with shoes tapping the pavement. I would just go at random.

If I ever feel stressed by what I am unable to do, I will write it down instead. There was a concept essay in my 10th grade class that my close associate and I wrote separately, then shared. We were to write individually about the greatest invention and to explain why it is great compared to others. My associate and I are similar in thought, still, even though we no longer speak. She wrote that ‘paper’ was the best invention in our world, which allows us to read. She’s still a bookworm. I wrote that the ‘pen’ was the greatest invention as it allow for ideas and thoughts to be more easily shared. In that I discussed written language as the beginning of all other great inventions. I remember now, I asked her about her topic then I shared my own. We playfully argued which of our topic was better in answering the writing prompt. I ended with, if it were not for the ‘pen’ what purpose would the ‘paper’ have been in the course of our human history?


Feel as I may and will forever feel as it seems, I’m fortunate enough to live in a time and place where I am able to share my thoughts. Whether I am to share my thoughts on paper or on the screen there is still a sense of release. This is where I tell myself all is fine as long as you have a mind of your own and the will to express it to yourself first.  You may be depressed, you do indeed suffer with social anxiety but so long as you are a confident thinking being you can forget about the approval of others. Then I leave all other thoughts to rest.

I mean I am talking to someone about it. I’m talking to myself

It Is So…Poetic

I’m anticipating to write an extended essay about the issues most concerning black Americans and their communities. The subjects are typically those concerns of the poor [i.e. poverty, education, crime, police officers, etc.] and I aim to discuss why that primary focus is problematic too. So I’m gathering a collection of books, typically those that are of the popular canon of ‘black thought’ on such subject matters. Or rather the accepted authority on this subject matter in opposition to my own alternative thoughts. As I gather books I read to find the key points and topics that are related to this extended essay.

Yesterday I decided to read the most recommended and awarded text of this date: Between the World and Me authored by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Actually I skimmed through the text, as it is rather short and can easily be done, and found that I was not impressed. Do not become mistaken here, I skim then I read a book first. The initial captivation among the pages are what confirms my need to purchase, to read, then to recommend to others. I can only read of what I have skimmed if it is profound or simply interesting. I’ve found neither adjectives are appropriate for this book. Perhaps, as all others, being poetic with their ‘blackness’ may captivate an audience that are the same and those that are white Americans and liberal-minded. However that is all and nothing else.

Of course it was written in a time where police homicides of black Americans took the nation by storm. People are emotional, calling it the greatest crime against black American males from years past to this date. Though emotional, basically an appeals to emotions, the statistical data proves otherwise. Black American males are more likely a victim of intraracial crime than they are to be a victim of interracial crime or to be killed by a police officer. As well, white Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans are largely ignored whenever the discussion of police killings surfaces on mainstream media. The majority killed police officers this year and last year alone have been white Americans. However, it is more profound if we discuss the statistics based on groups or ‘per rate’. Still in doing so we largely ignore that Native Americans are effected more so than black Americans. That is what I mean that it is an emotional appeal and one used tirelessly in the discussion of ‘black thought’-the center of attention ignoring the plights of all others.

There is something about ‘black thought’ that always needs to be poetic and to appeal to emotions. Or to over exaggerate a claim and to assume a collective mindset on all issues, whether all black Americans face them equally or at all. I do not find this common tendency in almost every essay, or every book about issues concerning [some] black Americans, profound or interesting. I too have studied black American history, U.S. history, the history of me and my being here. I enjoy it and continue to read. Though I do not appropriate the pain of my ancestors as that is insulting compared to my far more privileged life and life of freedom. Though I grew up in a rural area I never assume that poverty and the issues that become of those existing in urban areas are similar to my own. Poverty in rural areas is different compared to poverty in urban areas and I cannot falsely assume to relate to those that have an entirely different experience. Or what I am saying here, I refrain from using black Americans as a collective whenever discussing police shootings and killings and all other issues. That would be false to do so, and to give a false impression to others about the experiences of black Americans as individuals. As well it is simply an appeals to emotions to do so. I can discuss my experiences without included the entirety of black Americans who may have or usually have not experienced the same life. And I can do so without the poetic rhyme.

In writing this future extended essay I have to keep an open mind. To include Coates and other like him that all write in a rather similar manner, I must understand their thoughts. Why is it a common way to speak of issues pertaining to some black Americans this way? Why do they always assume a collective experience extending to all black Americans? For instance, his text in referring to the police killing of Eric Garner: “And destruction is merely the superlative form of a dominion whose prerogatives include friskings, detainings…All of this is common to black people. And all of this is old for black people. No one is held responsible.” A collective experience and notion assumed to be the thoughts and concerns, even the experiences of all. To the last statement, why is it common to make a claim based on limited observation; an assumption without facts? I remember around the time Michael Brown was killed, the tension had continued ’til December where I read that ‘police officers are never held accountable’. I retorted with, well it depends on the circumstances of the event and the evidence found. Since within that same month a local news source reported a police officer sentenced to time in prison for his crime against a black woman. Unfortunately I do not remember the details to that particular news story, but to make a ‘never’ claim on the basis of limited observation is quite common. So I ask ‘why’. To ask is to read, and that requires me to read their thoughts.

So, I’m looking forward to reading those differences in thought processing. In doing so I will provide a proper book review of each book I am thinking to include for my extended essay.

The ‘Borg’

What is the ‘Borg’?

An entity that speaks as one. The uniformity of individuals grouped. Impersonalization of the individual, to ensure that the concerns of all are equal. The notion of equality, or the indivisibility of the group. That is all that defines the ‘Borg’, or the arch enemy of the United Federation of Planets. Or, more philosophically, the arch enemy of humanity.

The war of the Federation with the Borg has proved to be a great discussion about humanity- that is a constant subject presented by several science fiction television and cinema. There have been other films that have discussed this ‘war’ in great length, for example, The Invasion (2007). I will use it in comparison to the concerns presented by the Federation. The actual war as presented in Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987-1994 (TNG) is between the Federation star ship The Enterprise and the Borg, introduced by an omnipotent being called ‘The Q’. On ‘Q’s’ behalf, the purpose of the introduction was for the human [and humanoid kind] to understand that there are bigger, stronger, more influential enemies than the squabbles that they found themselves in within their domain [or sector of the universe(s)]. The lesson then was to be introduced, and to find a way to combat what the Borg stood for exactly. The aimed peaceful agreement, then was to combat the idea of uniformity without losing the particular aspects of individuality. This was also reminded in filler episodes, or where the human, the Klingon, the Cardassian haphazardly came together and heard a message from a representation of the human and humanoid ‘creator’. The ‘creator’ reminded the human and humanoids that they are of one DNA strand and that their differences were not a means for violence, but for character in a sense. Of course, as the captain, Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise stated ‘it was such a shame that the message fell on such deaf ears’. The squabbles continue as the Enterprise found itself in surprising and in intense contact with the Borg. The Borg’s purpose was to colonize and to include all humans and humanoid species as part of its entity. Their key collective mindset being that ‘resistance is futile’. This meant either peacefully or through violent contact all others not part of the entity will be assimilated as the Borg. For the sake of humanity, the humans ultimately refused, thus resistance proved worthy.

In the process of the war, there had been debates of the morally contentious thing to do. There is a moral code of conduct followed by those of the Federation. The codes are summarized as follows:

  • All entities have the right to exist
  • Disturbances or destruction of another life form is prohibited
  • Disturbances or destruction of another life form’s environment is prohibited
  • Solutions to where violence and death, which are preventable, is the preferred course of action
  • Disturbances of newly discovered humanoid species have precautionary terms
  • To engage in diplomacy where disagreements of species by respecting their customs and beliefs

As the Borg proved to be an enemy without the ability or inclination to speak humanely, or to form a peaceful agreement without force and an assumption of power- the one contemplated idea then was for its ultimate destruction. In one instance, a contact with a youthful Borg- or representation of being impressionable, willingness to change, and revolution-led to discussion of either ultimate destruction or a ‘choice’. The first decision was unanimously agreed upon by the Enterprise senior officers. Where they discussed that the entire destruction of humanity was of the greatest threat. Therefore, the ultimate need to destroy that threat is an exception to the moral code. All those that agreed thought to program a ‘virus’ that would then end the entity altogether. All agreed except for one senior officer, Dr. Beverly Crusher. The youthful Borg had come aboard the Enterprise injured. As it is Dr. Crusher’s duty and oath to heal, she took offense to the unanimous decision. She reminded the senior officers of the moral code and of her duty. As well, she reminded the members that despite the youthful Borg’s presentation he was still a being, a child and someone in need of humane treatment.

iborg138_zps2d07c1e7

The Borg are a collective humanoid species existing within a highly technological advanced hive. In their worldview there is no concept of ‘I’ or of the individual. If they are to speak about a desire it is only the desire of the collective. Or they will speak as ‘we’. For example, an individual Borg will speak as “we are alone” rather than “I am alone”. The chief engineer of the Enterprise, and one part of unanimous decision, Geordi LaForge helped Dr. Crusher with the technological aspects of the youthful Borg’s injuries. As well his task was to program the virus to ultimately destroy it and his kind. Though in interacting with the Borg, LaForge began to understand why they insisted on a collective. The youthful Borg felt disconnected as he was no longer part of his hive. In his mindset, or as he was programmed to think and feel, being alone or as an individual would be lonesome. LaForge would offer his rebuttal-that being an individual is not lonely as one can connect with another individual to share likeness. However, in sharing that likeness he would not give up his individuality as that gave him character, or a purpose to his name. In order for the youthful Borg to understand this need and desire, LaForge personalized him or gave him a character by naming him ‘Hugh’ [pictured above]. Hugh then accepted his name.

After this new discovery that the Borg are capable of changing or forming a new understanding about humanity, the senior officers of the Enterprise came together for a new devised plan. It is imperative that they devise the plan as the Borg collective intend to collect their kind. Therefore it was an imminent violent threat approaching, and a need to find a quick solution. In discovering that Hugh could have a character, the second decision then was to give the Borg a ‘choice’. This meant instead of programming Hugh with a virus to ultimately destroy the others, the senior officers thought to program Hugh with a sense of ‘choice’. In that is the desire for individuality, a new revolution of thought.

The concerns of the Federation about the ultimate destruction of humanity is adequately presented. Why would one want to give up their individuality for the sake of all others? What were the benefits of existing as a collective rather than as an individual? Upon the first encounter with the Borg there was total silence. Three of the senior officers of the Enterprise boarded the ship.

the borg cube

The Borg were unbothered and were not threatened by the presence of the few crew members. But what is characterized by the Borg’s hive, or their environment? It was quiet, it was peaceful, it was cold. What seemed like a blank slate was actually a thriving consciousness only present within the mind through connective wires. Now to answer the first two questions one must understand what humanity is like, especially existing as individuals. TNG presents the lives of 24th century Earth beings that had become united over their differences. Therefore, no more wars or acts of violence- though the ‘Q’ forced them to answer to their previous crimes or behavior. A rough summary of the event presented here. However there were still squabbles among the humanoid species and the human, whereby the human attempted to end. Revert to our own time, the 21st century, where countless wars and violence are waged in the name of ‘differences’, ‘lack of resources’ and ‘lack of education’. What is meant to give up being an individual to then become a collective means to give up violence, or the notion that differences are to cause tension. The benefit of existing within a collective, or as the Borg, is ultimately peace. As individuals we have proven that we are bound to allow disagreements to cause chaos and by that what means of peace is only through force. It’s an idea played out in science fiction countless times.

This point was played out well in the movie ‘The Invasion’, previously linked. Within the film the ‘virus’ had turn every individual into a blank slate. The only differences among those infected with the virus were their appearances. A police officer, a black woman, a white man, a Hispanic woman walking together though they are the same. There exist no personality, no strong emotions or emotions at all. There exist no other apparent differences other than physical characteristics. Instead they are all one person, a collective of the same being. The same thought with the Borg’s motive is played out within the movie or that ‘resistance is futile’. The resistance being the main character, or as the Federation, for the sake of humanity individuality must be preserved. The resistance proved to be worthy, however what did that all mean exactly? At the end of the movie, once a cure had been found for the ‘virus’, the main character and her husband were sitting about their living area talking. The last scene was of the news playing over as they count the last of those being cured. The news as well played over the rise of violence, and chaos going about the country and the world as the humankind regained its humanity.

In watching the television series now, and the movie as a child, I have begun to wonder why peace on Earth or among all individuals is so difficult to fathom. So difficult to fathom that the idea of peace is merely a fantasy and one that can only be forced. By being forced it is an alien being, or an alien concept to seem united and to convince others to be united in thought, action and behavior towards the other. As I am hopeful that humanity would come to a peaceful agreement- as there are human beings that are at peace, but I agree peace is alien. I disagree that in order for there to be peace we must strip human beings of their sense of individuality. As the 24th century Earth beings aimed to accomplish- as they proved for themselves that there can be peace without forsaking the individual. However, how did 24th century do away violence and disagreements that is so often associated with individuality? They gave up capitalism-profit, money and materialism, and in return found that minimalism sufficed the needs and wants of the individual. This too is revealed throughout the series. This then did away with greed, inequality and the violence, selfishness and the sort. That very thought or means of acquiring peace is why it is so difficult to fathom.

My love for Star Trek TNG is not the purpose or the point here, though it is proven useful in discussing key concepts and ideas. Instead I am here to discuss how the Borg finds its way into our society, and how it is ultimately resisted at every turn. Here I am to discuss humanity, and what we have accomplished thus far in preserving that idea of individuality. To define exactly what is humanity, what is peace, and by what means we may fix the issues from within.

What is Humanity?

Humanity is defined as by Merriam-Webster dictionary as the quality or state of being humane; the quality or state of being human; and of the humankind. What does it mean to be humane? The adjectives often associated with this term is that of compassion and sympathy. For example, it is humane to treat other animal species with the same dignity and respect that we, humans, require of ourselves. In practice, the ‘humane’ treatment is something that activist must argue for exactly. In this we are discussing organizations like PETA, or organizations calling for the fair treatment of criminals and of poor minorities. The ‘state of being human’ refers to biology [physiology] but in this context it’ll refer to character, personality, and a sense of morality that is kindred to all humans-or the individual. By no means is this a positive reflection of the individual, though there are positive aspects of some individuals. Humankind is simply the collective of human beings.

That is what defines humanity. In practice we, humans, reveal our humanity by showing compassion to those without a voice in their condition or predicament. We often contemplate about the humane treatment of others, especially those marginalized or oppressed. That is humanity when we are discussing the treatment of others or ‘othered’ people. Those discussions evoke feelings of passion and righteousness. All good and well, however, humanity is often associated with its third definition provided here. Humanity is often associated with violence, deception, untrustworthiness, etc. all that is thought of when we discuss individuals as being part of humankind. The religious of the West may refer to mankind as being wicked, untrustworthy, and impulsive or all those adjectives relating to the thoughts and behaviors of individuals within the collective. It is the individual, then, that taints the meaning of and the imagery of what is meant by humanity.

We are, as individuals, a collection of varying degree of personalities and moral judgements, and by that causes disagreements. We disagree in the way to provide proper healthcare for all citizens of the state. And we allow such disagreements to jeopardize the health of our people. On a personal level we may disagree with a persons’ character or how they may conduct their self outside of the established ‘norm’.  This then causes trivial scrimmages that are not too important at first glance, but are of greater concern knowing that humans engage in pettiness. The individual is often corrupted and dissatisfied too. We base our wants and needs on what we want and need more of generally. For instance, the poor not realizing the economic state of their community will be compromised in the their want and need of something from someone else poor. Or when the poor steals from the poor the community has gained nothing more than a greedy individual. In the discussion of violence, the fight for resources is never a collective action, or so at first, it is the individual against another. And we may find examples of this in reality or in fiction whenever a nation of people, yet in disagreement, are faced with greater trouble. In summation we live in a society plagued by the self-interested.

And because there exist the greater self-interested human beings find it difficult to trust another. This is true that people are distrustful of their neighbor, be it closely related or not. As we age and as we become more aware of the troubles that plague our society-the cost of individuality- we find that more people are distrustful of others than before. When the next generation arises, they too become less trustful of the other (USA Today). This is easily divided among skin color, age and their respective environments and communities they may reside in (Pew Research Center). Those communities more so negatively impacted by the negative connotations of the individual, the self-interested, battle with the issue of trust.

To bring it all a back again, and as it relates to TNG: In a way the humans of Earth, perhaps the Federation exemplified, and preached often, all that is defined by humanity. However, in actuality and as the ‘Q’ character pointed out that humans and humanoid species are the exact antonym of the definition. This then helps me to conclude that the enemy of humanity is not that of a virus- or an entity that exist as a hive-that strips away the positive aspect of the term. Instead, the arch enemy of humanity is the individual, the self-interested.

In Our Society

Where do we see the individual most often? In random acts of violence that speaks to inequality and impoverishment- that may be either a generational effect or a failed individual. We see the individual as we discuss income inequality; racial disparities in the criminalization of citizens; inequitable access to educational resources and influences; experience qualifications for entry-level occupations; etc.. We see the individual as a violent reaction to lack of opportunities and resources in urban or rural communities. Or the subject of the individual whenever we discuss access to the same privileges afforded to the affluent. The individual is the arch enemy of humanity in this sense as it does not allow for peace, or for peace for our society.

Peace is what we aim to achieve whenever we discuss humanity of the individual that aims for it. I am discussing the activist that views the individual as self-interested too. It is in activism do we see the positive aspects of the individual. Where they fight for the marginalized, or they fight for the acknowledgement of the commonality of all of humankind. For instance, the fight to recognize people of the LGBTQ+ are in fact valid in their existence as they are with their inner feelings and truth. Or when past activist had to argue that those of non-Caucasian or European descent are in fact human and deserving of humane treatment. The activist are those that remind us that we can have peace within our society, however, only if all other individuals are willing. And we find that they are not willing to change, not willing to come forward in order to set aside differences. The activist struggles to be a greater influence, despite legislative changes that make their initiatives a reality. What do I mean exactly? In the call for peace, we still have a large population of individuals that are still racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, classist, etc.. I could go into great length of each example; however, I’m sure that you can either draw from your own experience or observations how unachievable total peace is exactly in our society.

How Do We Acquire Peace?

According to popular science fiction, we are told that by peace means that we should strip the human being of their individuality. And by no means will humans submit willingly to give up their character. Peace within our society will require that we share no apparent and/or emotional differences. Since we are so incapable of doing so ourselves, the means by which to acquire ultimate peace is a Borg. Here I’ll argue that in line with the argument presented by the humans of the Federation: peace is ultimately achievable without stripping away what qualifies us as human beings. We are able to exist together, yet so very different, if we are to be rid of two concepts. Those concepts are as follows: materialism and that differences are a means to violence.

On Minimalism

The way, in which, to achieve a peaceful society is by be ridding our society of materialism. In doing so we embrace the notion of minimalism. There are different definitions and philosophical understandings of the word ‘materialism’. How I am using the term is in reference to consumerism. By consumerism I am referring to the preoccupation and inclination to buying materials (Merriam-Webster). Though I’m not suggesting a society without means to acquire reasonable material ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ [i.e. clothing or other accessories]. I am suggesting that in a society of excess, and where we are encouraged by either a marketing team our one another to acquire more than what is needed, we then create self-interested individuals. As we call for more, we then have issues with the more affluent assuming rather than sharing more materials. Thus we have on the other extreme the poor taking from those that are poor as well. It’s the assumption we always require more than we need, more than we can afford to posses. In this assumption creates the inequalities and the violence that activist aim to create initiatives for in order to erase. Therefore, the means to peace is by minimalism.

What is minimalism? It is defined as extreme spareness and simplicity. This is meant by foregoing the additional pair of shoes when you have two or three in good or fair conditions. This is meant by the decluttering of house space by allowing only the essence in organization, entertainment and comfort. This may include the actual physicality of the home, by reducing its size the equivalence of a bedroom and kitchen area. Of course this is respective to your relationship status and whether you have additional people to fill up space. However, have you ever thought how much space is wasted then, in obligation to fill an empty space, that we fill it with more stuff? It is wasteful, it is clutter, it is the means by which consumerism still thrives. There are those that hate the superficial aspect about a minimalist. I understand, in the age of social media human beings feel the need for additional fame and approval from others. Thus their minimalism is the cause to spend more money in addition for what they were able to save from what they lack. I’m not referring to those that chase the aesthetics and the fame. I’m referring to how minimalism, as defined could help with the idea for peace.

This is an oversimplification of the facts and factors about materialism and how it affects individuals. I am to prove a point here, and without drawn out specific examples. If we are to forgo what we have in excess, the constant vying for resources would reduce. If we are to give up what we simply want in addition over what we need, we would see less envy from the individual. If we can use minimalism to reduce the assumption that one always require more than what is needed, or one that requires more than what they can posses, then perhaps we can be at peace. To be at peace, meaning to live among others without the assumption of excess; without stripping away what all makes us truly unique. Since we are living in a constantly progressing society, in the age of advance technology and of social media all that is fine. As technology is often considered an excess material when it can be a positive reinforcement. How else are we to share our thoughts and ideas, alike or also different to society and so rapidly?

Acknowledgement of Differences

I encounter this issue quite often on my own as an argumentative personality.  Whenever it comes to an expression of differences, people tend to find it as the source of tension and the reason for violence. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however it is difficult to convince others that it is okay if two or more people disagree. We are individuals, after all, and we have our own characters and moral judgements that are influenced by nurture or our own lived experiences. We are individuals with varying beliefs on how to do something or in what way to determine decisions for all. However, such disagreements are not the cause for upset and violence. As the Federation aims at mending the fraction of a species that are all too similar. For instance, the Enterprise constantly engaging in diplomacy of a species engaged in civil war over simple differences of opinions, values and beliefs. The cause of the Federation diplomats or those experts they may call upon are to remind them that they are all too similar. In one example, in United States politics I call upon issues such as gun violence, healthcare, and taxes. Whereby there are similarities in thought but there are differences in execution. And because of those differences, instead of allowing them for finding a common ground we find that it causes tensions. In some cases it may even cause violence. We reveal that we are unable to achieve peace because we are unable to resolve our differences maturely.

I call upon the classic film The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). Where an alien, who appeared human as well, warned the people of Earth that if they are not to resolve their differences then they are doomed to be destroyed.

the-day-the-earth-stood-still

This film is quintessential as it aims to address the current political culture of that time with the ending of World War II and the new emergence of the Cold War (1947-1991). As the point was clear it was about the Cold War as the diplomats of the respective countries to be called for peace were those opponents of that war. I like this film as it addresses a political aspect in the midst of other issues surrounding their time that isn’t addressed but revealed. Or having a predominately white cast, though there were a few non-white Americans present as representing the citizens of Earth and of the United States. There was a Civil Rights Movement rising, as there existed no peace for racial minorities or black Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, Chinese Americans, immigrants, etc.. And the Women’s Liberation (Feminist) Movement rising, as there existed no peace or equality for women. However, in this time and frame of mind, global peace of the political persuasion was a great concern. As they addressed directly, or not all the several disagreements that caused so much tension and violence that the only way to achieve peace is to introduce an alien, perhaps one that appears similar to the majority demographic.

Peace can be achieved in the matter of differences if we as individuals could understand the concept of compromise. Depending only on some issues as not all are about an equal division of opinion. Other issues can exist with a compromise, or understanding that both parts are equally true. I’m discussing the recent light with police homicides and violence as briefly discussed and will expound upon later here. I’m discussing the issues with taxes and healthcare that is a common issue among many societies. We can achieve peace if individuals are so willing to engage in compromise and to understand that it is for the good of all. In this way we can still retain our individuality without compromising the nation.

To conclude with brevity:

There exist no need for a Borg to correct ourselves, it is only ourselves that should be corrected. Though this is difficult to fathom because it seems so impossible. The beginning of its possibility then is to start with sacrifices.