So I was sitting in class today, staring straight ahead at a screen filled with words my International Relations professor was projecting onto the white canvas hanging from the wall. I had the intense, but thoroughly practiced gaze of someone who wanted their instructor to believe they cared, but I was letting my mind wander off into the chasm of unrestrained thoughts inside me. I show up because it’s expected, but not because I have been gaining any knowledge from the experience. Twice now, I have stayed out late doing God-know’s-what to come home and lay down, knowing FULL WELL that I have a midterm at 9:30 that next morning, and twice now I have given zero cares and walked into class expecting to fail the exam to hear that the midterm was pushed back until next week and then today that the midterm had been converted to a take home test. How unbelievably lucky I have been, and how unworthy I was of that second and third chance.
As I was saying, I was sitting in class zoning out when it occurred to me that I, as a person, only unlock on average 10% of my capabilities. That’s just a guess, but I think it’s fairly accurate seeing as I am rather lazy, unmotivated, and I skate by on minimal effort or planning (might as well just get all those flaws right out there in the open). Therefore, my brain started to ponder, what brilliant things could I possibly accomplish if I were to put in the time and energy needed to accomplish great things?
I think the first step in becoming better than what you currently are is by admitting you need to change, and then I think the second step is identifying the change you want to make for yourself and possibly in the world (someday!). As I do not feel very inclined to write about changes I want to make personally within myself, I feel instead that it would be enlightening to write about things I desperately want to put an end to/change when I fully unlock that other 90% of my capabilities. Furthermore, I hope that by writing about certain issues dear to my heart that people who are unaware of certain issues (or even human rights violations) will become better equipped with knowledge to help others in the future.
Here is my selection of 4 things that have deeply disturbed my peace of mind as of late:
- Human Rights Violations of North Korea (in fact, human rights violations worldwide)
They [human rights violations] include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom. Human Rights Watch: North Korea
It boggles my mind to think of an industrialized country such as North Korea having it’s citizens be cut off from any form of contact with the outside world, not fully grasping the ideas of free speech or thought, having full families wiped off the face of the Earth if just one member of that family was even remotely suspected of deviance away from promoted North Korean propaganda and trained thoughts.
2. Bee Colony Collapse
A little less than half (40-45%) of the US and Europe’s commercial honeybees have died in the last 11 years. The intensive agricultural desire to use pesticides and insecticides have caused these bee colonies to deteriorate, and we find ourselves stuck in this cycle because without these insecticides than very strong insects that have survived the process of Natural Selection would completely tear apart our agricultural supplies. Yet, bees are incredibly important to the pollination and subsequent production of food products. Here’s a link for more information: Honeybee Crisis
3. The Impact of A Social Media: Democratization of “Justice”
I watch a lot of TedTalks when I’m sad, but this one just made me so uneasy. . .
I suppose it’s just kind of scary to think of how a mass group of people can hide behind their screens/accounts and completely destroy a person under the guise of justice and “getting the bad guy” type of mentalities. People do wrong. Other people have the right to express their opinions on the matter, but it can go too far with cyber bullying, shaming, and trolling. People are getting a thrill from this type of destruction, and it’s not a dopamine reaction I ever can be thrilled about.
4. Rape & Rape Culture
I saw a video the other day involving a cartoon using the metaphor of offering someone tea to get across the point of sexual consent. For example, you shouldn’t force hot tea on a sleeping person because they aren’t asking for the tea. Now, while the video was engaging, I couldn’t help but think about how odd it was that we needed a video explaining sexual consent to anyone. We learn pretty quickly in life the meanings of “yes” and “no,” so what makes “No.” so hard to understand in the aftermath of attending a party, drinking a little, and then walking a girl home?
I feel like it is very important to me that we create a culture where women do not have to fear for their safeties and aggressors are given the correct punishment. There should be an elimination of victim blaming, and as my selected video notes: rape should stop being classified solely as a women’s issue.
I thought this video was incredibly interesting and deviated from what one would normally expect when searching up material about rape.
I am just one person, and I don’t really know what to do about these things that trouble me, but I do know that I have a voice and that allows me to start conversations.
The future is good. We can make it so.