Author Archives: Take It Or Leave It

About Take It Or Leave It

I like to write for the enjoyment of telling a story. My passion is writing, and living a story. I love to watch movies, listen to music, and read various interesting articles, and then voice my opinions and thoughts about them. I also love to travel to new places, and even explore and discover new places in my hometown of Cincinnati. Driving around is a story within itself.

Walk for a Healthier You

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Hey everyone!

Check out my latest feature on walking.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/91397043/Walk-for-a-Healthier-You

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“The Help”: A New Age Reflection

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The subtitle of the film reflects back to changing ourselves before we can start changing the world, and that’s exactly what The Help inspires us to do.

Once seeing the book on screen, there is a new found appreciation for the entire story. It is a very well-made film. Throughout the film, we are constantly reminded of what it was like to live in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s, whether you were white or black; high society and high anxiety.

A “new age” sprung up with Skeeter Phelan, a young educated white woman returns to Jackson and starts to change things with a whisper. No spoilers or reveals here if you haven’t seen the movie, or read the book.

Much of The Help reminded us of a society in the 1960s South that was accepting of “colored” people, but also not so accepting. Black women working as maids in white women’s homes; cooking, cleaning, and even raising the white kids. All the while, the white women seem to enjoy themselves everyday with Bridge club, benefits, and strolls in the parks, free from any stares and glares. Aside from the main story, The Help gave a glimpse into what can change a society’s biases and prejudices; when an educated woman decides to write about something that is taboo, but necessary to share with the world, that is a step toward change, and ultimately a new age…a new generation.

The overall society depicted in the movie somewhat reminded me of most of the people who are currently supporting presidential candidate Rick Santorum; prejudice, and a vast majority uneducated past high school. The same type of people who WOULD say something like this:

In The Help, there was a wonderful quote, “Sometimes courage skips a generation, but I’m glad you brought it back into our family.” This spoke volumes in terms of change for a new age. Change does happen, and every time it occurs, a new age movement is born. There comes a pivotal point in people’s lives where they do gather the courage to help change things for the better, and educate those who don’t know, and bring them into society without the cluttered baggage of the past.

What do you do when the grownups are getting it all wrong?

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Grownups run the shows and world-changing events, and kids/youth just sit back and watch. That’s the case most of the time whenever something big is going on. Events like the Arab Spring, Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions, and the Occupy global movements are huge stepping stones for the youth to wake up and take action, and the grownups to sit back and watch as things begin to change.

Young minds are filled with ideas of change and resisting what is wrong or inadequate. However no one seems to hear their voices, or tries to extract their talents and ideas. My last post had highlighted young students in Pakistan and India taking on their own governments, not through protests, but through dialogue and an initiative called Aman Ki Asha (Hope for Peace).

Back here in the U.S., youth are socially charged with their Twitter and Facebook accounts. They are in charge of what they want to see and what they don’t, and if they see something inspiring, or inaccurate, they’ll comment, send an email, start a petition, and spread the word like an Internet wildfire. It’ll reach hundreds to thousands, possibly millions, of people before it makes the evening news. Young people know what’s up!

ABCNews had recently aired a story of a 4th grade class in Brookline, Massachusetts, taking on Hollywood. This particular story really entails what young people are capable of, and how they can change the world, one step (or email) at a time. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is an environmentalist, in the books; the only voice trying to save the trees from a greedy factory owner cutting down the trees. However, this 4th grade class noticed, on The Lorax movie website, there was nothing about “Going Green” or the Lorax speaking out for the trees, or saving the environment. Through the website Change.org, the 4th graders started an online petition versus Universal Studios to put up changes. The result; Hollywood listened and on the website now are tips for kids on how to save the environment and how to be an “environmental hero” like the Lorax.

It’s a MUST WATCH news clip from ABCNews as it entails what Metamorphosis is trying to inspire people to do; change. This 4th grade class was selected as the “Person of the Week” on February 17, 2012.

Change.org is an online petition site that helps people communicate in mass numbers to spark change in the “grownups” of our world. There are hundreds of petitions started daily, according to the CEO, Ben Rattray, and these petitions start from all over the world. In the news clip above, there were two other stories highlighted; Bank of America’s stop to debit card fees, and the plight of women drivers in Saudi Arabia, both petitions started on Change.org. The site helps a passion for a cause into effective action, as well as empowers people to make a difference in their communities and their surrounding world.

There is another site similar to Change.org, called Avaaz.org. It means “voice”, and it is “The World in Action”. Avaaz.org “is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” Launched in 2007, it is very similar to Change.org, but more focused on political issues, regional and national issues, corruption in governments, and battling human rights issues. Currently, Avaaz.org is focused on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and making every effort it can to place mounting pressure on the Arab League, as well as European and U.S. powers to stop the violence. Petitions are signed through emails; all you do is register your email on the website, and whenever an cause comes up that you feel strongly about, you put in your email and you have “signed” the petition, that’s it. You can also see who else has signed at the same time, by people from all over the world.

These are little steps to help bring big change, not only to corrupt governments, but also greedy corporations.

Youth can Change How the World Works

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It has been nearly four years since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. It was history made; the country’s first African-American President. Millions of people in the U.S. supported the now President, but some of the key voters in the 2008 Presidential Election were the young voters.

Back in November 2008, a day after the election, Melissa Dahl of msnbc.com wrote about how the youth turnout may have been the key to Obama’s win; Check out her piece. Most of the 18 to 29 year-old voters elected to go Democratic. The youth voters helped create history in front of our eyes.

The youth have been key players and organizers in majority of the Arab Spring demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa. It was with the youth’s vigor and desire to change the way things were, and their smart phones and social media accounts, that they helped bring down decades-old regimes in their respective countries.

Three years ago, in another region of the world, a peace initiative was started by many young people, and is still going strong, one small stepping stone at a time.

It is called “Aman ki Asha” or “Hope for Peace”; an Indo-Pak Peace Initiative.

www.amankiasha.com

What is Aman ki Asha, who initiated it, and why?

Aman ki Asha is a campaign for peace between India and Pakistan, jointly initiated by the Jang Group of Pakistan and The Times of India Group.

The words Aman ki Asha mean ‘hope for peace’. Aman is an Urdu word, meaning peace. Asha is a Hindi word, meaning hope. The combination of the two languages reflects the collaborative spirit of this initiative.

The objective of Aman ki Asha is to create an enabling environment to facilitate dialogue between the governments, encourage people-to-people contacts and thus contribute to bringing about peace between India and Pakistan.

The two leading media groups of the two countries decided to launch this initiative. The first video is of the anthem, sung by Indian singer Shankar Mahadevan and Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

This video is set somewhere on the India-Pakistan border. It shows an elderly Pakistani gentleman, signaling to the person on the India side (playing charades), a specific radio request. At the end, the request is fulfilled and both sides are cheering joyfully.

Just recently, on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, students from Pakistan and India met together in New Delhi, India, discussing the Aman Ki Asha initiative (which brought them together), and how they can bring youth from both countries together to start forming solutions on a unified platform. “After for than an hour of free-flowing conversation it was clear that minds uncluttered with the baggage of the past are our best bet for our collective future.”

The student came up with a charter and presented it to the media groups that initiated Aman Ki Asha:

> Accurate portrayal of each other in the media
> Visa on arrival for students
> Student exchange programs
> More admission facilities for Pakistani students in Indian institutions
> Revival of cricketing ties
> Exchange of musicians, artists and other cultural ambassadors
> Creation of a permanent platform where students from both countries can interact

Youth are a driving force behind many of the world’s changes. Many experienced groups of people think that the youth are “slackers” and can’t present any helpful nor useful ideas that could “move” their country…or the world. This entry is a stepping stone to show how youth have changed, and are still changing the way the world works.

Desperate Times, Desperate Actions…Desperate Need for Change

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One year ago, the countries of Tunisia and Egypt were at the epicenter of media coverage and at the peak of their resistance movements against corrupt tyrannical governments. As Egypt erupted with joyous celebration after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, other countries in the region, such as Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, took up their own banners to oust their corrupt leaders as well.

The 2011 Egyptian Revolution was a game-changer for the entire Middle East region. It was the wakeup call the populous in several countries needed to help become motivated to change what has been set as the standard for decades.

A few months later, in the same year, the Occupy Movement began in New York City’s Zuccotti Park with dozens protesting the inequality of wealth distribution in this country. Those dozens grew into hundreds, and eventually the Occupy movement spread across the country with hundreds and hundreds of people “occupying” in a number of major cities.

Why compare Tahrir Square in Cairo with Zuccotti Park in New York City? The only comparisons than can be made are the vast differences in both movements, but how each one inspired resistance in order to change one’s life.

The Arab Spring, and what is currently happening in Syria, is an act of desperation on the part of the people because they wanted things to change. The message out of Tahrir Square a year ago, and other countries around the region, was in order to change the current state of living, people need to work hard for it. The massive population of Egypt (most populated of the Arab countries) was the spark that ignited the massive Spring movement. It was a powerful message sent to the U.S. government who supported the corrupt leaders and politicians of these Arab countries; the power is truly with the people.

The people in the Arab countries rallied behind one solid goal; to oust their corrupt leaders and ruling parties in order to improve their lives. Before any revolution took place in that part of the world, corruption was rampant; starting with the leaders and pouring down to the police force that is charged to protect the rights of people. Not only was corruption rampant, jobs were scarce, especially for an ever-growing young and educated population in Egypt where people were, and still are living in abject poverty. The people had had enough, and so they started a movement, which in turn became a pivotal revolution for the entire region. The people stayed true to the main objective, and worked hard to fulfill it. Support poured in from across the world via the Internet and the social media networks, which helped start this revolution as well. From there, the people could not be silenced.

Demonstrators in the Occupy Movement, inspired by the Egyptian revolution, took similar action to protest the vast inequality of wealth distribution in this country

A shortened version of an interview by Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace, American Public Media on January 25, 2012, let us hear from activists in Cairo and New York how the Arab Spring protests inspired the Occupy movement:

Where Arab Spring and Occupy Meet

Change isn’t easy, especially when it’s resistance towards a set system. However when something is fundamentally wrong with the system where people are suffering across the spectrum except for a select few, then there will be a rise in resistance from the masses in order to change the flawed standard, as seen from both the Occupy and Arab Spring movements.

Any of your thoughts on this global initiative to change from resistance are welcome!