Beyoncé Terrifies Me

The concept of celebrity is one with which we are all familiar. I think we can all agree that a celebrity is a person who is in the spotlight, a name that everyone knows, someone who is popular and talked about often. Worst of all, a celebrity is someone who is idolized by millions.

If you happen to know me irl, you’ll know that I am firmly against the concept of celebrity, and more so, idolization of people, especially those who are still living. It’s not that I don’t think people should be recognized for their art, they should. It’s really the idolization that gets to me.

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Stress of the Wealthy

What do wealthy people actually stress about? They seem to have everything, so why should they stress?

It’s important to remember not to view the wealthy, whether it’s the 1% or just someone who has more than you, as other. They are not other. They are still people, just like you and me, with feelings, and ambitions. Even though many people find it hard to relate to them, they are still people, just like us.

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Are Pets People Too?

We all love our fur babies. In fact, one of mine has squeezed herself onto the table between me and my computer. She’s mostly balanced between my chest and the thin sliver of table between the computer and the edge. Let’s just say if I lean back, she’d fall. It’s not the most comfortable position, but there’s just something about moving an animal that has made him or herself comfortable on you that feels wrong.

We certainly treat them like people. Maybe we even treat them better than we treat other people. But are they also people?

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In Five Years

Something that I have been asked over, and over, especially in schools, is where I see myself in five years, or ten years, or even thirty years. I understand that this exercise is often used to help young people plan for their future, and have goals and the like. But I always hated this question.

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Talking to You

Another day another post coming very close to late.

I don’t have anything specific to talk about today, so I’m just talking to those of you who follow me. And anyone who stumbles upon this.

Life is a weird thing. It only occurs under very specific conditions. You’ve probably heard some talk about this relating to Pluto and the New Horizons mission. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Well, it kind of is, I guess.

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“We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know”

Yesterday I attended a Leadership conference meant to provide helpful, tips for social change, social justice, and general leadership. I’d say it was quite successful in that area. Some of the topics discussed were sexual assault and bystander intervention, gender bias in the work place, understanding poverty, leadership strengths and weaknesses, and engaging group members. While there were no groundbreaking discoveries, it was interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on these issues.

One thing that stood out to me, and really made me think, was something said during the workshop on poverty. Have you ever heard someone say something and you think, wow, that’s a really interesting thing to say and you sit there and think about it for a few minutes, trying to apply it to your life and experiences? And then you miss the next few things they say, but it doesn’t bother you that much because you’re still interested in the first thing they said.

Anyway, the speaker on poverty said, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” I immediately went into the thought process described above. At first, I agreed with the statement. On one hand, we can’t know about a thing if we don’t know that the thing exists. So from that perspective, yes, I agree, we don’t know what we don’t know.

On the other hand, just because we know that something exists, doesn’t mean that we know all about it. I’m willing to bet that 90% of you reading this don’t know much about quantum mechanics, but you do know that it’s a thing. In this situation, you do know what you don’t know. So here, no, I don’t agree. We do know what we don’t know.

In the workshop, the speaker was trying to say that we don’t understand poverty if we have never experienced it. But to say that we don’t know what we don’t know, in this context, is just an excuse to ignore it. We do know that we don’t know what living in poverty is like. Being a social science student, I’ve studied many aspects of poverty, so maybe I have a little better idea of what it’s like compared someone who hasn’t studied it. But, still, I have never experienced it, so I cannot say that I know what it’s like.

Anyway, if we don’t know that we don’t know something, we can’t do anything to change that something. So, if we didn’t know that poverty existed, we wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. But, just the fact that we do know about it, means that we can do something about it.

In the case of poverty, we do know what we don’t know. To say that we don’t is to say that we don’t know that poverty exists, and, unless you’re living under a rock, i think it’s fair to say that we all know that poverty exists.

Don’t use your lack of experience with something inhibit your ability to affect change on it. Just because you’ve never been discriminated against, doesn’t mean that you can’t do something to change discrimination. Just because you’ve never experienced poverty, doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it.


Thoughts About Success

In procrastination, I’ve been thinking about success.

Success is not something that you achieve, and keep forever. It is something that you gain and lose. Success is not an award you win and display on your shelf, its more like a state of being that you fall into and out of.

Success is what you have when you feel satisfied with your actions. It could be a promotion at work, or a goal you finally reached. But neither of those things are permanent. You’ll feel happy, or satisfied with your promotion, but eventually you will want more. You’ll see yourself as successful again when you get your next promotion. Until then, you will fall into a state of contentment with your current position.

Or maybe you’ll lose that job. Then what? Are you still successful? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s okay to not be successful.

People also define success differently. For some it’s their job, others it’s charity work, family, money, etc. If you are truly happy, then you are successful.

I refuse to buy into the idea that success is the amount of people who know your name. That’s not success, that popularity. Being famous, or infamous, is a goal for a lot of people who feel that they need to make some big impact on the world. Movie stars, musicians, politicians. These people are all famous because they do something that gets discussed in the media. But they aren’t the only successful people in the world. What about all those people who help those in developing countries. You don’t know all of their names, but does that make them unsuccessful? I don’t think so.

Having tons of money doesn’t mean anything about success, either. Sure, if you have a lot of money you can buy nice things for yourself; a nice car, a big house. But what are those things if you have no one to share them with? Maybe you like being alone. That’s fine. I’m not here to judge your lifestyle. I’m just saying that there are more important things than money.

Some people feel that success requires people to know your name long after you die. That’s a goal for a lot of people. We all know George Washington, Isaac Newton, and Martin Luther King Jr. We consider them to be successful. But they aren’t the only people who have been successful. What about the man or woman who spent their time and money feeding the homeless. They touched the hearts of a whole bunch of people. You don’t know their name, they probably didn’t have a luxury car or huge house, but they were still successful.

The goal of being remembered forever is a ridiculous goal. Forever is a really long time. The earth won’t be around forever, just about four and a half billion more years. People will probably not even last that long. There will come a day when there is no one who remembers anything about humans. Every thing you do in your life will eventually be forgotten, so trying to be remembered is both unattainable and pointless.

This may be kind of disheartening, but not if you think about what it means. You don’t have to be some huge star, just be happy with what you are doing in your life, and don’t give up just because your success is gone.