Actually, this IS us (or: on escapism and guilt)

Incredibly thoughtful blog post on the recent events in Charlottesville:


When you hate, you give up

“To hate is an easy lazy thing but to love, takes strength everyone has but not all are willing to practice.”-Rupi Kaur


Let’s think about hate and the sense it makes.

Here is the process:

We argue

We disagree

We don’t understand

So we resort to hate


I believe that hate is fueled by an inability to understand.

Now, let’s dissect inability. 

When our lines of communication fall through, when the logic doesn’t add up, when we just aren’t getting it, we have those two familiar options.

The first choice is driven by ego, by I’m better than you and I’m right, or lead most dangerously by it’s the truth. But the relative truth is a subject for another blog.

The first choice is hate. Walk away, leave it alone, give up. In hate, we cut away the worth that we once saw.

One could say that hate is such a passionate emotion… how could that have anything to do with devaluing something? It’s obvious that love and hate cannot exist in the same place.

Those who love let their anger make them even more passionate about the cause, choosing to still get their hands dirty in the issues in whatever way they can.

When we hate, we are actually giving up. Don’t believe me? Look deeper into hatred. Smack-talking, disrespect, ignorance, you are surrendering your stake in the very thing you cared about.

The second choice is love. And by love, I mean understanding = love.


Willingness to entertain thoughts is love, passion, and care. No matter how destroyed you may feel inside, no matter how angry the issue makes you, the only way to stand for your cause is to work towards understanding it. Understanding others. Understanding why people think differently. People, as in living, breathing, acting souls who combine brain cells to form an opinion just as you have. And I’m not being sarcastic when I say that there must be a reason that others think the way they do.

I strive to continuously choose love, not because it’s easy — it’s actually the opposite. I choose love because hate is too easy. As one of my favorite modern poets Rupi Kaur says, hate is an easy, lazy thing.  If I don’t understand you, I’ll stop trying. I’ll dislike you instead. But for what reason, because our thoughts aren’t symmetrical?

We tell each other we’re too difficult, but wouldn’t we be told the same if others didn’t devote the time to understanding us, too?

Hatred is weak and it is a dead end. Understanding is always growing, expanding, and improving.


The world in 3 words

Bent, not broken: my three words chosen to describe our world.

In Fall 2016, I took a Political Science course in International Relations, which was an elective outside of my major. The core of the curriculum was based on learning IR perspectives: realism, liberalism, and constructivism. Aside from the power-driven motivations of realism and the overly-cooperative nature of liberalism, constructivism offered a completely different take on how we look at the world.

Constructivism taught me that we have created the world around us. As citizens, we’ve created the rules. Basically, my professor explained that we give symbols meaning –  in traffic signals, we’ve assigned colors to represent stop and go (and they didn’t need to be red or green). We’ve made the norms. It’s because of constructivism that I wholeheartedly believe that we are solely responsible for changing our world if it disappoints us.
Bent, not broken is my philosophy. We will never be beyond repair. We can pick up and start again, we can reinvent the cycle.


Right or wrong? The effects of news bias

Regardless of our political affiliations, it seems that every story, every article, and every piece of breaking news sheds at least some negative light on President Donald Trump.

In this particular post, I’m not trying to examine if any of his actions or the actions of his staff have been generally good or bad for America since we probably all could agree that we share many different opinions on what is good and what is bad for the country (which is OK!) We all have unique thoughts on politics and policy, which makes our system of government so inspiring, yet at the same time, so complex.

With all of that in consideration,  I want to talk about how the news influences our view of current events. Most people are at least vaguely aware that news organizations can hold their own biases, and most times that’s clear by the words they use in their headlines. To highlight this, I did a little research.

I decided to do a general search on Bing News about President Trump’s recent address to Congress. Here are a few of the headlines looking at his performance:


My point is not to make a value judgement on Trump’s character or even his actual performance. What I am trying to do is show the many ways that a public figure’s performance can be interpreted, even down to the photos that news organizations use (Check out the “Trump’s Second Chance” photo – an unflattering close up that makes us feel that he’s out of control vs. the Reuters’ article photo where we perceive him as strong and in control.) Based on our own particular views of how the country should or shouldn’t be run, these headlines further solidify our stances.

My challenge for you is to step outside of your news-comfort zone. We should take in a wide variety of sources before forming our opinions. Get the cut and dried facts. But we need to hear from you: what else can we do to counter this news hypnosis that forms our opinions for us?

If you’ve seen examples of bias, let me know in the comments! Share your opinions on news organizations and how well you think they’re doing at reporting (or not reporting) on important stories.