AGE OF DEPRESSION: HOW THE MORE WE UNDERSTAND SELF THE MORE UNHAPPY WE BECOME

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“In an era of technology, we are more connected, yet very much detached.”


In a world where we are more connected than anytime before, you would think it would make us happier. Yet it has not only made us happier, but the more we learn and understand ourselves the more depressed we become. And I don’t mean know ourselves like knowing me as an adult. I mean knowing us is it pertains to our existence on Earth. You would think with the advent of technological innovation and scientific breakthroughs, we would have a much higher level of enlightenment that would make us happy. But what that heightened awareness has done is give us the complete opposite effect. But should we digress because of this unintended effect?

View of Tourist Resort Well, let’s first look at what makes us depressed in today’s society. There are many different reasons why people tend to be unhappy. For starters, you are able to see up close your reality. And what I mean by your reality, you can see where you stand financially, socially, academically in the world. For example, you can Google image luxury, and see a world that is beyond your world just by typing it into a search engine. When my mother was young, an opulent life existed, yet you didn’t quite know about it. Clear Wine Glasses in a RowPeople were either born into wealth, or it was something you stumbled upon. Not today, today, you can actually see how little you have relative to someone else. And what’s crazy, you might have a socioeconomic position that is supporting you and your family. Yet you can’t enjoy because you are comparing yourself to someone way above you.

Why do we do it? Why do we look to someone that is far beyond us? Well, at times, that person is our age. No matter your age today, there is someone that age doing something on a more monumental scale than yourself. When I was in college, I was broke coming out, yet guys my age were signing multi-million dollar contracts to play sports. Comparing yourself to them and not appreciating what you have, even when what you have is adequate to live, robs you of gratification Image result for comparison peopleand the ability to live a fulfilling life. Meaning, you might want to make $50,000 in a year, but someone tells you, you should want better. Now you can’t enjoy what life you could have had with what you wanted because you’re chasing something you may not even want just to satisfy other people’s perspective. And with our lives being inundated with so much imagery, we still have another aspect of our lives that make us unhappy: our own existence.

Coping with our existence is tough for so many. And I don’t mean existence in the context of waking and going to work everyday, coming home, and sleeping. I mean the fact that we are here, on Earth, living and breathing. The fact that I was not born a lion, tiger, bird, or a house cat, but a human is hard for many to cope with in life. The simple existence that is me, a carbon based life form that has Related imagetaken forever to evolve into what I am, is hard to accept. And a lot of it comes from increased scientific understanding of ourselves. Here is where religion may have aided us in living on this planet. With the idea that there is something greater once we die, it gives us hope. As time progress in society, more and more people are becoming awoken to our existence. So awake, we are unmotivated to do anything. So now we become depressed with the idea that this is all that is here for us.

You would think that feeling this way would give people a sense of urgency, yet it’s having the inverse effects. The closer we come to figuring out why we are on Earth, the more we become detached from living. Maybe not knowing, is what’s best at times. Because in the end, unlike any other species where nature dictates how they behave, we are given conscious. We are given the ability to say yes or say no. We are endowed with the ability to make sound decisions. And that very conscious that gives us that ability also makes us aware of our situations in life. Some people make the best out of it, and others can never cope. And for those that can’t cope, it leads to further depression; leading to substance abuse or even suicide.

“He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow on the land.”

                          -Ecclesiastes 1:18


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ETHNIC CONSCIOUSNESS: WHY HAS THERE BEEN A RISE IN RACIAL NATIONALISM IN AMERICA

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“When the machine breaks down, we all break down.”


The United States of America has always had to deal with an insurmountable level of racial tension. But now more than ever, the tension has risen. You have what is considered the far right, which are members of the Klu Klux Klan as well as The New Black Panther Party. These are groups that have always been around; the Panthers for decades and the Klan for over one hundred years. But with the political landscape in shambles from tension still at a height from this past presidential election of Donald Trump, these far right groups are poking their heads up yet again. But where is all this coming from? Are we starting to digress as a country into old ways?

Let’s take a look at some of the groups in America, starting with the KKK. The Klu Klux Klan has been an organization built on White Nationalism for over one hundred years. They preach that America was made for the Related imageadvancement of the White man. Everyone else should repatriate themselves to other regions of the world. Mainly to places where their origins are from: Black People to Africa, East Asians to their respective nations, Latinos/Hispanics to theirs, and Middle Eastern to theirs. They are also an organization built on pushing against what they define as White genocide, such as interracial marriage. An action that they see as a potential threat to their people.

As for the Black Nationalist views, these are people who seek to push the Black agenda. And that Black agenda has meant everything from repatriating to the continent of Africa, to establishing our own economic base outside of White men and women in America. The further views are Related imageheld that Black people should not mix the bloodline of those who have oppressed their group, nor should Black people conduct in trade with such a group. The other Nationalist views are that Black people should create our own schools, hospitals, protection for our communities, as well as a push to recreate a culture that has been lost due to historical precedence. And these are the views of the Black Nationalist.

Now my question is, why have these views emerged today in America. Because this conversation has always been an issue. But why so much now? My theory behind the reason why is economics. Anytime Black and White people are in a lesser held position, we tend to look to the other as to why Related imagewe struggle. White men and women say I struggle because of welfare, Affirmative Action, and crime effecting their ability to earn. Black people state that we can’t earn due to systemic oppression, White privilege, and stolen identification robbing us of self. But what is the real reason?

Well, recently, psychologist and Black Nationalist Umar Johnson and White Image result for black nationalismNationalist Richard Spencer have become faces we see in the struggle. Both men have a viewpoint which is similar, yet supports one ethnic group. Now, to understand the racial fight, understand the construct. First off, Black and White are not real ethnic groups. We as Black people had no choice but to Image result for white nationalismadopt Black because our identity was lost during slavery. And White is just a combination of European groups that came here generations ago. And here lies the interesting part. We are so color constructed in America, we don’t realize the old continents and how they fight.

 

You have European and African groups who dislike each other. And when I Related imagesay each other, I don’t mean France hating Ghana. I mean the fight between the Serbians and Croatians. The fight between the tribal groups in Africa. So anyone who does not align themselves with the Black/White struggle is seen as a traitor. But really, your skin color construct means nothing, and is oppressive in Image result for african cultureitself. But the fight is so long and so deep, the fore fathers of America created a problem that they didn’t foresee. They had no clue that it would run so deep. So deep that now, if you are Cuban and accept Cuba and not Black you are met with resistance from the Black community in America. And if you identity as non-White/European, you’re met with resistance on the opposite side.

See in the end, the fight racially is simply to designate what is seen as your enemies. If another group would have come in and took over America after slavery, the Black/White fight might have ended then. But the leadership has always been White males. But they don’t care about Black or White people, but themselves. Therefore, it becomes more personal than racial. But people need someone to blame. Just as much as Black people need a face, White people need a face. And it’s usually as a reaction to our quality of lives. With an increase in both groups of people struggling, will come an increase in racial tension.


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GETTING THROUGH THE DAY: HOW SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

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“Everyone has them, very few don’t.”


We have all had those days where we are feeling depressed or some other form of sorrow. It usually starts at the beginning of the day, and last throughout the day. Other times it seems to come out of nowhere without warning; onset depression. You wonder why does this happen, and how do you cure yourself of such feelings. Most of all, you want to know when will it stop and go away. What are the factors that contribute to you feeling this way? Are there internal feelings that seem to poke through when you least expect it? How can you decrease the odds of you feeling such anxiety in the future?

This has happened to me at times in my life. But for me, it does not start at the beginning of the day. It usually happens out of nowhere. Psychologist call it a trigger, and before you know it, you’re full swing into thoughts of frustration and anger. But where does this come from. Usually, there is this underlying feeling that you have, that you don’t act on, yet it lies dormant in your mind. For example, you go throughout the day feeling good and treating people with respect, but you have this internal rage. This rage that translate into negative thoughts toward other people. It’s uncomfortable to talk about because you’re a good person. But the feeling has nothing to actually do with harming innocent people. You have something internally you need to correct with yourself.

These intrusive thoughts plagued us on a daily basis. How do we eliminate these intrusive thoughts and where do they come from? Another reason the intrusive thoughts creep into our minds has to do with quality of life. When your life is in order, you have better days, you sleep better, have friendlier conversations, and just all around good-nature existence. Intrusive moments happen when you don’t have anything going on in life and/or in between good and bad times. That uncertainty is tough to deal with because you feel like a juggler where someone grabs one of your balls, and throws everything off. What’s another reason down moments happen and how do you combat them?

Down moments can also take place with the change in weather. That’s right, when it’s raining you typically fall into a state of depression quicker than when the temperature is 75 degrees and sunny. It’s not the rain itself, it’s that gloomy days are a reminder of tough times we are going through or have experienced in life. And when weather worsens, we are stuck in the house with little to do, almost like a sick day. So in the end, as you can see, there are multiple reasons why someone experience a rough day. Some rough days are easier to combat than others. Obviously when someone close to you is sick, it will cause you to have a rough day. But out of nowhere hurtful days are the ones we struggle with the most. It’s days like these that we need to sit back and assess what’s wrong in our lives that takes our minds to this desolate place.


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HEADS OR TAILS: LIFE IS NOTHING BUT A FLIP OF THE COIN

“Make your own luck.”


In life, it’s a flip of the coin, you can either win or lose. It’s all about how the coin chooses to land. But is it all about luck, or do you make your own luck. Do you have to always take what life throws at you? I am a firm believer in making your own luck. You can tailor make your life whatever you want it to be. The choice is yours in how it ultimately turns out. We all have this vision of where we want to see ourselves. Then, that vision becomes blocked at times once certain obstacles are put in our pathway. But what about people who are dealt a bad hand. How do they make their own luck.

Well, it’s like the saying, “If someone has done it coming from where you came from, looking like you do, it is possible.” At times it’s hard to see the future because you’re stuck in the now. But in order to reach the future, you have to embrace the now to get to that point in the future. We also get stuck comparing ourselves to everyone else. Instead, you should focus on where you want to be in what it is you are pursuing. And making your luck can get stifled when looking at everyone else.

Well, how so, how does life become stifled? Because their climb is their climb and your climb is yours. You can’t judge you from them because you never know how they got to their point. You have to say, what’s for them is for them. And what’s for me is for me. Easier said than done, especially if you have close people in your life who can influence your thought process. Which leads me to my next view on making your own luck. The hardships of not wanting to upset those around you.

In life, you never want to feel like you are letting others down. Especially if the others are your close friends and family. But sometimes you must be disobedient to reach the place where you want to be in life. What I mean by that is, you know your strengths and weaknesses. You know you better than anyone, so don’t take a path because you think it will make you more accepted by your peers. Make them respect you for the decisions you make and stand firm. Yet sometimes, these are the main people you may have to cut out of your life. Like I said in previous posts, not everyone is meant to be in your life. So if they are, they’ll be there, if not so be it.

In the end, flipping the coin can land anyway any how, yet you make your luck. Stop holding your breathe waiting for things to happen. Flip the coin, because you can make it land heads or tails depending on how you set up your own life.

GENERATION FRUSTRATION: WHY WE AS A YOUNG BLACK DEMOGRAPHIC CARRY SUCH ANGER

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“Where does it all come from?”


Ever see the crime rate in the inner cities throughout the country? You ever wonder where so much of this rage comes from? The frustrations comes from a multitude of issues in the community. It’s not just one thing to observe when trying to figure out why this exist. From the gun violence in the community to the rioting when the police shoot an innocent Black male. This rage comes from internal struggle as well as external struggles. But it’s not indicative of who we are as a people. The black community didn’t have these high crime rates during the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or even the 60’s. And this was a time period when we barely had rights in America. Well, what happened?

I’ll say the first issue that came about was actually a positive as well. That double edge sword was the Civil Rights Bills passed in the 1960’s. After this time period Black people had this sense of accomplishment. We felt like the work had been complete. Yet, during the Civil Rights Movement, we had our own communities. Black people had our own businesses, schools, hospitals, and social programs. That Black owned mind-frame shifted after the movement. We thought to ourselves, “Why all the Black stuff, we are free now.” Then, communities dried up as Black people left our urban environments to take solace in upper middle or upper class predominantly White neighborhoods. So money left the community, while at the same time spending was poured outward. Whereas in the past money was circulated through the community.

What happened next, coming into the 1970’s as money left, narcotics took hold. The combination of Heroine met Cocaine, led to high crime rates and bombed out buildings. Fatherless homes left Black women dependent on welfare. Which leads into my next reason for the rage. The lack of a co-parenting  situation that made the women both mother and father. Initially Black men were gone from the house for a few hours. Why, well the family needed money from the welfare system. Then hours to days, days to weeks, and then weeks to months. In no time fathers were gone, beginning to get hooked on drugs and alcohol, while women were the new leaders of the community. Now we have this pride in the woman doing it all, when in reality it takes more than just Black women to keep young Black men out of trouble.

Men and women have different skills, thought processes, and emotions. So it’s no wonder why Black women have had such a tough time raising children alone; especially connecting young Black males. So, with no help and forced to work long hours to provide for the family, more than ever the term latch key kid came into play. With her at work and no father around, young Black males turned to gangs as a means of creating bonds with each other they weren’t receiving at home. Gangs started battling for turf over other gangs which were predominantly Black, leading to an even higher crime rate than before. This time was known as the Crack Cocaine years of the 1980’s and 90’s. Which leads to the rage as well of a generation.

Drug trafficking was an issue coming from the 1960’s throughout the 70’s, but nothing was like Crack. Crack took communities deviations down to nothing. KKK were far removed from our communities, while we took over where they left off. Black women who could have been beauty pageant contestants were taken down by Crack. Hair matted on their heads, eyes blood shot red, skull caps & ripped t-shirts, bodily scares from syringe use and scratching, and diseases stemming from drug use. Women who could have been doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, were taken down by drugs. Black males were dying and getting hit with conspiracy charges and sent to prison for decades, as well as life sentences.

Then the 1990’s came and went, leading into the 2000’s. After a few decades of mayhem, we felt through this past 90’s into the 2000’s this sense of accomplishment as well. But entertainment became bigger influences than ever. Hip Hop hit in the 90’s and early 2000’s, making these men bigger influences than the Civil Rights leaders of the past. And here is another aspect of the rage from young Black males and females. Our entertainment was now raising us, and we would base more and more off of tangibles then intangibles. Boys were more encouraged to be players and pimps than boyfriends and husbands. And Black women were prompted to chase after ballers over day-to-day working men. So now, pickings are slim because expectations became so unrealistic.

So the relationship between Black men and women was even more fragmented. Then in 2008, the United States elected its first Black president Barack H. Obama. Black people flocked to Washington D.C. from all across the country for his inauguration. That sense of accomplishment reemerged and for the past eight years, we felt success. He, a Noble Peace Prize winner, and his wife Michelle Obama was inspirational as well through her public persona. After they left the White House, people geared themselves for Hilary Clinton, the first woman. But the nation elected Donald J. Trump in the year 2016. A man who pulled no punches on how he spoke. Unapologetic and aggression was enough to make him president. And that feeling of hurt emerged from the Black community. Hate crimes rose and everything felt bleak.

And in the end, that’s the feeling of rage from the Black youth of today. We have constantly been told things are different, but don’t feel different. My millennial generation and generation Y were raised into a community of crime and poverty. We feel lied to and with a feeling of limited opportunities, the rage rises. But there is a flip side to the rage. Trump has also had an inverse effect in other ways. Consciousness among young twenty somethings have risen as well. We may be headed toward another Black Renaissance like that of 1930’s Harlem. So with all the anger and frustration, we need more and more consciousness, especially in this troubling time.

#AWAKE UP SOCIETY!

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“Are you awake in society or do you think you are?”

As I observe the social media comment sections in Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter; you see something. Something that a lot of people claim to be, yet most will never reach the level of cerebral understanding; #AWAKE. People say this, but what does it really mean? What does it mean to be awake. And no, I’m not speaking regarding the awake we feel the moment our eyes open from sleeping. I’m speaking about the consciousnesses of the mind that seeks to understand the world around us. And even by that statement, I mean awake as far as our relationships with each other.

Well, I am still seeming to be ambiguous with the statements I am making so, let me spell it out. I talking to be awake, meaning hearing or witnessing something that is sensitive to the mind that forces you to break it apart and observe it with an objective mind. One of those things is politics. We are all witnessing the presidential election where that hash tag awake is posted. But people put awake after calling Trump racist. For example, “Trump gaining in the poles and millennials not active in voting.” “It could really aid in Trump winning and a serious shake up of America socially.” #awake #wakeup #woke.

Really, are you really awake. People out there sitting on the couch seriously think that if Hilary Clinton win that she is going to do it for them. But that is not to say Trump’s constituency has anything coming to them either. I am under no illusion that Trump will hurt America socially any worse than America is at the moment. The only difference between Trump and Hilary is that people feel more comfort in being them; yet the sentiment is still there. You have all these celebrities saying Trump is racist, yet they can’t even get Hollywood to budget a film if there are too many of a minority group. Celebs say sexist, but complain to the industry about equal pay for women. Seems to me like you can’t say clean your yard, if your own house is on fire.

What else makes you awake politically; how about to the idea that banning guns isn’t the issue. Because banning guns have no effect on getting guns. Why because criminals don’t care about legislation. So Republicans say, Stop and Frisk, but that doesn’t work because it is unconstitutional. Neither of them ask where are the guns really coming from and this is how to stop it. Well, is that possible? And if so, why haven’t it been stopped. For instance you have an inner city problem with guns that banning guns and frisking won’t fix. You see, how they get there is more corrupt, which is not a topic no one wants to delve in to. You have guns property of police departments and military in the hands of gangs in America.

Which leads into my next awakening which is the exchange of guns and money. Hmmm, oh I get it, the gangs get the guns, for selling drugs that is. The guns are confiscated during a bust, and the police showcase the guns with drugs on television and newspapers. The convicts go to jail and are forced into the business of the correctional facilities where a multinational corporation provide clothing, bedding, and food for the inmates. Well, stop it from getting to that point. You mean stop the guns used so drug dealers can perform their jobs. Or how about the drugs. Nearly 80% of cocaine has been known to come through the Port of Miami. If there is a real war on drugs, that port can’t be locked down? Over 70% of America’s Heroine comes from the middle east’s Golden Crescent. Yet we have thousands of US troops around these borders. And still no traction. Come on, these are not geniuses trafficking guns and drugs.

And no one knows anything. You mean the traffickers are one step ahead of government. Or maybe it’s because there is corruption. Which leads me to my third awakening, which is the corruptible behavior of our leaders. When you look at a city like Chicago, where the murder rate is high enough to rival third world countries, you go nothing can be done. But Chicago is also a city with it’s internal decision making problems as well. One that has stood out in the recent years was Ron Blagojevich trying to sell President Obama’s political seat in a corruptible move which landed him in prison. How can the city control street violence if men and women at the legislative level are under investigation? Leaders who the public trust to do their jobs.

Maybe it’s racism, maybe no one cares because the victims tend to be Black and poor. Well in the third paragraph I stated briefly how people see Trump as the catalyst for more racial tension. But in reality it has always been here; lying dormant within people. I know and understand that the only way for the system to intervene is if a young White female or male to get caught in a cross fire in Chicago, legislation would happen immediately. But that’s not just Trump, Hilary would call for swift action as well while not addressing the situation otherwise. And that is the difference between people who are awake and call themselves awake. We think there is specific party saving the masses, when in actuality they both play the same game.

Hilary is docile with her bull and Trump is loud. Her language as well as others like her is soft and his is more aggressive. Just because he says I don’t care doesn’t mean she does for not saying she doesn’t care. We believe in society that overt is wrong and silence means opposite. Yet I would rather know someone’s sentiment and make my decision than for them to remain quiet and cut me behind the scenes. But I guess we as a nation will continue to be lured in by language and not in addition to language watching the moves of decision makers as well.