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“How does it affect your life?”

Everyone has a vice in life that may or may not keep them from performing their daily duties in life. These vices can be something as simple as snacking on unhealthy food throughout the day or more severe like drugs. Where these vices come from, who really knows, but they are there. A lot of the time we can talk through these problems, then there are the times we have vices that are flat out impossible to have conversations around. Well, why, why is it so hard to have a conversation about that thing that is keeping you from living a life of morality? And a lot of it has to do with the shame associated with the vice.

That’s right shame, the shame that comes with the vice is so hard to talk about. Well, why is that? It’s because we have so many taboos associated with certain things that we can’t have conversations around the vice. For instance, what if the vice is watching porn. Who wants to say they indulge in watching pornography. No one wants to admit it, but we all know the names of some famous porn stars. We all watch, yet we are afraid of how others may receive it. But it is that same group of people who watch themselves. It’s almost as if we are all waiting to be judge by ourselves. We’re worried others may say, “That is wrong or that is immoral.” Yet they do it on some level as well. How about other vices we have as people that make it difficult to talk about.

Another common vice in society is drug use. And when I say drug use, I am not only referring to the narcotics such as Crack Cocaine, Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana. I am also referring to the more used prescription medicine. This is in use more than the heavy narcotics, but why. The reasons can be broad as to why. Some do it because it eases any physical pain, some do it to suppress some hidden emotion. And the reason behind the heavy use of the prescription is because there is also less taboo associated with prescription than heavy narcotics. Popping a Vicodin or drinking Oxycontin, people automatically think you are ill and need the drug. It’s a lot better than openly snorting Cocaine or shooting Heroin.

Now, we know the vice and why so many people have them. But what is it about the vice that makes it detrimental? And the detriment of the vice is when it starts to effect your daily life. Now consuming over the counter medicine can be a tricky one, but using heavier street narcotics is a no go. Watching porn is not immoral unless you’re watching underage or it gets in the way of your daily progress. Even alcohol consumption is fine until you decide to get in a car after drinking or you start to develop an illness from the alcohol. You see, in the end, what I’m trying to say is it’s all in moderation. Like I said before, prescription medicine is tricky, but street narcotics is never good in moderation. Other activities are fine in moderation as well. It’s all about balance, but when you’re out of balance, and the vice takes over your life. Then you’re going to start to develop problems that could effect your productivity. 

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“How do you define greatness?”

When most people think of the word great, they automatically assume it means good. But what we fail to realize is that one can be a great leader and be a bad human being at the same time. How so, well Martin Luther King Jr. and Adolf Hitler were both great leaders. Just hearing those two names used in the same sentence draws criticism. But remember what I said; I said great leaders are different from great people. A great leader is someone who can command control over an individual or groups of people. Good people are those who seek to be as moral and ethical as possible for the greater good of all mankind. So it is possible to be a great leader and yet be a bad person.

I think saying that Adolf Hitler was a great leader creates such disconnect with a lot of people. Understandably so considering he ordered the deaths of millions of people in one the most genocidal acts in human history. But if he were not a great leader, how would he have managed to get people to follow him so closely. It’s easy to say, well he spoke hatred and separation. But any man can stand in the street and spew hate, but how does one get others to listen. For starters you have to be able to command an audience by connecting to the masses through an emotional channel. You do so by expressing an already internalized feeling that people hold. Then giving them a reason to feel angry by transferring that rage onto someone else. Therefore you make the powerless feel powerful by convincing the powerless they are losing at no fault of their own.

After convincing people it is not their fault, express how the country has turned its back on the powerless. While at the same time gave what is rightfully theirs to someone else who is not deserving. We as people love to blame our faults and pitfalls on others. Speak to that emotion and discredit people higher up: media, politicians, and powerful world leaders who say otherwise. Furthermore, you empower this group of people by convincing them they are more than who has been benefiting outside of them. The idea that all is possible is a testament to great leadership, but not a good person. Well what about great leadership and good people.

Martin Luther King Jr. was both great leader and great person. He is the testament to what good can come of the world when one uses their powers for good. He had the voice, the ability to empower the powerless, yet also empower the powerless without making the powerless feel superior to the powerful. Because when you make the powerless feel empowered by way manipulation you get a Nazi Germany. The powerless group channel all their anger to the group who supposed to be in their way of progressing. This creates a reality built around vagueness, and does not aid the powerless in their pursuit of freedom. This is why MLK was successful in his pursuit.

MLK had the voice, the words, and the heart to get his point across. He empowered Black people by encouraging them to combat the hate not the group. Even though our rights were being violated by White men and women, channeling the anger to this group as a whole is counterproductive. Instead, you channel the anger and rage into a strategic plan that sways those in power who happen to be White men and women. Because once those in power make the call, the rest will follow suit. See, in the end, greatness is an ambiguous term. We use it to mean good, yet great can have multiple meanings. If you Google great leader, you’ll see all the good-nature people because that’s how we use language. But broadening that terminology will better aid in understanding how the bad people become great leaders as well.


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“We’re all baboons, it’s just the difference between the lead baboon and the rest of the baboons is a mind frame.” “The lead baboon has the mind to get you in the mood.” “The other baboons perceive the lead to be smart; they lack the cognitive ability to decipher between what is rational and what is irrational.” “Hard to be of sound mind when one is driven by so much emotion.”

-Faheem Jackson