Monday, November 3, 2014

Shadow Play- Lost in the Digital World

I have so much to say to you all, but how can I get what I have to say across to you, how can I get you to understand the importance behind what I have to say. 

I guess this will have to do, so this post is a call to action to all of you who will read this.
Don't take what I say lightly, for if you listen closely and truly read and try to understand my point, you will be a better person for it. 

You are selfish, you might not even know it, but by nature you do what it takes it insure your survival and yours alone. 
This needs to change, we as a society are consumed with ourselves, I too am guilty of this, but at least I can admit it, and I am doing something to change it. 

I have already lived through a school shooting in which I lost a dear friend, and what bothered me most was not the fact that it happened, but that we as a community only came together in the wake of the travesty.  It is the same for all community who has suffered a loss as great as this, they come together to stand in solidarity with other schools who have also shared this experience, but why cant we just support each other always. Why does it take such extreme violence to ignite the spark of comradery between people.  

In the wake of the recent shootings to hit Seattle and many other cities around the country, has anyone, any single person thought, what can I do to make this stop?. I doubt that anyone has thought this, but rather you have all been thinking WHY? why did this happen, why did they do it, why, why, why. 

Well here is my opinion on why the youth of today is going a bit insane, and my answer to the allusive WHY.

I am much older than most college students, I am a non-traditional student, entering in way after graduating from high school. I have observed over the last 4 years of my college education as well as my earlier education years, the way my peers interact with each other. 

We spend countless hours attached to our phones, our computers, our televisions. 
What are we really gaining from these things? 
Not much... I can tell you at least a dozen things we are losing, and the biggest of them all is our ability to think critically, to analyze situations, and to communicate effectively.

 Why is it that no matter what school you attend people tend to flock into predefined clicks. Why is it that the jocks only hangout with jocks and cheerleaders. The nerds only with each other. and so on for each labeled group there is. 

It is because we allow ourselves to be defined but what we do and not who we are. 
I am not just a Business student, a worker, a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter, a mentor...
I am all of this and more, and I refuse to let anyone define me any other way. 
You are not just one thing , you are many things, and those things are what make you special. 
So don't be afraid to befriend people from a different place, venture outside your comfort zone.  
I mean life is only a sum of your experience so why not try to experience it all. 

To be quite frank, people don't actually interact anymore, or at least the majority no longer do. How can you listen to someone while your face is practically glued to your phone. How can you comprehend what is being asked of you if you're busy reading, typing or watching something else while someone is talking to you. 
The answer is you can't, and chances are what you are reading or listening to is just mindless time filler crap anyways, that has no value to your life. 
How do you think the Kardashian's got famous, I can tell you its not because they actually do anything worth knowing about, but because the sell themselves off to be mindless filler in your Friday night line up.  

We are so self consumed about the daily lives of others that we forget to live our own. We are losing our means of effective communication, and when someone does something to make us upset, instead of talking it out with them, we either bottle it up, or react in an unsettling way. 
This needs to stop, if someone makes you mad, tell them, how can we learn what hurts and doesn't hurt if no one tells you. 
Think about it ...
how did you learn that fire was hot... 
someone told you, and if they didn't tell you then well you probably got burned. 

We are no longer disciplined for our actions, we are sent into time out, where we don't fully understand the consequence of our actions. So we repeat them, until its too late to learn the right way to deal with our issues. 
I am not saying that a timeout doesn't work, but if all you are doing is isolating someone what have they really learned from their actions. That they can leave others for a while, then return as if nothing happened, and repeat or continue to do whatever it was they were doing in the first place. 

Children, Teens, Adults, I call you to action. Stop isolating your peers, stop judging people based on what they wear, where they are from, who they know, how they talk, or anything else for that matter. No one is perfect, no one is above anyone else, we all live on this planet together, so why not do it peacefully. You are the future of this world, and if you make it a dark place to live in all you will ever get in return is shadow play.  People hiding in the dark waiting for you to be vulnerable, and alone. Not because this is how they want to be, but because society as a whole has made them this way. 
So before you talk behind someones back, or gossip, or make fun of somebody, think about the impact it will have not only on them, but also how your peers will see you. Do you want to be known as a bully, a bitch, a whore, any of these things.. probably not, so why call someone else these things.  

Parents I call you to action, if your child does something that is unethical, harmful, hurtful or just plain rude, EXPLAIN to them why it is. DO NOT just reprimand them for the actions, all that teaches them is that punishment equals nothing. They need to understand why they are in trouble, and that certain actions equate to the loss of certain rights and freedoms. 

Our youth of today does not know how to effectively communicate their issues, troubles, fears, dreams, hopes, goals. We need to better equip them for the real world, not the fantasy one you would like them to believe is out there. 
If you send your child in to the world, without the right tools how can you expect them to succeed. 
Failure, yes is an important part of the learning process, but how they deal with failure will determine how they deal with other things in their lives. Failure does not have to be bad, it can be a learning experience in which they see the good in the bad, and not just the bad. 
Stop letting your self and the people around you stay naive and closed minded to the harsh reality of the world. 

Lastly, Mental Disabilities and  Mental disorders and issues are real, and we need to take care of the people who have these issues. We need to stop condemning them as if they had a choice in the matter. Being of sound mind is not a choice, some people are born a particular way, and we need to invest the time to research how to help them overcome this. 
Many people suffer and end up on the streets because no one wanted to help them, or people are frighten of them. We need to take a stand as a country, we need to focus on the needs of our people and save the lives of the people here. before stretching out our hands to other countries. Charity is great, it does wonders, but if we can't help the people in our own backyard, what makes us think we can help others. 

Finally the answer to the WHY: is simple...

These people who commit acts of violence against their peers do it for many reason, but above all they do it because they want to be heard. They are making a statement, which more often than not is that they no longer wish to be ignored. 

So I urge you all to listen closely when someone speaks to you, and to take what they have to say seriously. Put down your phone, in fact turn it off, nothing that is on facebook, or twitter or instagram is more important than hearing someone hopes and dreams, fears and regrets.
They might be troubled by something, hurt or even feel lost. 
If you fail to do this, and decide not to hear them out all they will ever learn is that they do not matter and how they feel is not important. What they do is irrelevant in the eyes of others, and that their actions have no consequences. 

So stop playing in the shadows of life, and enter in to light. Be a beacon for the people around you, and set examples for your peers.

I am not saying that Technology is the reason to why shootings occur, but it is the reason we have lost the ability to communicate in person effectively. Why we have trouble talking about our feelings, because its easier to hide behind the screen and pretend all is okay. We allow the false sense of Internet friendships/relationships to over run our real life ones.
Take a break from technology to explore and learn in the real world, you would be surprised by what you find.

XOXO- Rika


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