I love things that make you think twice,Independent Coffee Shops, and being a piece of the global community. I have a strange affinity for Latin American culture, Nicaragua in particular. My day feels oddly unbalanced if it does not start with a downward facing dog. I have developed a newly found appreciation for punk shows and deeply enjoy the hidden sense of community among what I have experienced to be an amazing group of down-to-earth individuals. I enjoy the stride and sound of an authoritative click originating from 3+ inch heels. I think insight can be gained by thinking about any discipline philosophically. I am overwhelmed by the vast array of knowledge and wisdom I am engulfed in and disappointed I humanly cannot obtain it all. Though I remain enlightened and empowered by the realization of my own personal limitations. At any point I am up for a conversation entering the wee hours of the morning talking about the trials and tribulations of the globe or anything else under the sun. I tell people how it is because the world is already full of illusions. I still however remain baffled at my inability to remember the longitude and latitude of my keys, phone, or wallet at any point in time. Graciously open to new instruments including the most sacred sounds echoing from the human body, to the violin, or the Djembe despite my atrocious lack of rhythm. I do a hauntingly accurate impression of my 75-year-old off the boat Italian grandmother and enjoy authentic Italian cooking to raw fish wrapped in seaweed. The list goes on as I'm sure it does for most, but lastly I truly appreciate the uniqueness of each individual while seeing no matter how seemingly different we all are, we are all connected.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wider Angle Zoom

The reality remains unchanged, the only shift is the perspective and focus but it changes the whole picture.

 When a photographer snaps a photo they are showing you the world through their eyes. They are framing a small piece of the world in order to communicate a specific message by virtue of physical limitation. In order to communicate their perspective it is necessary for the photographer to focus attention on certain things and avoid attention to others. This is done in a strategic way to disseminate the intended meaning of the photographer to the observers. What the photographer fails to do is give you the entire picture, not physically speaking. The photographer makes a statement on what the photograph is intended for only, it is up to the observer to take into consideration the world that lies outside the photo. This is also what is done through the media, the media like the photographer strategically paints a certain picture to people in order to manipulate public opinion. Though only certain messages and meanings are communicated life is drastically more complex than what is communicated through these mediums. 

Engulfed in a tremendously pervasive media culture, though seemingly enigmatic actually remains to be more overt than at first glance. Public opinion is strategically shaped to manipulate public opinion to be complacent and ignorant of the bigger picture not represented in the consolidated chromatic pixelated box. There are activists that refuse to buy into this culture literally and figuratively. We are innovators, we think outside the box, we work within our constraints but also outside them, we are passionate, innovative, stubborn, and creative, just as our counterparts. We aim to create systemic change, we want to build a new framework, one that operates in the only way we will tolerate and that is a sound framework of justice. As injustice continues to plague our nation and our globe it is creating a growing group of frustrated resistant individuals. These individuals have seen the detriment that is growing from inaction and remaining static and they are coming up with innovative ways to counter this. With lack of resources compared to our corporate counterparts, the advantages of solidarity and organization must be emphasized. The utilization of non-physical resources need to be expended into the far-reaching abyss in order to take advantage of  skills that remain under utilized.

    Activists should be persistent while simultaneously cooperative until their goals are reached and never take no for an answer. In order to achieve more and remain in high spirits it is useful to remain optimistic about the potential embodied in all social activists. Personally as opposed to being a full-fledged shameless idealist I remain to be realistically idealistic. Being overly optimistic or too idealistic can leave people disappointed and when that optimism is imposed on us by others, it can leave individuals feeling betrayed and lied too in some cases. Activists should always speak from their hearts, because it is their hearts that led them to be activists, it should be the hearts of those they are trying to reach that spark an indescribable overwhelming passion towards action and social change. 

     The American government is often associated with buzz-words such as “freedom”, “democracy”, “patriotism”, the “American Dream”. These words are idealistic illusions fed to the American public to keep them from interfering with United States interests. To create a dependence through the yearning for protectionism in order to gain compliance and complacency among the American Public.  Most activists remain less than optimistic about the good intentions of our government overall. Instead of creating innovative alternatives to create social change with little government interference,another viable option could be the manipulation of the current conventional system and efforts to reformulate it. There are vast entities interconnected into a large systemic global framework that include political, economic, and social entities, these entities form a structure that is embedded into our society. Those who wish to engage in social change need to not only work to aid those suffering from the injustice created by these entities but they also have to work to prevent the occurrence of injustice altogether.

   In order to work against these injustices the goal of all social activists alike should be to aid those suffering from injustice while simultaneously working towards dismantling those that created the injustice from the get-go. Though there are many separations of different groups working for justice, ultimately the goal is to respect inherent human and environmental rights, and to create a more equal world. In working towards distinct goals it is important to not lose sight of the larger picture and goal which is equality and respect for inherent human rights. Working solely within the framework of those creating the oppressive environment will never solve global issues. It must be an innovative and strategic plan to deconstruct oppressive systems through the use of mechanisms that these systems remain unfamiliar with. To break down the disillusionment experienced by knowing and unknowing bystanders must be paired with consciousness of each individual's place in the global world. Though it is tempting to live in a world of individualistic blissful ignorance, inequality and oppression creates an inherent frustration within a human being. Outside individualistic thinking in an attempt to disempower and undermine the power of the people to organize, it is possible to create a network of solidarity through common goals.While embracing the differences among individuals and harnessing individual talents there can also be cooperation. One can remain an individual, while still being thought of as a piece of the puzzle in a larger global community where each individual is important, and it is the connection between those individuals that will create empowerment and the dismantling of unjust entities. 

   Unless purposeful, people perceive information from their own personal standpoint. This entails things that often involve group identification whether it be race, nationality, gender,age, or sexual orientation etc. This standpoint encompassing the latter convergent concepts is a huge factor in how information is received. Without learned critical thinking and awareness of possible bias and ethnocentrism this limits the wider picture that we are all capable of seeing. To expand one's perspective to incorporate other viewpoints that lay outside our own personal standpoint we see from a “wider angle zoom”. With this wider angle zoom we can get a far more clear and diverse picture of reality and way to experience the world.