Citations

We as a species have great correlations

It’s what built our great nations

Looking for patterns

When everything was scattered

We took our knowledge in context

Racing as though we were in a great contest

But we left out one detail

That was going to curtail

Our inner understandings of how society works

A big mistake for our cultural clerk

For we never thought about causation

As we had too much of a fixation

On our glamorous creation

That we didn’t notice the horrible mutation

Maybe we should of given better citations..

The Iceberg Effect

When we are faced with an ever increasing amount of difficult situations there is something that often goes unnoticed. Something that should be oh so obvious yet it sails away in the distance never to be thought about again. This is known as the Iceberg effect.

As a society there is this strict and unconventional bias to take situations at face value. It could be as simple as your friend telling you they’re having a bad day, as complex as watching someone go through a mental health crisis or anything in between. While society tries to fix the issue at hand through mild questioning or social skimming there is a lot to be desired.

If simple and complex issues are actually going to be solved in any meaningful way this social skimming needs to be put back several notches. While it can be a valuable tool in some situations it should definitely not be the gold standard. When issues are dealt with at face value the current situation may be resolved but it’s a band aid fix at best. For every situation there are deep issues at play and we need to be aware of them.

Personally, I always try to dig deeper when I’m told about situations. This has come with its own unique set of issues but as I’ve realized more and more I am part of the minority. I find this somewhat akin to putting out small fires in a house but refusing to acknowledge or not noticing the faulty wiring that is creating them. While this does solve the immediate issue of not having fires it’s only temporary and eventually one will be missed destroying the house in its entirety.

I came across a situation recently on a social media application that drove this point to its core. It is essentially a message board where posts are made anonymously and broadcast to anyone else on the application within 10km. While I find it hilarious I have also found a darker side such as with the following example.

“Lol found my girlfriend on pof [dating site] in the will respond section, glad I don’t trust shit”

When I saw this I simply could not resist asking the blaring and obvious question of.

“Why were you on there looking for women?”

To which his response was typical in that it was both evasive and defensive

“Can’t you read?! I don’t trust anyone.”

Seeing as how his response didn’t exactly clarify anything I decided to push it a bit further

“If you don’t trust anyone than you have missed what relationships are all about”

At this point other people started chiming in and I decided to give it a rest. Maybe he would calm down and listen to reason? After all he did just find a relationship ending piece of information and most people aren’t thinking rationally at that point. It’s all finger pointing at the other party while admitting no fault what so ever. Ugly stuff and as I’ve eluded to before there’s no point in giving advice when people aren’t processing information due to high emotions

After about 20 minutes the conversation had shifted from; “That sucks” and “You’ll find someone better” to something even more counter-productive.

“Never trust any girl 100%. They will use you in the end, its human nature”

At this point I felt the need to pull out my trump card. If I was going to get anywhere with this guy this was going to be the time.

“A lack of trust in other people speaks volumes about inner insecurities”

After inserting that there was this eerie calm that fell over the discussion for ten straight minutes. The up votes to the comment kept rising before someone new finally chimed in.

“Paw knows” [A yellow paw was my randomly generated icon for that particular conversation, distinguishes anonymous posters between one another]

While encouraging they weren’t my target audience but it was only a couple minutes later before I saw the fruits of my labour.

“Paw you finally made me cry and I’ve been asking for advice all day long!”

This wasn’t the reaction I was expecting but it accomplished what I had hoped for. I uncovered his iceberg and hit at the very core of the issue. While it was not something he wanted to hear and it won’t help him with his current break up it may just be the driver for change in the future.

This point was further cemented after the chauvinists tried to regain ground in a fury of demeaning and degrading posts to which the original poster simply shrugged them off saying it was time for “soul searching and me time”

 

While this is only one example there are countless more in your day to day lives that you’ll encounter. If you choose to take something away from this post let it be this;

We are all Icebergs floating around in society and more often than not all it takes is a little push to find out what’s really going on underneath the surface. We learn about what makes people tick but most of all we have insight to what our surface actions say about our own Icebergs. We are built to be interconnected as a species and that one or two extra questions can make the difference between inner growth and social hindrance.

 

Until next time,

JSTRD

 

 

Wanted: Humanity

I remember as young child watching the events of 9/11 unfolding on TV. My step father was watching it as though his heart had been ripped out of his chest. As I sat down in shock at what was happening he turned to me and said “The world you’re going to grow up in has just been changed forever”

14 years later I look back and am disgusted at what has transpired since then. It’s not so much that our world has changed as dramatically as he predicted but it’s the people who inhabit it. Our culture of fear and revenge has tainted the sense of humanity of our race. Unfortunately this is not a new habit of ours.

As a Canadian most of my fellow countrymen seem to think we have this sense of helping one another and always trying to play the “good guy” on the world stage. Defending freedoms, helping the vulnerable, giving out aid and trying to sort out world problems. All these feel good policies that make us blind to what is actually happening within our geopolitical sphere of influence.

Canada, not unlike our American counterparts, has a shaky at best track record of these feel good policies but our ignorance and pride has clouded our preconceived notions. While we tend to lift ourselves leagues above our American neighbors on human rights and multiculturalism when we are in fact on a lower level because we can’t admit our own wrong doings. We viciously attacked Japanese Canadians during WW2 and interred them in camps, we sent the indigenous population to residential schools to beat and rape the culture out of them and we stood ideally by while countless people were murdered in Rwanda leaving heroes like Romeo Dallaire to do what was morally right. A competent person looking at these atrocities would learn from history and not make similar mistakes; unfortunately our society isn’t a competent person.

Canadians without a second thought followed our American counterpart in what would turn out to be a bloody and needless war in Afghanistan that only fueled the rise of racism in a country of “multiculturalism”. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters gave their lives in a cause that while they may have thought of the time as right and just, only deepened the root cause of the problem in our society.

As our media and politicians were touting the end of the war in Afghanistan this was very much not the case as it was the beginning of a festering hatred that would engulf the world we know today. This hatred has crossed lines seemingly unfathomable years ago and threw it into the mainstream where we swallow it without a second thought.

I look to my fellow peers and wonder how people could be so indoctrinated with fear that they would gladly send thousands of people to their death in the name of a false sense of security. The passions in them soar to dazzling heights and any rational, factual conversation leads to a whirlwind of rants that always ends up with “Bomb the whole Middle East and be done with it”.

While I in absolutely no way agree with the attacks on Paris and Beirut or have any sympathy for the ones who carried out these vicious attacks there are things underneath the surface that desperately need to be addressed.

Firstly we as a society need address the monumental humanitarian crisis in Syria as the influx of refugees grows each passing day. These are people who have been given one of three options and they are:

1) Join the Syrian government who has slaughtered everyone not with them

2) Join ISIS who has slaughtered everyone not with them

3) Leave the country and head somewhere else

With these three options at hand I find it absolutely mind boggling that we are punishing these people for arriving in another country while toting that both options one and two are horrible. The vast majority of these people are NOT terrorists and the branding of them as such by a huge majority is sickening. It’s a kin to saying every Canadian is a serial killer or that every American competitively eats hot dogs. We are punishing the majority for the actions of minority and that needs to stop.

Secondly we need to address that even though someone is a terrorist now that doesn’t mean they were born with an AK47 in hand and a bomb strapped to their chest. People choose their paths in life partly due to the circumstances they are in and partly due to outside influences. While we can’t control all these factors in a country so far away we can stop adding fuel to the fire. ISIS’s biggest recruiting tool is propagations of allied aggressions such as bombings that “missed their target” and torture. If you had to watch everyone you know and loved be blown away because of an “opps” I’m positive that would alter your mental state in a dramatic and insane way.

Thirdly we need to stop with this ridiculously racist demeanor that has been oh so slowly engrained into our society. There is something VERY seriously wrong when a Canadian Sikh man can’t even post a bathroom selfie on the internet without it being altered to show him holding a Quran with a suicide vest. Despite the obvious flaws with the editing (Quarn’s don’t take pictures) it was published on numerous print magazines with titles such as “one of the terrorists” of the Paris bombings. When we can’t even express ourselves by taking a picture in the bathroom without horrible brandings of murderous rage we have problems so large you could fit the world’s ignorance into it.

 

If you take anything away from this let it be the following;

Our society is controlled by the will of the people and our collective voice makes us who we are. I personally don’t want to be judged by the future generations who will look at us in disgust and ask “How could you let that happen?! Why didn’t you do something?!”. Our racist fear mongering culture needs to come to an end or I truly fear our humanity will go the way of the dinosaurs. We’re already half way there, let’s not go any further

 

 

JSTRD

 

 

 

 

A Better World: Social Welfare

Today I began thinking about ways that the system is flawed and the most glaring topic that came to mind was the “Welfare” system. Not to say that I disagree with it as a whole but it’s implementation is deeply disturbing. Some of the issues I have seen are as follows;

1) There are numerous situations where those stay collecting a government cheque for years without any desire to find a job. The “Why work when you can get free money” mentality

2) Some are collecting welfare due to the fact that there stuck in limbo between that and disability. Not disabled enough currently to get disability but not well enough to work.

3) The lack of applicable programs that can force those to go out and retrain to get off the system. Programs like this currently exist in some regards but most just complete them as per there participation agreements with no desire to actually work. There is no consequences either for not obtaining employment

There are more issues that currently exist but these are the most glaring. They are complicated social issues but with a few implementations they could be fixed. Government intervention and reform is needed to better shape our society and those who are at the bottom of the social ladder.

The implementations that could miraculous change the system are as follows;

-Have term limits for the welfare system to avoid the “career” collector. Something in the effect of two years in any three year period.

-Have a multi-tiered/bridging system. This would work in effect by creating essentially four categories of ranging from welfare to permanent disability as follows.

-The first step would be basic welfare for single individuals or single non-custodial parents. The focus in this system would be to retrain the person in a high demand field of there choosing from a list of candidates. The flexibility of this would be in the essence of the person getting essentially “free” schooling (up to a maximum of $5000) and being forced off the system within three months of completion. Pay now to save money later mentality from a governmental point of view.

-The next tier would be single parents with custodial rights to small children. More discretionary benefits would be provided in terms of child care benefits. The flexibility of this would force parents on welfare to obtain at least part time employment within one year of application. This tier is meant to be a supplement as opposed to paying living costs entirely and would not be subject to term limits provided the receiver retained at least part time employment. The supplement would slow decease as the child got older and reached school age

-Welfare-Disability hybrid would be next. Think of this as a sort of “proving” ground before a disability application could be processed. More benefits in terms of medical/dental would be provided in the hopes of making the receiver work able without the headache of being stuck in limbo forever. There would be a one year limit for this and then moved to another tier or removed from the system entirely (for fraudulent claims).

-Last but not least disability. Not much would be changed to the actual system except that it would be considered permanent disability (not temporary) and the only way to actually apply would be from the Welfare-Disability hybrid. This would cut down on the numerous cases of those stuck in limbo or collecting disability for issues that aren’t considered permanent

In my opinion changes such as the ones listed would create a brand new society. These are some of the flaws in the system I see currently and welcome any suggestions/comments!

“You can judge a society by how they treat their weakest members”Ghandi