SELF IMPORTANCE: WHY WE USE THE WORD INTELLECTUAL SO LOOSELY TODAY

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“I think therefore I am.”


We live in a society today where there is so much self-importance. Everyone feels Image result for galileo galileithat they are unique enough for everyone to get to know. It’s the main reason why social media is such a big medium. You’re taking pictures of yourself, to posting comments, and even sitting around waiting for likes. But too often we hear people refer to themselves as geniuses. The self-importance has gotten so high, we are coining ourselves terms that normally we give to people; not people giving to themselves. A person does something or says something, and we say, “Wow, that persons’ a genius. ” Now we have so many people, especially public figures who consider themselves geniuses. And I am very skeptical of people calling themselves intelligent geniuses.

See, in my opinion, intellectualism is a broad spectrum of knowledge covering Related imagemany topics in which aptitude is higher than most or the majority. Now, on the other hand, being smart to means having a degree of knowledge on a given topic. So yes, you can be smart, yet lack intelligence. For example, we have some smart celebrities, but Stephen Hawking is intelligent. And as the topic pertains to myself, I pride myself on being smart. Even though I have an IQ that is much higher than the average. For those that don’t know, the average IQ is 110, and mine falls between 160-170. But if you ask me, I still feel more smart than intelligent. But what is it about people today that make them think they’re intellectuals? And to me, it has a lot to do with hype.

We give people kudos for so much that we inadvertently contribute to the flatting up of people’s egos. They start to think that they are geniuses instead of contributing their work to luck, talent, and hard work. Now don’t get me wrong, we have had some pretty smart people to have done a lot before their time. But note Related imagethat they did not call themselves intelligent. Then again, intellect is a broad term which can take on so many meanings. Musicians, painters, sculptures, scientist, and writers have all fallen under this umbrella of intellectual. And for the more monumental artist, the term genius applies. And who would I be referring to when speaking of their cognitive abilities?

I am talking about men like Beethoven, Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Galileo Galilei. I am referencing these men because the level at which they were able to perform their craft. The amount of knowledge they possessed at the time in which they worked was astounding. Today, we might look at what have done in context of what we know about science today as insightful. But for the time period, they were a whole other level above just insightful. So in the end, we must not confuse the words smart and intellectual; bright and genius. One is knowing and understanding a certain subject matter, and the other is an all encompassing understanding of multiple genres of study.


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MINDLESS MINDFRAME: HOW LEAVING YOUR SMALL TOWN MAY BE FOR THE BEST

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“When you think big and they think small.”


Do you come from a small city or town? Are the people where this place exist carry a certain mind frame that causes you to disconnect from them? Me myself, I come from one of these type of places. The city is a place you probably never heard of, and a population of only 78,000 people. A lot of the younger generation continues to still move away. And the population is still continuing to fall as time progress. Well, why is that? Why are the people leaving this seemingly quiet town. Well, first and foremost, the jobs have left. What was once a thriving Midwest manufacturing city has been reduced to vacant factory buildings. But another reason is because of the thought process of the people.

You probably ask, what makes it tough to live in some of these types of places. For starters, people have a hard time seeing past their current situation. To them, this is it, and there is nothing past this. And not just in a negative I am a failure way. But also in a manner where whatever is the well-known organization to work for, people flock to it like it’s working for Goldman Sachs. People walk around like this place to work for is the greatest and if you can’t get a job here, you must not be worth hiring. It’s like, “I’m a supervisor over at this place.” It’s about levels, as with anywhere else in society. Yet the level is not a real level. They are sharks in a pond, but when but in a bigger city, they become clown fish in the ocean. But what is another reason to leave your small city/town?

Another is how people look at the world as it pertains to the social landscape. I was walking down the street here in New York City, and a guy had on a baseball cap. The logo was of the Confederate Flag, and in addition he sported some sunglasses. And judging by the way he was carrying himself, he thought he was making a statement. Almost as if he wanted to say, “All these others are afraid to express themselves.” “But I’m going to be me in this overly liberal environment.” And sense the language is so sensitive, he thought people would react. Because he probably watched protest in NYC on television and figured he’d express himself. Yet no one told him on a daily basis that no one pays much attention to you. But his lack of knowledge made him look like a loser in his hat. Because he just watched TV like Fox News or CNN, and that’s how he based his perception of a liberal city.

Other reasons you have to make moves from these places is because few people have a sense of vision. People look at you and say, “No one from this small town is doing that.” And if you attempt, people will try to bring you down so you have to leave. They will be afraid of your progress surpassing them. And they think they know you because whatever family you came from as well. Kind of like, “Oh, that’s so and so’s kid.” “I been knowing his family, they up to no good, he must be as well.” So you have to go to a city where no one knows or think they know your family. This way you can start from scratch and represent yourself. And in the end, that’s the just of moving. There is a mind frame that people define as comfortable, which keeps them from growing and you as well if you stay. But lastly, don’t move elsewhere thinking your life will change. Because you have to think different yourself.


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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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CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM VS. OPINIONATED CONVERSATION: HOW TO GIVE ONE AND NOT THE OTHER

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“Know when you’re helping, know when you’re not.”


I love when someone brings insightfulness to me regarding something I am working on that could make my work better. Some bit of advice that I can take and run with toward the success that I want out of life. But there is a far cry between constructive criticism and someone giving some empty opinionated reason why they don’t like something you have done. There are skill that come with providing people with knowledge that is constructive. Meaning when you criticize, make sure you have a legitimate idea to make something better. Don’t just say I don’t like it. Otherwise, not only are you not helping, but you might make the situation worse.

Now, remember before I said there is a skill that comes with giving criticism. There is a way to approach telling someone that their idea is no good without telling them it’s no good. But remember also I said that you should provide a way to make it better. Meaning, let’s say you’re running a fast food restaurant, and you get two criticisms. The first person says the food sucked, and they had an awful time. This is not good enough insight into the restaurant. Then the other person say that my steak was not all the way cooked when I wanted it well done, and when I expressed my grievances the customer service showed little to no interest in aiding me. You see, one criticism is more direct than the other.

Now, here is another aspect of the criticism that is tricky to notice. There are people who will give you in depth criticism, yet it starts to play in the arena of petty. And these are the knick-picky people who will find any reasons to kill and idea. For example, they will do things like pick a word from a written piece of your material. Then they’re give a long drawn out excuse as to how you used the word in the wrong context. They’ll write this in a passive aggressive manner to undermine your accomplishments. Or, they’ll use big words that not even they use on a daily basis just to make themselves appear knowledgeable. So people can read with adulation, like, “Wow, they sure do have a base of vocabulary.

But, as I said earlier, there need to be a way to make things better. Even if you are a critic, you should have your criticism. But make sure to imply that it would have been great if  they would have done blank. Then you leave the possibility of the person reading and gaining some insight for the next time they are working on a project. People who don’t provide a way, even if the criticism is constructive, can quickly find themselves in the empty rhetoric category that is opinionated commentary. Learn to decipher between those that want to see you do better and those that could care less.

In the end, there are people who will always have something to say about your work. Whether it’s constructive or not, they’ll have something. And you just have to learn that it comes with the territory. Not everyone is going to like what you do. Some it’s about taste and preference and others it has to do with not liking you and your work. Whatever the case, believe in your own work and keep pushing forward. Yet, once you allow it to stifle your growth, then you have lost the fight.


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UNLOCKING TALENTS: EVERYONE HAS THEM YET FEW UTILIZE THEM

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“Why most of us will miss the opportunity.”


When we are all born, it’s hard to gauge what we’re going to be as adults. But nonetheless, I think we all have something that we are born with that makes us not only us, but could make us successful. Unlocking this means having some level of self-awareness. When you become self-aware, then you’re able to unlock this inner talent. In addition to unlocking this inner talent, one must also work at this talent to define greatness. So why don’t we have more people who are able to become successful in life? Better yet, why are so many people unable to tap into this inner talent that we possess? And to me, a lot of it has to with fears.

That’s right fears! I know we always hear the same thing over and over again. You work hard, but what does that really mean? You can work 10 hours a day, 7 days per week, for years and not attain what you work toward. To me, what is for you is for you. You shouldn’t pursue the dream, but the reality instead. Meaning just because we want to do something does not mean it is for us. It may not be that inner talent you possess. And most people are wired to conform out of fear; fear of failure is major and fear of letting others down. We don’t want to try something, fall and not be able to get back up. So we live in a trance in our daily lives until we die. Hoping something will happen, a stroke of luck that will set us free.

But the fears are so detrimental because if actually pursued what you were meant to do, it could actually create a positive externality in society. For example, you want so dearly to be an actress, but you are a wiz at science. You could go on to become the Meryl Streep of physicians. Who knows, it could formulate into a Nobel Prize for Science. But we become afraid, or disinterested in that thing that resonates with us. You have people who become school teachers who are better litigators, or engineers who could be the next Vincent van Gogh. Missing the opportunity to unlock that talent is of great tragedy.

It’s a tragedy because people look at the top people in their field or another field and say, “How did you do it?” As if you’re this special human on Earth. The reality is they unlocked their talent because they are self-aware. It’s hard to describe because it is a non-verbal oh, ok moment. What do I mean by non-verbal oh ok. Meaning, something will happen in life that you will come in contact with, and you go, “Oh,” or you say to yourself, “Oh, ok, this is what this is.” It’s how your brain processes information. Once you realize how your brain processes information, you will become more self-aware. Then your thing, or talent will unlock on it’s own. Then people will say, “How did you do that?” It will be hard to described. You will want to explain, but it becomes difficult because unlocking that thing can be natural. Natural occurrences can be tough to explain at times how to perform.

In the end, talents are something all people in life possess. Yet so many miss their window to capitalize. For a lot of people it’s fear of pursuing out of failure or letting down others. But when you waste your talent you let down more people than if you don’t pursue. You let down a potential generation that could take a cue from you and build from there. But then there are the people who never unlock their inner knowledge. They spend their entire lives not knowing themselves. So they are unable to succeed in life and ultimately die not knowing and not going anywhere.


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GUILTY: BLACKNESS ON TRIAL

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“Are you Black enough?” “And what does that mean?”

Stop acting White. You’re not Black enough. You’re a sell out. These are a few of the statements you hear growing up in the Black urban community. But why, why is it that deciding to live your life in a certain manner brings your ethnicity into question? Is it at all possible to act like another group? And if it is, then how do act Chinese, Russian, Indian, Spaniard, or Egyptian? The reason why the previous sentence sounds ridiculous is because it’s not possible to act an ethnicity. That is a constraint that is placed on you in America between Black and White People. Well then, why do we say it?

For starters saying you’re acting a certain group is an ignorant statement to make once we breakdown what that means. Let’s assume I say you’re acting White. Then you say, what am I doing that would constitute me to act White? And when you listen to the response, it generally is from a place of ignorance. But not only ignorance, the reply is usually a dangerous statement. You say to yourself, why is that dangerous to say? For one, it implies that you are appropriating the cultural norm which exist in another ethnic group, which means you must reject your own. False, you can be proud of who you are and express admiration for another groups culture.

Another reason why saying you’re acting like an ethnic group is dangerous is because typically when Black children are told this, it most certainly means you’re doing something positive. Whether it’s reading a book while everyone else part take in fun or speaking with a clear English vernacular rather than slang. Children will grow to think that being Black equates to ignorance which leads to negative views on ones’ self as well as lowered expectations. How and when did this change? And what I mean by how and when because Black people have not always had this in our community.

Being a Black intellectual was celebrated throughout history. But somewhere along the historical timeline, it became popular to exuberate low cognitive abilities. Let’s try to backtrack in time to where this approximately happened. I would say coming from the 1970’s into the 1980’s is when there was a major shift. Poverty during this time was on the rise and narcotics were taking hold. Single parent homes were the norm and gang violence was rapidly spreading. Eventually all of this found it’s way into our pop culture.

And once something becomes mainstream, that’s it. And it’s not because of mainstream alone, but the economics behind the entertainment. Meaning, once young males and females saw the profitability through entertainment such as rap/hip hop music they acknowledged an out. Everybody wanted to be rappers; dress like rappers, talk like rappers, and act like rappers. These men became so influential, you could say they were on par with civil rights leaders of the 1950’s and 1960’s as far as their influence. This was an aspect of the decline in expectations. But what else, entertainment is powerful, but not as strong to cause the shift of low expectations in the community today.

The biggest shift was the lack of quality education in inner city schools throughout the recent decades. On top of poor education, you have students dealing with hardships of poverty, and some even victims of abuse at home. All of this was a recipe for disaster as things worsened, so did the expectations. Now you have a smart Black child being called out for his or her intellect simply because someone or the entire class lack quality knowledge that he or she does. So what takes the place of knowledge when knowledge diminishes; valuables, that’s what.

Black people have been accused of not assimilating into society. But we have, we are a fully economic base. Meaning America is a capitalistic society based around goods and services. Blacks are in full swing where we spend nearly more money than any group of people in America. As a matter of fact we are worth roughly $2 – $3 trillion per year to the America economy. That means if we were a country (Black People), we would be somewhere between 4th and the 7th of the top ten wealthiest nations on earth. So with all that money why such poor education. Well because we have assimilated into this system of economy, that’s the problem. But why are we fully economic.

The reason being, when you grow up poor, it’s hard enough being poor now you look poor. And to top it off, your school environment is poor. So dressing in the latest fashion distracts everyone from your impoverished situation. Now, some economist might go America still benefits. But others will say, if we could get more of this group to come up through the financial ranks, then more money is pumped into the economy, the better America will do. But it starts with education, which brings me back to blackness. Blackness can’t continue to be reached and defined by means of ignorance. A people bereft of knowledge effects us all because we all now take on the financial impact due to the lack of quality education in the environment. But more knowledge, equals more people in the know. More people in the know means elevating yourself. Through elevation comes finances, and from finances comes prosperity. Ultimately, we all seek to benefit being that we share this country.

SEX: Tell Or Someone Will

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“Better you than their friends.”

Why do parents insist on not being up front with their children regarding sex? They act as if they don’t converse about it, maybe their children won’t lose their virginity. Since when has that ever worked. As a parent our job is to talk to your children. The only problem today is that you have to talk to your child at even a younger age than previous generations. As a matter of fact, past generations didn’t even entertain the idea of their child having sex. I guess the more time progress, the more open we become.

But, there are still so many parents that don’t talk. We’ve all grown up or have been the person who goes, “I can’t talk to my parents about sex.” “They would lose it if I asked a question about sex.” Well, what about the emotions that still run deep. Males and females still have emotions as they come through puberty. You would think parents could connect, being they were adolescence. On the other hand, that may be a reason that parents can’t talk. They think back to when they were young. The thoughts that went through minds and the emotions in their hearts.

Yet, this actually is a more logical reason to have a discussion. How can you not teach your kid the realities of life? “Well, if I tell them, I am almost promoting it.” “I am in a way opening the door for them to engage.” These are the responses from parents as to why they can;t have the conversation. On the other hand, let’s say you’re right, talking to them anyways would lower the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). People with less education about STD’s are more likely to get and STD.

Well a more conservative parent says, “That’s why you wait until you’re married.” “Sex is for marriage, so you can’t get an STD when you’re married.” WRONG! As a matter of fact, married men and women have been diagnosed and continue to get diagnosed today and treated for STD’s. Well, isn’t marriage suppose to protect you from an STD. No, and the reason being is that if you never talk about sex, how do you bring up your significant others’ sexual history? Your parents didn’t talk, you never talked, now you don’t talk to your spouse.

So as you can see, having these type of conversations are very important. Especially if their friends are already talking to them. The friends will give them the misleading information which can lead to far more serious outcomes. Because they are going to find out, rather you tell them or not. It’s going to come from the person who brought them into this world. Or they are going to get outside advice. Which in turn you better hope that information is something they can grab hold on to.