Reflections – the Existant http://theexistant.com the Assistant to your Existence Mon, 06 Aug 2018 10:44:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 http://theexistant.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-Logo_1484764201208-latest-1-100x100.png Reflections – the Existant http://theexistant.com 32 32 Why the World Desperately Needs International Law- The UN’s Responsibility to Humanity http://theexistant.com/why-the-world-desperately-needs-international-law-the-uns-responsibility-to-humanity/ http://theexistant.com/why-the-world-desperately-needs-international-law-the-uns-responsibility-to-humanity/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:20:04 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=37162 the Existant
Why the World Desperately Needs International Law- The UN’s Responsibility to Humanity

international law

  It is no surprise that a world full of such a variety of nations and cultures, beliefs and customs- a world so diverse- can be considered anarchy.   True, many of the distinct societies established as developed or developing countries around the world have detailed, explicit sets of laws and regulations that keep the […]

Why the World Desperately Needs International Law- The UN’s Responsibility to Humanity
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Why the World Desperately Needs International Law- The UN’s Responsibility to Humanity

international law

 

It is no surprise that a world full of such a variety of nations and cultures, beliefs and customs- a world so diverse- can be considered anarchy.

 

True, many of the distinct societies established as developed or developing countries around the world have detailed, explicit sets of laws and regulations that keep the nation’s functioning.

 

However, there are more than just a few places in the world where national powers lose their control over situations, and more than a few situations can escalate out of hand to the point where local national governments can do no more.

 

The United Nations, as an organization, tied to their responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves, to defend those in need of defense, and to create a system of checks of balances of safety and security across the globe.

 

In an area of mutual understanding and concession, state representatives gather and agree as well as disagree on the correct form of actions to take in specific scenarios- be it terrorist attacks, or humanitarian crises, or crimes against humanity, or development of underdeveloped nations.

 

The truth is, that the world is in desperate need of an international law wherein nations who are a part of the United Nations agree to answer to the plans and laws laid out collectively. Thankfully, there is an established International Criminal Court, known also as the ICC, where international crimes that surpass the hands of the powers of nation-states must answer to the group of judges in these courts.

 

However, it is the case where many countries do not agree upon the lines designated to outline the laws and the extent to which these laws can reach and control. And it is because of the vital differences in culture and beliefs that these disagreements arise.

 

Such complications are the root of the reason that individual nations take care of their own populations.

 

But what happens crimes against the basic building blocks of humanity are committed and unable to be controlled by the nation in which it occurs? What constitutes the boundaries of respecting state sovereignty, and the allowance of interference when states desire their independence of action and reactions?

 

The world is in desperate need- not of a general court system of laws that may lead to a dystopian world order- but a system, guidelines to deal with the most severe of the unconquerable crimes against humanity that take place around the globe day after day.

 

It is not up to the general public to come up with this sort of thing- but it is a food for thought in the direction of a better, more stable world.

 

In its sometimes fruitless efforts, the United Nations must come up with strict rules and violation consequences for the sake of humanity- rights of the human and rights of the Earth that must be agreed upon, ratified, sanctioned against, and established among each nation in existence on this planet.

 

Only with the base establishment of humanity, and consequences of violations thereof, can the world move forward towards the seemingly unattainable peace of everyone’s dreams.

 

In all hypothetical situations- peace is an abstract term out of reach. We cannot hope to understand what peace entails- let alone how to achieve such a state.

The only fruitful, possible effort that can exist is to use the resources of the UN as a peacekeeping agency and international organization, to move towards peace by eradicating and controlling the most inhumane, anti-peace, peace-threatening deeds and atrocities of all.

 

Why the World Desperately Needs International Law- The UN’s Responsibility to Humanity
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The KKK and America: What the Future of Our Country Holds http://theexistant.com/the-kkk-and-america-what-the-future-of-our-country-holds/ http://theexistant.com/the-kkk-and-america-what-the-future-of-our-country-holds/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:09:44 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=37142 the Existant
The KKK and America: What the Future of Our Country Holds

KKK

The seemingly eroded ranks of white nationalism have gone there and back again. What does this mean for our country’s future?

The KKK and America: What the Future of Our Country Holds
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The KKK and America: What the Future of Our Country Holds

KKK

 

One of the longest standing movements throughout history has been the superiority complex.

 

Sounds like an interesting statement- but the fact of the matter is that the question of race, genetic superiority, and skin color has lasted throughout centuries as the leading factor in divisions, in ranks, in pride- all over the world.

 

At times it feels as though the people of the labeled “lesser colors” are the ones enabling such a concept, taking the leftovers and holding their hands above their lowered heads, begging for honor yet diminishing it in the face of the powerful white.

 

But the truth is, that whether there are enablers or disablers, or if the standing movements such as Black Lives Matter and those standing for the rights of all faiths- especially Muslims- are even working- it is a state of concern in an age where we consider ourselves the most advanced.

 

Consider the Civil Rights movement not too long ago- the  United States seemed to have moved light-years ahead in fighting for the rights of those of all color, of the African Americans who lost all culture and sense of homeland in actions furthered by the superiority of the white man.

 

And then there is imperialism- where the white man’s burden was to enlighten the people in deep Africa, in South Asia, to bring them a better “civilization” which they themselves were the only ones enlightened with.

 

Which brings to a manner of questioning- if a society or group of people is to consider themselves so advanced, to what advancement is the comparison of color?

 

The people of true advancement and education, of liberation and all things that are decent- the inner core is the true matter of consideration. It is one’s character, what one is made of that defines their place in the world.

 

Then, what is the point for arguing on behalf on a color that one does not choose? One chooses their actions, their words, their character, the way they carry themselves in the world, that is the true matter of substance.

 

When organizations such as the Klu Klux Klan decide to resurface in a world where a Black man had the honor to be the President of the free world, how then do we define the meaning of advancement?

 

Is it in the equalization of color, blinding ourselves to differences? Is it accepting the differences and appreciating the variety of God’s mankind- all the while valuing what makes every person unique yet at the same time, equally valuable?

 

Or is it the white pin-headed KKK members, burning torches against those who stand for equality, fighting on the fact that their blue eyes and blond hair are infinitely more valuable than the inner value of a man.

 

Look at the world around you- is there a need to list the instances of backwardness? Beyond the simple fact of the KKK and their rallies and place in the Trump regime- there are the persecution of the police force, the stares and slurs and hate crimes against Muslims, the snarls and anger for all those that do not fit the “white” category.

 

Are we then not back in the dark ages, in the age of imperialism, of the Heart of Darkness looking into our own advanced nation and seeing those not white, as to be savages?

Or is it, in truth, the white man’s burden that was the deep heart of Africa- the heart of darkness in truth- the true savagery and backwardness?

 

Looking forward, we must take into consideration, through every action of our every day.

 

Do we wish to look forward to a future of tomorrow? Or to relive the sins of our past?

 

The answer and option is in our hands, and it is up to us to raise our generations, strengthen our youth, teach tolerance and understanding- if we do not wish to move backward and lose all the hope and advancement we believe we have come close to achieving.

 

 

The KKK and America: What the Future of Our Country Holds
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Precious Knots- A Reflection On Attachments http://theexistant.com/precious-knots-a-reflection-on-attachments/ http://theexistant.com/precious-knots-a-reflection-on-attachments/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:53:40 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=640 the Existant
Precious Knots- A Reflection On Attachments

attachment, goodbye

What does it mean to say goodbye? Where lies the root of our attachments?

Precious Knots- A Reflection On Attachments
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Precious Knots- A Reflection On Attachments

attachment, goodbye

 

What does it mean to say goodbye?

 

Our goodbyes are said when partying, when moving from one situation to another. We say goodbye when leaving home, when leaving school or work, when shutting the phone, when walking away.

 

At times, our goodbyes are much more long term-tears welling, hands trembling, body shaking, indistinct muttering. Closing a door, boarding an airplane, driving away. Packing up. Receiving a diploma. Shutting a coffin.

 

Moving on.

 

That’s what our many “goodbyes” are all about.

 

As humans, we are made to be able to adjust, to adapt. When you adapt to something, you spend a lot of time in that situation. When you adapt to someone, you tend to get emotionally attached.

 

Once emotionally attached to something with a knot so strong and tight, it’s hard to open that knot and find another rope to tie yourself to. Your rope would already be stretched from so much

pulling, and might find it hard to tie itself in a tight enough knot again.

 

Besides, what if you end up having to open, or even pull apart- the next knot as painfully as the previous one?

 

We are forever stuck in this process of tying and pulling and stretching our ropes until we might feel as if our ropes might just lose all their strands- never to be tied again.

 

What if we were to stop tying knots entirely? We wouldn’t be able to do that, however many introverts there are out there, and all people out there for that matter, are indeed humans,

and have that special ability to adapt.

 

Which of course, leads to attachment.

 

99.99% of the time.

 

A person can be attached to anything if they find comfort in it. A hobby, a habit, a person, a place, a ritual, a routine, or even an idea. In fact- a person having to let go of an idea they strongly believe in is said to go through the most trauma.

 

So, if it is so hard to say goodbye why must we go through the trouble, and always end up saying goodbye?

 

This life is a test, this life is the house of deception, and although some things may seem favorable over others, and some knots you may wish to tie seem extremely desirable- everything in this world is temporary.

 

And here is where we come back to having to move on. Like seasons change, like people grow and change in personality, like the way a butterfly emerges from the cocoon so intricately different from a caterpillar, our world is struck on and on with examples of change.

 

We must change, be it the end of a school year, moving to a new house, moving to a new country, or having to part from someone very near and dear, we have to change.

 

This life is temporary, and we too, we will have to move on to our next life, which has no change and has utter perfection. Where we look for perfection in the knots of this world, we will never find.

 

But in the hereafter, every pulled apart and queasy knot we have tied in this world-in a rightful manner- will be renewed like fresh fruit to never rot, filled with all of its sweetness.

 

We must realize that the solution is not within the knots. We can be puzzled about the pain of goodbye forever, scratching our heads and trying out goodbyes and flipping our situations this way and that.

 

What we may never do- sadly- is to look within ourselves. In reality, there lies the answer.

 

We have to realize that the solution to our painful goodbyes is within ourselves, in our perfect creation molded to excellency by the hands of Allah Almighty himself. We have the power within ourselves to choose our knots, and what we do with them.

 

Do we tie our knots very tight?

 

Do we stay away from certain knots that may hurt us?

 

Or do we just be patient and realize that this is a part of our test?

 

The power of choice is instilled within us. We can choose to tie knots with whatever and whomever we please. Truth be told, any pain caused is only the effect of our previous actions, and is a test for us.

 

It might have been that the knot was tied on a wrongful basis- like upon money, status, or physical appearances.

 

It might even be that as per circumstance, the knot was made at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or even that we became much too attached to something that is not eternal, upon something temporary.

 

If it is too painful to open a knot- we can do the one simple thing we never even think of doing and simply overlook. We can leave our knot as it is never to let go.

 

Yes- it sounds crazy, insane even- how on Earth are we supposed to keep tied knots that cannot be? What if we must move on? What if we must change?

 

Like a person values their memory, our heart thrives on our knots. Imagine a person who just had long term memory loss. How does it feel to be robbed of what you have rightfully earned- a lifetime full of memories that were yours and yours only?

 

Like this, our heart is driven mad- no matter how strong we pretend to be- by the opening of a knot. It practically opens up the heart. Yet, despite the morbid fact we think to be a fact that we just cannot keep all of our knots, we have to open our eyes and see that we can. Anything is possible.

 

And this is not the “anything” that is similar to pigs flying. This is something that if we do it, we can stop heartache, sadness, and depression almost instantly.

 

We can keep all of our ropes tied forever and beyond if we only learn to be patient and make ourselves strong, keeping in mind that this world is temporary at all times.

 

We can keep our ropes intertwined if never let go our grips on sanity and true human values like respect, care, thoughtfulness, patience, trustworthiness, truthfulness. If we open our every single knotour heart will be robbed.

 

Think again of the person with long term memory loss- and the thought of being robbed of every last memory. Our knots are what make up our memories. Our relationships, habits, ideas, anything we are strongly attached to, will always be a part of us. There is no need to rip apart our hearts. If we work for it- and if we wish it strongly enough- every part of our pasts- every knot will always be a part of us. If you wish to let go of an undesirable knot, it would be easy to let go of it. But those knots that are too difficult to throw away, we have the choice to keep. Granted, this world is temporary, and we should not have tied the knots so tight in the first place. But if the deed has been done and if we wish it strongly enough- our knots will always be alive.

 

Like memories, our knots will always be a part of us no matter what may happen, no matter if we must move on. Our goodbyes can be said, but not without the intention that this person, this thing, this situation we are saying goodbye to, will always be a part of us. Even if we change in this world, as it is a natural thing to do- we can mold our knots to our situations.

 

As us humans readily change, our knots never do.

 

True, as a person progresses, something one was once attached to may not be as important, but it will always be there, be the memory vivid or distant. Our attachments, our knots, will always be there, and aid us in our memories. Some memories fade away. Some knots fade away. But they are what make us, and these goodbyes are just a step from one stage, from one change to another.

 

Not a “goodbye”, as an end. But as a means to the final change into the hereafter, where we will be forever unchanged, our knots refreshed and clear, fresh, and new.

 

And now- with all of this into perspective- I ask you- what is the true meaning of saying goodbye?

 

To many people, yes, it can mean many things.

 

But if someone chooses to resist pain, and to keep their goodbyes merely as a transition and not an end, there is a pretty simple meaning to goodbye.

 

Goodbye is just a means of temporary parting. If you think about it, no goodbye is said without the intention of returning to that favorable situation again- even if it is for a short while, even if the person knows it is quite impossible to return to that situation. In our hearts, we will always have our knots with us, and we will never have to rip apart knots with painful goodbyes any longer.

 

True, we should not become too attached in the first place. But as in human nature, it is only natural for us to become attached.

 

Even the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cried when he left Makkah, and when his 9 month old son had passed away.

 

Changing our knots, molding them to our changes, yet keeping them alive in the heart.

 

This is the true meaning of goodbye.

 

There is no ending in this world, not even in the next, just transition. And nothing can be thrown away, left behind, or left to die. If you wish it to be, everything; along with your knots and your memories; can stay very much alive, forever and ever.

 

When the Prophet left Makkah and migrated to Madina, his knot with Makkah was always strong. Allah allowed him to even go back, even if it was for a short while. The Prophet (pbuh) always loved Makkah, his home, and always will. He never let his knot break.

 

And the Prophet (pbuh) himself knew that although his tiny little son is in the heavens, one day he will be with him once more bi’idhnillah.

 

In my life, I have seen many people move on. People graduating, people moving away, people getting married, people changing for the better or for the worse, people slipping away and not being as close to you as they may have been before.

I used to feel pain that my knots have been untied and have been left to gush out and just keep gushing with every opened knot.

 

But what I learned is that even if people and situations changed, our memories and the knots we once had, will always be there.

 

There is no need for goodbye, because one day, if we are deserving enough, we will be reunited in Heaven under the grace of God, ever Merciful and Kind.

 

And I learned the lesson that although this world is temporary, and anything we become attached to will not always be the same, and that one day, if we work for it hard enough, we will have the hereafter that is eternal, never failing, never ending, never causing pain.

 

I sit back and think sometimes, staring at my best friend, my family, thinking of my loving parents and grandparents, my loved ones, my home sweet home.

 

I sit here, staring at my dear best friend, wondering how much time we have, wondering if breaking the knot would ease the pain, or to rather cherish every moment I have- pain regardless.

 

I sit here, tears gripping my eyes, wondering if tying a knot with anyone; be it with my parents, siblings, or friends, my significant other half; in the first place was even worth it.

 

But we already know the answer to that.

 

And if we truly work for it- we’ll have Heaven in our hands and our knots, tight, strong, and light to bear, spread across our shoulders like beautiful wings for the rest of eternity.

 

 

Precious Knots- A Reflection On Attachments
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The Truth About Regret http://theexistant.com/the-truth-about-regret/ http://theexistant.com/the-truth-about-regret/#respond Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:19:05 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=611 the Existant
The Truth About Regret

Regret

The truth about regret is quite opposite to what we expect it to be- it is more than just negative emotion. It is the gateway to the future

The Truth About Regret
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The Truth About Regret

Regret

 

Let me tell you a story of regret.

 

In a fit of emotion, I have said things that at the time were the epitome of what I was feeling. My words reflected my state of mind right there and then.

 

I yelled, I became upset, my words flew out of my mouth without filter. It wasn’t until after all had boiled down and I, retreated to my room with anger and frustration, instantly felt another negative emotion, a feeling of dread.

 

This dread was different from what I initially felt that caused me to be angry. What I felt now, without even thinking about my actions, was regret.

 

Sounds like a pretty generic story, doesn’t it? Regret plays out when we do or say something, oftentimes completely consciously and in the heat of the moment, and after the fact, sometimes sooner and sometimes later, we regret it.

 

You see, the truth about regret, is that it plays many parts in our lives. It can come when we least expect it, when we make a decision and are simply so sure that this is the right decision to make. Sometimes, we regret doing something while we are doing it, but outside factors push us toward it.

 

This is all very theoretical, and there are thousands upon thousands of actual examples that can constitute what regret really is.

 

Underneath all circumstantial details, there are some truths to the regret that we feel that we must come to terms with, and that we cannot avoid.

 

 

  • A moral compass

For one, our regret represents that we actually feel bad for something. It indicates our moral compass is working. We only regret something that we know was wrong. Being able to distinguish right from wrong is the critical root of all regret- and is by far the most positive way of thinking about it as well.

 

There has to be light to be able to recognize the dark. Regret is the first step to redemption and truth.

 

 

  • What we value

Our regret also shines light on what matters to us and what doesn’t. The less we regret something, the less value is in the person we may have wronged or hurt, or the moral misdeed we have engaged in.

 

Which is to say, to feel little to no regret about wronging oneself is an indicator of a lack of self value- and an important warning sign that one should start caring about themselves. We must learn to value ourselves before we can value anyone else.

 

 

  • Unavoidable, constant change

Regret shows change, it shows that we are in a different place than we were way the time of committing an action. Although change is not always a good thing, it is not always a bad thing either.

 

Regardless of its good or bad, change is inevitable. Regret will happen undoubtedly with change- our values may change, the people who mean something to us may change. We all change as people, and regret is part of the package.

 

 

  • Intention matters

For those who feel regretful of actions in the face of God, and the determination of our deeds for entry into heaven or hell in the afterlife- or simply for someone who likes to keep a clean slate and be moral- it is important to remember that intention matters.

 

People are wired to make mistakes, we are imperfect. If we were perfect, we would never even try to aspire a better world, a better afterlife. WE would work hard for nothing, and that would defeat the purpose of our lives.

 

In a way, regret and directly from it, our mistakes and negative actiosn keep us humble and remind us of what really matters. We never get too full of ourselves for being good, and we balance our future actions along our regret.

 

We constantly strive to be better, and our hearts remain clean and constantly striving for good. We cannot have good hearts simple because we do good.

We have good hearts and good intentions, if we can identify the wrong, and strive actively on a daily basis to stay away from our mistakes. How can we ever be better people if we never knew the bitterness of being lesser?

 

 

  • Focus on what you CAN change

Another important thing we need to remember to keep us from wallowing in regret- is knowing that nothing can change the past. We can only change what we think of the past- even if sometimes we cant change how we feel about the past.

 

Because in truth, this is life. Regret is not something that can be avoided, we as human beings are constantly moving forward, and to never feel regret is to never move forward.

 

So, the next time you feel ultimately regretful for any decision or thought or action- no matter the size of the regrettable deed on the spectrum of small and unimportant to large and life-changing, remember that there is nothing you can do to change it.

 

Rather than taking our regret in a negative light, we can learn from it. It sounds cliché for sure, but clichés are often rooted in truth.

 

We can take our regret and examine it all we wish. We can even regret the fact that we feel regret. But in the end, we have to remember that to move forward in life and to be better with each passing day, we are bound to regret some, if not many, of the things that we leave behind.

 

And rather than allowing regret to be a feeling that keeps you from moving forward, we have to learn to use our regret as a motivator to success, as a means to be better than what we regret. To be better than we once were.

 

To regret things means that we desire for more than we once were. And rather than simply desiring and moping, we have to take action. Take a look at what you regret, and see just how you can change your future actions to ensure you do not repeat the same mistake again.

 

Prove to yourself that you are different. Make an effort to not only be different, but to be better. Our every instance of regret is one of those huge billboards shaped in an arrow- showing us the way forward. In a way, it is a shortcut to finding out how to move past the past and into the future that we dream of.

 

Your dreams can become reality. You just have to examine every aprt of yourself to get there- and the truth about regret is that it is an essential part of the journey to your destination.

 

The truth about regret, in the end, is that it is essential to life. Regret is not a nice emotion to feel, but the fruits that come from it, the future that takes flight from its seed, is something we could never even hope to attain otherwise.

 

 

 

The Truth About Regret
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United Airlines Dragging Off Passengers- What This Says About The Company’s Values And The Industry http://theexistant.com/united-airlines-dragging-off-passengers-what-this-says-about-the-companys-values-and-the-industry/ http://theexistant.com/united-airlines-dragging-off-passengers-what-this-says-about-the-companys-values-and-the-industry/#respond Fri, 14 Apr 2017 05:26:12 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=595 the Existant
United Airlines Dragging Off Passengers- What This Says About The Company’s Values And The Industry

united airlines

We all know what happened. But what does this truly say about United Airlines- and the industry’s mentality?

United Airlines Dragging Off Passengers- What This Says About The Company’s Values And The Industry
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United Airlines Dragging Off Passengers- What This Says About The Company’s Values And The Industry

united airlines

 

An insane amount of news we see on our Facebook newsfeed nowadays revolve around viral sensations and crazy instances that are not normally covered by the media.

 

One of the more recent news, that almost every news outlet online has covered in quite a large depth, is the news about United Airlines and their debacle of dragging a passenger (more than one I believe?) off their airplane.

 

Given this piece of news is nothing new- and is most definitely very fresh in our minds as a horrific act of injustice, there is a need to step back and see what this act actually represents in the values of not only the company at present, but the large majority of industries that customers have become enslaved to.

 

Rather than discuss what actually happened  which in simple terms is a man being chosen to be forcefully dragged off an overbooked flight by security officers when refusing to comply with the demand to leave the plane- let’s take a look at the inherent fallacies and values that contribute to such actions.

 

Admittedly, such deeds seem horrendous to our sensible morality of the world, and what is right and wrong. But with such actions becoming more and more common in what I like to call The Trump Era  where unfair treatment and profiling have practically become authorized, such things have become almost normal to our ears.

 

united airlines

 

Videos were posted on Twitter by surrounding passengers of the man being dragged off by security officers by force, and the outcry and protest of the man being dragged being completely ignored. Sounds inhumane, doesn’t it?

 

Naturally, no matter how horrendous an act, there comes a time when things occur so often that almost no one takes a second glance.

 

Taking a step back, here are a few things we can say about the root of such viral news, and possibly a reflection on the values that United Airlines might be trying to run with:

 

 

 

  • The Customer is ALWAYS right? Not anymore

united airlines

 

In our free-market economy, to keep businesses booming, it is the standard to consider the customer as always being right.

 

In an essence, the company will retain its business if the customer is happy. The company needs the customer to survive, and must convince the customer why they need their services.

 

This sounds largely economical, but hear me out. It is definitely a two-way street, and the customer to some degree or extent has to be interested in the product or service to pursue it.

 

But in the large majority of cases where there is competition- or other airlines to be exact- the company needs to convince the customer as to why they should continue supporting them, and using their services.

 

The entitlement displayed by such an action; dragging a person off a flight, shows that yes, in that moment that person needed to be on that flight. But in the future, he (and several thousand others!) can easily turn to someone else in the market.

 

Companies are now valuing their own selves more than their customers. With this type of mentality, there can be fraudulent practices, mistreatment of customers, and a lack of honesty in the good or service provided.

 

If a company believes their customer needs them, and not the other way around, it is a one way ticket to entitlement, and in the end, possible bankruptcy and loss of value for their good or service.

 

 

 

  • Power at play

 united airlines

Similar to the reversal of who needs who, this also puts in the hands of the company and industry in general, a sense that they are in power, and they can do whatever they want.

 

This can have dangerous impacts on not only the customers- who have the option to opt out of the service- but employees of various ranks.

 

When a company believes that they are in firm power, they will do anything to keep that power. (Hint: even apologize when their stocks are dropping).

 

It may sound like I am turning the screw a little too hard to drive the point home, but this point is crucial. Devaluing the service being provided to a customer population almost directly means a complete drop in the quality- and in this case, the humanity- of a company’s practice.

On another scale, it can be said that the silent, unspeaking audience who went through the effort to videotape the escapade but not put an end to it, reverberates a sense of solidarity in the immorality of these values- a lack of honesty or value of others.

 

They will stick to their rules blindly, the system is in power- human lives not as important in this power play.

 

 

 

  • Money talks?

    united airlines

It easy to say that the process of literally and quite inhumanely dragging a person off of an airplane is inhumane. It is another to take another step back and think about what kind of mentality brought about such a situation in the first place.

 

How did the United Airlines flight become overbooked in the first place, that they had to resort to dragging a random person off a plane?

 

Money.

 

We have all heard the saying that money talks- and in multi-billion dollar industries, every penny counts. Or every ticket brought by every passenger.

 

It is easy said and done that they did not value the customer enough to try and appease him- to the extent of causing injury and putting him in harms way.

 

It is another thing to look at the more recently surfacing news about multiple people being ejected from overbooked flights from United Airlines in the recent past- stories that never reached sensationalism because the customers were compliant.

 

All of these instances, this pattern of ejections come from overbooking. I am confident that it is not their lack of managerial skills or ability to know when a flight is overbooked- but a lust for every passenger and ticket to make it on the plane.

 

They might not have purposely overbooked the flight-it would be interesting to examine that if they in fact did- but they may have been reckless and careless.

 

In essence, they were trying to make more money from more customers than they had room for- speaking far more deeply to the devaluation of customer’s happiness in the providing of services.

 

 

 

  • Who is at fault? Is there a solution to this inhumanity?

united airlines

After really examining such situations in a reflective, philosophical, and even economical root, it is really interesting to wonder who can be blamed in the end, or whether there are preventative strategies, or a cure and solution.

 

Sure, a prevention taken by the customer will be to never fly United again. A preventative strategy by the airline and industry will be to never do such a thing again- or at least never to this extent and more likely with compliant passengers.

 

But then, this mindset will manifest in more than one place, one way or another, in one other place or another.

 

In the end, it is something that every person has to play their part to eradicate. There is a loss of value for all things good, a loss of value for not only the customer ot the power play of industry, but a (very broadly understood) lack of humanity in the treatment of fellow human beings.

 

It takes one glance at news headlines to know that this is true all across the board.

 

Rather than attempting prevention, the one step each and every person can try their best to make, is to stand against such actions, and never be complicit to inhumanity in whatever way possible in their daily lives.

 

Whether it is United Airlines or some other company basking in its own glory, there will be plenty of opportunities for the common man to do a common act of good, and speak to whatever ounce of humanity is left in the world.

 

True, this is a small incidence in a world of countless horrors and devastating events.

 

But it is the responsibility of every human being to speak to the humane side of existence, no matter the situation at hand that they have the ability to impact.

 

Be it large scale or small scale, every heart matters. Every action counts.

 

 

 

United Airlines Dragging Off Passengers- What This Says About The Company’s Values And The Industry
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This Is How You Are Putting Shackles On Your Own Dreams http://theexistant.com/this-is-how-you-are-putting-shackles-on-your-own-dreams/ http://theexistant.com/this-is-how-you-are-putting-shackles-on-your-own-dreams/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:00:57 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=560 the Existant
This Is How You Are Putting Shackles On Your Own Dreams

dreams, success, achievement

A story on how my dreams chained themselves

This Is How You Are Putting Shackles On Your Own Dreams
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This Is How You Are Putting Shackles On Your Own Dreams

dreams, success, achievement

I am not here to tell you that your dreams are shackled- that is for you yourself to decide.

Instead, I am going to tell you a story.

My story, actually. Of my own shackles to my own dreams, and how realizing them was the first step forward.

 

  • My story begins with words.

dreams, success, achievement

You must think I am crazy- words? Don’t all stories begin with words? Aren’t all means of communication just that- words?

 

Here is a little secret about how words began my life. No, it is not from my first words. It is not the voice of my mother or father, it is

 

It is the words that I carved out for my dreams. I was a dreamer, I was an achiever. I was a list maker. And in this list-making I sought solace, I sought a plan I could latch my heart onto- a goal. Lists of subgoals and dreams and steps towards my dreams.

 

Which was nothing of a surprise, I might say. I always saw myself as someone who aims high.

 

From a very young age, I was an overachieving little mackerel. I always placed my progress and achievement on the highest pedestal, putting anything and everything below just how good I needed to do.

 

I know not who to blame- my parents for their constant pushing. But who could blame them, I was an impassioned young girl with large dreams and larger talents, and it always seemed like nothing could stop me.

 

That, is where my dreams began.

 

 

 

  • When I first met the shackles

dreams, success, achievement

One day, I started to compare myself to others, I saw what others were doing and slowly, steadily, I zoomed out of my own achievements. Whatever success I had, no matter what anyone told me or complimented me on, it was nothing to me because I myself felt inadequate, I myself felt like I was not doing enough.

 

The bar was set almost too high for me too reach, and I knew not how to climb down. But I was laying upside down in an awkward vantage point now, feeling below no matter how high I climbed.

 

And that, my friends, is how my shackles came into being.

 

I began to notice a pattern, but I shoved it away as I continued in my downward spiral to nothingness. Nothing made sense to me- nothing even mattered except that I had lost all my potential, all shoved under the sand and washed away on a quiet Sunday ocean tide.

 

My thoughts would break in twos and threes and I would be sitting on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night with tears in my eyes clutching my mind- of course I wasn’t clutching my mind it was my head. But it sure felt like my mind, with the intensity of thought, the overflow of emotions.

 

I had dreams, I wanted dreams. Why couldn’t I see them clearly anymore? Why had I given up so early?

 

It hit me one day- when someone dear to me told me time and time again, that I am my own person. That my achievements are mine, that every person is going through a struggle, that no social media life is real. I knew all these things, I heard this over and over again but it never quite stuck with me until one day I sat down and gave myself The Talk.

 

 

 

  • The Talk

dreams, success, achievement

This exact Talk right here.

 

I finally figured out what was preventing me from achieving my dreams.

 

Interestingly, it wasn’t that I did not want to, or that I did not have the motivation.

 

I actually felt unaccomplished. And at age 21, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to most.

 

But being the perfectionist that I was, I had much bigger plans for where I would have liked to been, the goals I would have wanted to reach by now. Knowing I was not there yet was an extreme struggle.

 

I knew I had my whole life ahead of me, but for some reason this nagging feeling of un-accomplishment prevented me from taking any steps forward.

 

Rather than motivating me to move forward, it too me two steps backwards.

 

With the social media raging on with the lives of others, no matter how many times we remind myself that whatever we see of people’s lives on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat is a lie, a life just waiting to be uncovered.

 

That smiling couple always posing for picutres? There is a change this portrayal of happiness is all they’ve got.

 

That girl always hanging out with people looking gorgeous in her selfies? Chances are she is lonely and unhappy, and she gets a high out of the addiction to getting likes to validate her self-worth.

 

 

 

  • The problem?

dreams, success, achievement

Nodding your head in disbelief?

 

Hear me out.

 

This is much, much deeper than the simple jealous-factor. Most of us are beyond that.

 

What the core of the matter is, in truth, is a self-checking mechanism that happens naturally, to ensure we are on the path to our destination.

 

The problem?

 

We check ourselves against things that are not just that- ourselves.

 

Don’t get me wrong, it is important to see how others are fairing to motivate yourself- no doubt.

 

But what we do subconsciously to shackle our dreams and take them hostage, is to literally take a pair of handcuffs and tie our dreams to what we once thought they would be, and to what others think they will be.

 

Never mind where we stand today and where others do. We are always taking one step forward, we are always learning, experiencing, growing. Our thoughts themselves are forms of experience that educate us, whether we like it or not.

 

We are constantly changing. Everyone is always changing in this roller-coaster ride called life, Every aspect of every thing is always changing. Our outlook, our position in the timeline of life and the universe, our relation to others, our mental ideas and moods and God knows what else- everything else.

 

It is only natural that our dreams change to- and that doesn’t mean dissatisfaction must come along for the ride.

 

 

 

  • The invaluable life lesson

dreams, success, achievement

What I went through may not have included tying my happiness into projecting a fake life. But ir sure did take what I saw of others’ lives, and placed my happiness in the hands of an impossible dream.

 

I had dreams of greatness, of success, of achievement. Not of fame or money, but of identity, of worth, of purpose, of meaning. I wanted to live a life that meant something for people, I wanted to stand for causes and do things that mattered.

 

I constantly placed my happiness in this state of never being, looking at what I had not done, what I could have done. Inadvertently, I stamped my future as hopeless.

 

Even now, I look to my future with uncertainty. But now that I know that my life is not theirs to take, I also firmly believe that there is much more in store for a young 21 year old like me.

 

My struggle is not different from so many others. But it is worth telling, because it is a struggle that blinds us unless someone is brave enough to call it out when they see it.

 

I know now that life may not go the way I expected it to go. My achievements may not be exactly what I dreamed them to be. I may not achieve exactly what I charted to achieve. I have achieved, I have taken steps forward. I am not the same person I was before. I am moving forward.

 

 

 

  • Maybe…

Photo credit: photographed by Pressfoto on Freepik.com

Maybe, what actually reaches for us is what achievement is truly defined by.

 

Maybe, these dreams cannot be defined by other’s lives- let alone other’s fake lives that are framed to us on silver platters on Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat. I am my own person.

 

Maybe, our dreams are not what we dream them to be, but what feel like heaven when we reach them.

 

I am still on the process of figuring it out for myself.

 

Just write, I tell myself. Keep making those lists. It don’t matter if most, or even all of it is crossed off tomorrow. Even if I cross it all of the very next minute. I am achieving my dreams as I write each and every list because I am moving forward.

 

Write your experiences, close your eyes and let the stars and pixie dust merge and form ideas and words on a page that will inspire others.

 

Tell yourself, as I tell myself. I matter, my thoughts are important. My dreams are important, no matter how fleeting, how changing.

 

My words will one day matter.

 

My ideas will one day inspire millions.

 

And so will yours, if you set your mind free of its shackles.

 

 

 

This Is How You Are Putting Shackles On Your Own Dreams
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This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better http://theexistant.com/this-is-how-pursuing-an-english-major-changed-my-life-for-the-better/ http://theexistant.com/this-is-how-pursuing-an-english-major-changed-my-life-for-the-better/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 06:49:16 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=526 the Existant
This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better

English major

I was always told that the English Major has no benefit to offer. When I embarked on this journey through English Lit, my life changed- for the better.

This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better
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This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better

English major

There are many things in life that shape us, that change us.

 

It can be experiences of loss, of success, of achievement, of failure. Sometimes, life thrusts its difficulties on us and makes us who we are. Sometimes, our choices make or break us.

 

I am proud to say that one of the most defining experiences that shaped not only my life, but my outlook for the rest of my life was my almost instinctive and thoughtless choice of the English major.

 

My story is not unlike many other college students struggling to find their way and to find success, and the actions that took me to that destination

 

But here’s the thing:

 

My story is not about action alone, per se. Nor is it about reaching the destination.

 

My story is about thought, about the mind. How the mind changed my course, adjusted my sails. And just how powerful the mind is in changing our lives, our vantage points. Not the destination in itself, but the roads we choose on the way to the destination.

 

My story is about how important it is to know how we choose to perceive the world and take every itty-bitty step towards our destinations, whatever those destinations may be.

 

 

How My Journey Started

english major

 

I started off my college career as any student might- confused and uncertain.

 

My life was not something that I took as seriously as one straight out of college looking for a job. All that mattered to me was that I somehow figure out something that I can make a living out of, something that I would enjoy.

 

It seems almost a no-brainer that I would end up as an English major. I was always the top of my class in English. I loved reading and writing, and not in the way that the majority of students said they did. I got thrills and rushes from writing, writing essays and formulating analyses and understandings of texts in-depth gave me this rush of passion.

 

It was as if the makings of the English major ran through my core.

 

Interestingly, the last thing I expected was to turn to the English department, and it was a long time before I took that route.

 

But when I did, it flipped my world around with a total 180.

 

Starting off as a freshman, and before that throughout my high school years, I always felt impassioned about becoming something, becoming someone who could make a difference. I realized from a very young age that I did not want my life to be focused on mainstreaming into a system of jobs and careers that would just pay me to live until I died.

 

I wanted to do something that would matter.

 

So, as any teenager, I explored careers. I thought about law, environmental science, medicine. I was smart. I worked hard. I knew I could achieve anything that I wanted to.

 

It was then I decided I wanted to go into education. And so, with my decision under my belt and my passion driving me forward, I enrolled in my local community college with a full scholarship and began working toward an Associate of Arts in Education.

 

I took all my needed classes, I did my observation hours, I became the secretary and eventually the President of a prominent student organization on campus.

 

In my first two years of college, I basically went with the flow and did what I needed to in order to transfer. I had a balance of subjects so it did not ever really bother me to focus on any one subject in particular. I took two math classes, two sciences, two English classes, two histories.

 

I prided myself in my holistic approach- even though I knew that the university I was transferring to did not have education as a major and I would eventually have to choose a major of focus before applying to the university’s graduate school for education certification.

 

Most people who transferred to my university- Rutgers University New Brunswick- for a teaching certification usually focused on a Psychology major. I always thought I would either choose Math or English just for the sake of dual certification in a subject matter for all grades, and special education, and then either math or English- whatever I would end up choosing.

 

 

The Instinctive Choice

english major

 

It was when I came to Rutgers and was faced with the decision, I took what was instinctive to me.

 

I filled my entire first semester with the prerequisite courses for the English major- and with less than two years before graduation, I stuck to that plan almost mindlessly, unaware until my last semester just what impact the English major was having on my mind and heart.

 

I always thought in the back of my mind that just getting a teaching certification and just, becoming a teacher in a single classroom wouldn’t be my scope of leadership. I had the utmost honor and respect for teachers and the impact they have on society, but I wanted to do something different. I wasn’t quite sure yet, maybe I would pursue a masters degree focusing on education policy or theory, prepare myself for research projects or curriculum development or a board of education job.

 

Whatever it was, I wanted to have a positive impact on the world and leave my mark, and it wasn’t until I was fully immersed in my coursework in Rutgers at university level that it dawned on me.

 

I chose the English major not because I understood what it was, never mind that I had no idea how it would change and expand my mind. All I knew was that I loved to read and write, and that I thought I could impact the world with it.

 

I also thought it would be a good idea to major in English and get a dual certification. But it wasn’t until I experienced it truly that my mind flipped in ways I could have never imagined.

 

 

What is an English Major, anyways?

english major

 

Before I tell you what I discovered, let me do a little defining for you.

 

You see, there are a lot of people out there who do not understand what exactly the English major does or offers- even I was confused at times, to be very honest- so don’t feel embarrassed I you were just like I was a couple of months ago.

 

Most people assume that an English major teaches grammar, or the English language. It is rare that people understand that we are taught to read and write and think through literature and within its critical contexts, let alone the outreaching goals that it achieves in thinking skills beyond those of the outright goals of every English department out there.

 

Each university will have a different outline of requirements, but for the most part, it will revolve around the same ideas.

 

  • Here are some snippets of English Department goals and mission statements from different universities-

 

  • “…every English class is rooted in the challenges and pleasures of reading, writing, and thinking…The English major is designed to cultivate both historical understanding and critical skills.” – Rutgers University English Department

 

 

  • The English Literature Major offers students the opportunity for a focused and comprehensive study of literature written in the English language. The English Literature Major engages students in the range of approaches to literary study that now characterize the field: the historical study of national traditions, literary theory, the study of texts in cultural context, genre studies, and the critical analysis of representations of identity, especially in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. It builds onto the existing English Major a series of requirements that ensure students’ greater immersion in literature, and it foregrounds research.” -University of New Hampshire

 

  • “With courses in literature, linguistics, creative writing, rhetoric, and writingEnglish studiesoffers diverse gateways into the study of language. You’ll develop advanced skills in writing, reading, interpreting, and understanding the cultural place and importance of a wide variety of texts.”– Ball State University

 

 

It is interesting, after exploring the English major and experiencing it on my own, to look back on these mission statements see what university English departments have to say of the major.

 

 

How the English Major Changed MY Life

english major

 

My English classes covered information in all of the above areas. I was exposed to literature in the English language across time periods, from people of all backgrounds and nationalities, of people with different opinions and identities.

 

I was taught not only to read these texts thoughtfully, but also to think about them through different lenses of theory. I was asked to put on idealized hats, to understand texts through different contexts.

 

I saw what I was reading from different vantage points. I was able to entertain thoughts without accepting them as my own. We would not only look at characters and analyze their place in the story, we would analyze intent.

 

Once our minds were opened with the tools set through literary theory, there were endless questions we could ask to lead us to accessing the worlds and dimensions of understanding within ever piece of writing.

 

Some questions I find myself asking subconsciously now include:

  • What is the author’s intent?
  • What is the narrator’s intent?
  • What does that say about them as a people?
  • What does that say about the subjectivities of this time period?
  • How does that play into political issues of the time?
  • How did the author speak for a certain crowd, or against another?
  • How did the author express his or her own personal struggles and identity, and highlight core issues that are now discussed centuries later with his or her writing as a lens?

 

Ultimately, how can I project these ideas that I have and that I receive from these texts, onto my own belief of myself?

 

It was amazing how just the mere practice of such a skill as reading and writing with the proper theoretical mindset could open your mind to such levels of thinking- and that too, subconsciously as a natural skill, no longer needing effort.

 

In a way, the skills of analysis and deep reading I learned from my extensive English classes taught me more about life than any of my math or science classes ever could have.

 

I was allowed to be subjective, I was allowed to be myself, I was allowed to have multiple selves through people who are no longer alive.

 

I was allowed to look at a piece of text as one would look at a piece of art.

 

I was enabled and trained to look at life- as it is in all its intricacies, as a work of art. People, places, things, ideas. Myself and others, myself and others as a whole, myself and others as separate entities. Possibilties of existence, things that do exist, things that do not exist. Is it not all just that- life? And is not life itself the most intricate work of art?

 

Nevermind my writing skills and analytical skills, these are skills that anyone can have going into any major, and can be easily honed by the regularity of reading and writing in this major.

 

What the English Major truly did for me- how it really changed my life was that it changed my world view.

 

I had Chaucer by my side when I look at religious atrocities happening around me. I had Woolf’s diaries giving me solace when I was awake at night, figuring out what each star in the sky means to me. I was able to analyze the way people acted through the deep readings of the characters of Wilde, of Morrison.

 

Endless authors and their artful shaping of characters and worlds within their texts opened up my mind to see the world beyond the words and actions of everyday life.

 

Some may render this extensiveness of thought as overthinking. What I consider it  to be, is enlightenment.

 

I guess you could say I finally knew how to think. It was as if my mind was finally opened- by opening and accessing the minds of others. And as I could finally look at the world with an open mind, I had no more qualms of where I was going or how.

 

I just knew that I would find my way through the intricacies of every step towards my destination.

 

I realized that I did not need a teaching certification, nor did I need to spend endless years at a university to gain a degree as a license to knowledge, to get a “job” or career to simply stay alive.

 

I wanted to impact the world – all I needed now was to utilize this skill of critical thinking, of expression, of writing, of understanding. Of reaching out to the world and leaving my mark, as so many others did before me even if just through thought and theory.

 

I learned how to think, I learned how to know and understand. And with this tool, almost any path that I chose could impact the world with the new lens I had on my eyes. Or rather, the lack of a veil preventing me from properly seeing. There was no need anymore to limit myself to any field or track, there were endless possibilities.

 

Once the mind is open, there is no holding back, no limits as to how I could impact the world with a new-found enlightenment. There was nothing I could set my mind to without succeeding.

 

My destination was to impact the world. Granted, there were many ways to do so. But the path I stumbled upon through my subconscious passions was the most beneficial to the long-term goal and its quality and success in the end.

 

I finally knew how I wanted to impact the world in the purest, most authentic way.

 

My “college degrees” would not define me- the skills they provided me, the mind and thinking skills I now developed, would chart my future goals.

 

My success was not where I had been, but the uncharted lands I had the potential to traverse with my mind’s tool belt rearing to go.

 

All because I finally learned how to think. And that infinitely folded depth gave me a vantage point from the stars- to infinity and beyond.

 

 

This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better
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