Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Summary and Reflection on Gilbert's Talk

           Dan Gilbert in the speech, "The Surprising Science of Happiness" explains that our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong. He claims, "In our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.". According to Gilbert, our psychological immune system helps us change our views of the world to make our world better. We are happy when we get what we want to satisfy ourselves, which prevents us from being happy. When we are trapped, we make the decision that we end up with. Not a second choice/option. Most of us tend to stick with something that has no choices/options. Sometimes when we're given with a choice, we tend to like it more because we grow to like it. We also wouldn't have doubt in our mind because we made the choice to keep the decision. When we aren't trapped, we would overthink and yearn for more than we should have. Therefore, our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong.
          I firmly agree that when we aren't given an option, we will be more happier with our decision/choice. For example, If I had two paintings and would have to give the other away and keep the other, I would be trapped. I would probably love my painting even more since I wouldn't have to worry about the other painting. But if I had two paintings and had the option to exchange my painting for the other within five days if I didn't like it, then I wouldn't be trapped. I would most likely find reasons to persuade myself that the other painting is better than the one I chose. In conclusion, I concur that when you are trapped, you will most likely become a happier individual.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happiness.

                  Happiness? What comes to mind when you think about happiness? People may say that food is their happiness. They say that technology, and temporary moments like seeing a band gave them a feeling of happiness. I say, happiness is something that soothes your heart and soul. Almost like a warm feeling inside, a warmth of pleasure. But what is the difference between the state of being happy and true happiness? I am not sure. 
          When you are happy, does that mean that you are truly happy? No one can possibly be sure. When there is happiness, along comes sorrow. Sorrow is an unhappy, despair that fills you mentally. It puts you in the state of misery. When there is something positive, there will always be a negative. When there is good, there is bad. When there is health, there is sickness. So when there is happiness, then there is sadness. 
         You can almost compare it with life and death. One day, you will have a child and they would be the most gracious and precious individual that you have created. You watch them grow up and deal with a crisis at some point in their lives. As there parent, you should support them and be there for them when times get rough. A connection starts forming the moment when they are born which then turns into an unbreakable bond. As they start to become older and mature, you start to become older as your life force starts to wither away. They start to be concerned for your health as they start to realize that you are dying. As you are dying, you are understanding that when you pass away, you won't be able to touch them, tell them you love them, create more memories, or even speak to them again. Your happiness begins to fade away. Sorrow begins to set in and take most people's mentality. Once you pass away, ask yourself a question. In setting your happiness on an individual, what benefits did you sustain? What did you benefit towards your happiness as an individual? No one can possibly be sure what the true meaning of happiness truly is. When there is happiness, there is sorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dear J.K. Rowling,

Dear J.K. Rowling,

       I am so pleased to be writing to my most favorite author. Your stories give me great joy and warms my heart with excitement. When I was eight years old, my father put on a film called, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". Although it wasn't the first movie in the series, it gave me a feeling of delight as I watched the characters grow to love and trust each other. As the movie ceased to an end, I asked my dad, "Is that all?". He replied, "Of course not! There are more Harry Potter movies because an author named J.K. Rowling created a series of books to read which were also turned into films.". Since then I started reading and watching movies/books. According to my imaginative mindset, the Wizarding World is a safe but dangerous place, like Earth. The characters have a story behind them which traps people to read more. Harry Potter is a boy that survived the Dark Lords tragic ways but lost his mother and father in the process. He began to live with his relatives that did anything but treat him like family. They treated him like a house slave, having him obey to their every need. They didn't celebrate his birthday or talk to him about his parents. Harry Potter could have been depressed but as you can see throughout the series, Harry Potter is a very strong character. He was a broken character with a strong heart and mind. He had friends, Ron and Hermoine, that loved him for who he was. They weren't cheap friends but they were rich. Hogwarts was a family he never had. Dumbledore was like a father as he guided him and assisted him. Sirius Black was the closest to family that Harry had as a godfather. When Black's life was snatched by his own cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, Harry felt moved by his death and so was I. I hoped Sirius would come back and join forces with Harry to defeat Voldemort but he never did. When I was 10, I Waited for my letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but I knew it would come but I hoped. Knowing Harry Potter and You as an author, has created a form of courage that is inexplicable but exists. I'm reading your new book, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" and I am very grateful for another story after NINE Years. The books are splendid as well as the films. I am thankful that you exist and created a new world for everyone to visit. I will forever be a fan in your heart. I Love You!

Thank You and Happy Holidays.

A Fellow Reader and Watcher,

Maria C. Williams

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Stereotypes/Misperceptions

"The Facts"

Ever since I was young, I had always been stereotyped. My completion reveals a smooth milk chocolate with a hint of caramel on my inner arms. "Black". Although its true that I'm "Black", I am also Nigerian, and Native American. Most people wouldn't care to ask me which other ethnicity's I have inherited, but that's less information for the cops and that doesn't bother me. I am African but that doesn't mean that my people starve and speak in a "knocking" sound. We eat, sleep, have an education, and struggle at times just like an American. In Nigeria, we have a language called Igbo not the sound you make when you knock on the door. Another issue that people would question is my name. My name is Maria and somehow someone always has something to say about my name. People say that its a Mexican name and then they would ask if I'm Mexican. If you don't know the history of the name "Maria", let me inform you because it's not a "Mexican name".  "Maria" is the Latin form of the Greek word "Μαρια". "Maria" is used in many European languages, Germany, Poland, Italy, some parts of Africa, Japan... basically, it's not just a "Mexican name". The name "Maria" might be known to Mexicans but many cultures use the name. My Dad's Mom or Grandma had the name "Maria" so my Dad passed it on to me. My Mom also said that the name "Maria" had also been used in her Nigerian family. So last time I checked, it was the name my Father and Mother gave me. Oh and if I say that I like to play soccer, do not tell me that its a Mexican sport because It was originated in England/Central American and records trace it back to Ancient China. So don't bash on me about a sport that you don't even know the facts about. Do not tell me or anyone the basketball is a sport that only black people play when it's well diverse. Same goes for all sports. There is no "Black", "White", "Asian", "Indian" or any ethnicity attached to a subject or sport. We are human and we need to face it.



Friday, October 21, 2016

Are You Aware That Someone Has It WORSE Than You Do?

Are you aware that someone has it worse than you do?
                       
           "Mom, Why did you give me only $10? I wanted $15!"
                                   "Dad I don't want to finish my dinner. Just eat it or throw it away" 
                                                      "I wish we lived in a BIGGER House"

This is a topic most people aren't aware about.  

Hi, My name is Maria. I was born into a "beautiful" world of black and white. Respect had been given to other in other ways others can't relate. Growing up from age 0-6, I had 2 brothers and 2 parents and we lived happily in a 2 bedroom apartment. I didn't really know much about the world as much as I knew the street I lived on. 48th street. My mother would babysit children and my father was a retired veteran. In the morning, we would eat one serving of food because we would have to manage our food until the next paycheck. When my mother wasn't babysitting, she would attend city college. She was studying to become a medical nurse (in which now she achieved). My father would attend college as well and care for us. We weren't the richest family then but we were very rich. Sometimes, our car would break down so we would have to walk and take the bus until the car was fixed about a week or two later. I would have to take a shower with my little brother and I or my mother because it saved money on our bill. My brother's and I would share a room while my parents shared the other. In our room, we had a bunk bed, spare mattress, a mini TV, a small window that was way to tall for any of us to reach, and a closet. I slept on the top bunk, while my younger brother slept on the bottom bunk. My little brother slept on the floor on the spare mattress. In the morning, we would slide it under the bunk bed so we could roam around our small but convenient I would wear some of my brothers hand-me-downs because we had to share clothes until we can buy more. Don't get me wrong, I did own feminine clothing. Just masculine overruled feminine and my older brother was the first born. I hate being the middle child, no benefits there. In the evening we would ride our bikes in the driveway and in the street. Most days, we would be in daycare so it was a fun day. In the evening we would eat dinner, wash the dishes, and clean up the great apartment. Then we would watch a movie but I would prefer watching "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Afterwards, My mom would play Nigerian music and she would tell us to go to sleep around 7 pm.  8 pm on weekends and if we're lucky, then we would sleep at 9 pm. There are more events that occurred when I was younger but I'm not even sure if you're still reading.

If you are still reading, then read a couple things my mother went through as a child.

My mother was born and raised in Owerri, Nigeria located in West Africa. She would have to wake up early make food for her siblings and do chores in her compound. If she needed water, she would have to walk to the stream and back home with water. Who cares if its fresh, water is water. When she had go to school, she would have to walk miles with her 7 siblings and back home each and everyday. Her family were very supportive of the community and would give to the community what they would desperately need, even if they were in need themselves. My mom said that even though times could be tough, it was fun. I remember my mother telling me that they would shave their heads sometimes because it was a process to manage. It wasn't just her family that would go through things, MANY people faced problems as well. They were very rich in family.

I'm leaving most things out because this was my life and my family's.

I'm going to leave a quote from a booked I loved as a kid titled "Esperanza Rising":
"I am poor, but I am rich. I have my children, I have a garden with roses, and I have my faith and the memories of those who have gone before me. What more is there?"
- Pam Munoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
                                                                                                                                                       102116

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Considering Conformity

"Conformity"?
Well conformity is a type of social influence that requires a demand for a change in judgment or behavior to fit into a group.
        We have all felt the need to fit in and become suitable for a group. Group pressures. Leaders in most groups tend to feel that they have an authority over those that choose to follow his/her ways. If you think you are a leader, Sweetie, You ain't no damn role model.
        See, the difference between a role model and those who think that they are an aspiring role model to others is that a real role model will teach you to accept yourself, love yourself and your body, and sets an outstanding example for others. If you can't at least see yourself as a positive influence towards a mass audience(people/kids/teens), then you aren't a true role model yet. If you choose to pick negative influence over people and constantly drag them down, tease others, harass others, bully, mistake plastic surgery for beauty, etc., then I'm afraid that you would be the leader that has a negative influence over others that don't know they are getting corrupted by....you.
       Speaking of plastic surgery, If you choose to feel the need to adjust your body to feel great about yourself then go ahead. I'm not bashing on people that want to make amends to their own body. Its your body, do as you like. However, You don't need "one hundred thousand dollars for some compliments" ("Mrs. Potato Head" by Melanie Martinez). I hope it doesn't get to to point where "a new face come with a warranty"(Yes, it was another Melanie Martinez reference).
       Anyhow, most of use have felt the need to change our attitude/behavior, clothing style, hair style, our taste in certain topics, friends, slang, food choices, etc. just to fit in with a group of people. What I'm trying to explain is th-......... Who are you? I don't need to know who you are, but I want you to ask yourself that. Have you ever tried to change your unique personality, for the sake in impressing others? Well, Have you?
If you answered "no" to this question then you are lying. Everyone has. Its almost the same reason why you say and act a certain way to your friends. Have you ever acted really nice in front of your teachers and have a completely different attitude in front of your peers? I heard a "yes". This is my personal words that I have chose to input into this blog. Do I choose to write the same way as everyone else or do I find myself and write in my own mindset? Whatever the reason, I do not change myself for the benefits of anyone else. I benefit myself.
      Do You?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Learning By Imitation.

Imitation.
[im-i-tey-shuh-n].
noun.
1. A result or product of imitating.
2. The act of imitating.
3. A counterfeit; copy.
synonyms: copy, reproduction, replica.

We all imitate.

           Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky taught me how to do the most perfect backstrokes in swim. Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles taught me how to tumble off the beam and stick a solid landing in gymnastics. Lionel Messi taught me how to improve my footwork in soccer and score glorious points for our team. Ohh It gets realistic. Cinderella taught me that if I lose one heel at the ball when the clock strikes midnight, I would have a man by the next evening and then get married under 24 hours. Amazing! I don't need craigslist after all. If I sneak out of my palace and roam the streets of my city, I would end up falling in love with a local thief rather than looking up hot men on Eharmony.com. Thanks a lot Jasmine. Or remember when Ariel chooses to lose her voice and leave her family to go to the surface and fall in love with a man that doesn't even know her? I remember! Regardless if you choose to live my Disney or not, I won't judge you. I'm just very concerned.
     
We all imitate.

         When we get into arguments that are filled with fury, we can act like Helen from the movie "Diary of a mad Black Women" by Tyler Perry. When we fight, we can do some special martial art moves like Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee. I hope you don't act like the caller that was sending the babysitter horrifying calls from "When a stranger calls". When we're with friends or family, some of us have played games such as cops and robbers. Do you see what the game resembles? In life, we all act like ourselves but sometimes we can act more like our role models. Our role models can shape us and add some spice in our personalities. A role model can be either negative or positive. We choose our own path and who we should imitate. No matter what we do, we all have different personalities that I hope are positive. Just remember, anyone can imitate you. It is up to you to be looked upon as good or bad. How do you see yourself?

To be imitated, or not to be?