On Your Own: When A Mentor Fails You

nightwing

Dick Grayson as Nightwing*

What is your favorite super hero? Mine? Nightwing. Granted I adore the ladies, but Nightwing has something very interesting in him. He was the first teen sidekick, a character for the kids reading the books to identify more than the adult Batman. Their relationship, and yes all the debates about the nature of it, has been key to their story even now. Dick Grayson was not just Bruce Wayne’s ward, he was also his student. It became a part of their characters until modern day, the latest game featuring them even has an upgrade for Nightwing called “Scary Mentor”. Through thick and thin they are tied to one another thanks to that mentorship. Why the mini comic book history class? Well, one of the reasons he is my favorite is because he did the unthinkable, he not only pointed out the faults of the great superhero who mentored him, he eventually breaks away from him. He let’s go of “Robin” and becomes his own man, Nightwing. A new storyline developed, that of a young man suddenly realizing that the man he had looked up to was no longer on an unreachable pedestal. This is why he is my favorite.
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Generation Gap: Fighting A Loosing Battle?

My mom and her toy piano on the left. me with my cousin's Nerf gun and Barbies on the right.

My mom and her toy piano on the left. me with my cousin’s Nerf gun and Barbies on the right.

     I live in an interesting country, I like to define it as a “Second World” country. See, we seem better than some “Third World” ones in many aspects, but not near the “First World” ones. And then there are the specific problems that are material for another post at another time. But recently, and by this I mean more or less the time that is usually given to define the millennial generation, we have worked harder at trying to be part of the glitzy “First World”, even as we watch it have problems just as bad or worse than ours. And this has brought some interesting changes in the relations between parents and their young adult children.

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You Know You Want It: Creating Preventive Consciousness

I Want I Want I Want

I Want I Want I Want by ATIS547, on Flickr

We live in a world that professes we should indulge in our wants but only responsibly and of course consciously.  After all we are in a worldwide recession and we can’t go around just wasting what little we have. So you know what you can do? Well create consciousness of course! And what better way to save than to create it in those who still have not had the chance to over indulge to make sure they don’t fall on the trap right? Make someone who has still not even been able to even reach the possibility of luxury feel it’s wrong to even want it.

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Payel: Working the flow

From 20somethings in 2013

20somethings Blog

252249_10200583278737512_1827789306_nThis post was written by Payel, a 19-year-old who is studying fashion:

Coming from India, a country with a past so rich the present is nothing but a decaying dream, it is a tough time for the youth to survive. Especially with the rupee’s value sinking even lower the past week, economy is at an all time low; no wonder the parents of this country do not really preach “follow the dream” slogan to their kids — it’s more about the security of the present and the future.

And thus, the kids are laden with second-hand dreams of being doctors, engineers, government officials, or high post holding MNC workers. Anything less, and you are branded lost.

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Today is your day! As for tomorrow…

Teens

Teens by rebeccadru, on Flickr

There are days in our calendars that stand out as celebrations of specific things. For one day everyone talks about this and discusses the day and at the end of it pat themselves in the back for having been so in tune and open to new things. Of course the day after rolls around and not much if anything has changed. A few days ago we had two such days: Women’s Equality day and the remembrance of the March on Washington. Our calendar reminded us that we should celebrate and think of those who struggled, like the civil rights activist that marched for future generations or the suffragettes who fought for their daughters. Without them we would not have the advances we have today! Or do we?

Atlanta Immigrants' Rights Rally, May 1, 2010

Atlanta Immigrants’ Rights Rally, May 1, 2010 by aymanfadel, on Flickr

Call me a cynic but a lot of things have stayed the same, they just got a new coat of paint to distract from the rotting wood. Yes, legislative measures are pushed so no one will be discriminated against because of race, gender, sexuality or religion. It’s all very prettily set out in the Bill of Rights. But we all know how laws are followed. And we all know of loop holes. You were not paid because you were a woman but because you didn’t do a job as well. You didn’t get the job not because you are black but because the other guy is more qualified. You didn’t get fired because you are gay they just needed to cut down on costs. Most people will never admit a choice is made because of a prejudice.

People gathered in Orlando, to press the Department of Justice to investigate civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

People gathered in Orlando, to press the Department of Justice to investigate civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. by ~Rich Johnson~, on Flickr

The problem is a lot of times they are there and whether we like it or not we all have them. Open minded people are prejudiced against those who seem closed-minded. And the same works the other way around. Sometimes it’s subtle, I work in a store that caters to an audience most see as almost all if not purely male. I have had customers ask me if one of the guys are not around. It wouldn’t bother me if they had asked the question and I said I didn’t know about that specific product. But it does when I say I can help and the assumption is I wont know because how could a chick know? It’s a small incident yes, but that’s the thing, these happen all the time. Such as when something is called “So gay!” to mean it in a negative way. Why is gay, a word that can be traced back to meaning happy and positive, suddenly become an insult? Or let’s all admit at some point you clutched your bag or cell phone or other possession a bit harder when that odd-looking (read dangerous) kid got on the bus. Nine out of ten times it will be a black teen. The list could go on and on the little things that are such a part of our society many times we don’t even notice.

Women's Rights Rally 4-28-12

Women’s Rights Rally 4-28-12 by keithreed01, on Flickr

The little things fall through the cracks the rest of the year when we don’t celebrate something. Maybe we should apply the Mad Hatter’s logic to this, why limit this to one day? The suffragettes did not march to have one day where we celebrate women, the civil rights activist did not march for a day to remember either. And yeah sure we have the “______ Month” but still, it’s a month out of 12, in black histories case the shortest. No, they, and those of us who keep up their fight do it for equality and that means every day. So let’s really remember them and make every day remembrance day of all those who have fought and said no so we can have a better life and make sure those that come after us don’t need to be reminded once a year you need to be decent to your fellow human beings.

 

No fear, or why you can’t live life looking behind

High Dive

High Dive by JBColorado, on Flickr

I had a different plan for this post. Originally i had a few themes I ended up saving for later. I started having a conversation with one of my friends. She is twenty-six like me, graduated with me from our BA. but she didn’t go straight to her MA because she didn’t want to stay in school here. For different reasons we both put of leaving. And for both things get hard. In her case the classic thing many people our age are hearing. Why doesn’t she get a job, why doesn’t she do something. It’s exhausting to hear (mainly because eve of you get a low paying job then the critiques becomes why don’t you look for something better). And she has reason to feel wasted down by all this.

When I told her of my plan she was up for it, and at first we began thinking of doing it together but we want different things. Doesn’t mean we are still not helping each other out. There in lies the rub. the biggest problem with these life changes, and I know I have said before in this blog, its fear. We are afraid of failing, of not getting what we see in our heads. There is this idea of success and how fast and easy one must get it that instantly locks us down. This idea of instant amazing and recognized success that has come from places like reality competitions or the odd cases of first try wonders it becomes harder to deal with the idea that it could take work to get to that.

Fear of Failure

Fear of Failure by nmwilhelm728, on Flickr

There is this fear of failure and the problem is it’s not just the person taking the chance, it’s everyone around them. It’s like if someone was watching a high diver and began yelling at them of all the things that could happen. For all you know this high-diver could have made a perfect plunge. And the added fears and stress could cause at best a bad execution at worse a head against a the diving board. Maybe it’s an extreme example but you see where I am going with this. The more she gets told that she might fail, the more she believes it, the more her mind makes it real.

Falling Down

Falling Down by thebassoonist12, on Flickr

The mind is a powerful thing and it can be easily persuaded. We get convinced to not do something and then we live thinking of the what if. Sure failure can lead to unhappiness, but there was the possibility of success, even if not to the size imagined. It’s like when one imagines a drawing and then tries to do it. It might not be the work of art you imagined in the MOMA with critiques praising it, but it’s a work that is also good and has its own value. But if you leave the fear of not getting the museum space get to you, nothing happens. You become stagnant. everyone knows what happens in stagnant water, and a stagnant mind is no different. Water needs to flow and so does life. There are challenges yes, there is a possibility of failure, of falling flat on your face. But there is also the possibility of getting to it. Think about it, it’s one thing to protect someone you care about and remind them that life has a funny way of working out and it might not be how they expected it; it’s another whole thing to convince them that they will be better of just not trying at all.

3 Resolutions At The Start of A New Year

Start Line

Start Line by jayneandd, on Flickr

Today marks the first day of a new year for me. In the last twelve months there has been a lot more introspection than I thought. Looking at the start of the twenty-sixth year in this journey I have several things in mind that, like every good new years day, I want to have done by this date next year. It’s not just personal goals, it’s going ahead and living before it’s to late and life has passed by.

1:No Fear

tomorrow brings you something

tomorrow brings you something by renato.lainho, on Flickr

Now of course, I don’t mean this as not being afraid of anything. There is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I have kept holding back because I was afraid. Of what? Well, life to be honest. When the end of my B.A. was approaching, I looked into schools out of the country. Some even on the other side of the Atlantic. I researched them, looked at what I needed to be able to apply, see what they offered…and left it at that. I convinced myself to stay, specially after asking other people for advice. Well, a year in and I feel stagnant, and regret not having made the jump back then. Not that I feel I wasted my time, nothing should be seen as that. I feel like the pause button on life was pressed. So this year my goal is not let fear paralyse me. We live in a world of comforts and anything out of that zone scares us but it shouldn’t be so. Not only is history not made by those who never moved but life was never lived either. Risk need to be known when to be taken, we can’t go through life just living at random. But we can’t pull a Rip Van Winkle either and suddenly wake up and realised we never did anything and life has turned into a series of what if’s.

2: No Tears

Of course we need a good cry once in a while. And some situations require them. But when they become something that is used to convenience and are whipped out almost daily, well pretty soon you might run out. Now yes I am exaggerating but I am sure a lot of you know what I mean. Maybe it’s just anxiety attacks but I tend to end discussions (because I don’t want to call them fights.) in tears. Why? I would like to say I am emotional but I am not, or maybe I think I am not. Everyone knows you can’t cry over spilt milk. And usually they just make the anxiety worse. So this year, tears get the respect they deserve.The outpour of emotion can’t be the same for everything. Trivial things don’t hold the importance of bigger events. If we give it all the same level of importance our view of life becomes distorted. In this distortion everything about life ends up affected. Suddenly everything seems as important, or non important for that fact, and before you know it you are overwhelmed. No more wasted tears this year, only truly happy or truly sad ones.

3: No Waiting.

The time is now. Tomorrow might not be there and if you leave everything to be solved tomorrow, well nothing will ever get done. There is many things that I have kept pushing back because of reason one, and most of the times I end up in reason two. But that’s why this year there will be no waiting. Sure we all feel real proud of ourselves when that las minute assignment suddenly gives us this amazing mark or this amazing review from a professor. But let’s be honest we are pleasantly surprised because we know it’s not the best we can do. If this happens with simple assignments, imagine how it affects life in general. Sure sometimes we get lucky, but most times we get something very different. Lately I have seen the trend appear again. all the things I need to start doing to move on with the plans in life I keep thinking “I can check it tomorrow”. Or “The tests are still a way off…I can look up the dates and info tomorrow”. No, tomorrow is now and this year one of the new habits I will cultivate is not leaving everything for tomorrow.

Promise of a new tomorrow. (365)

Promise of a new tomorrow. (365) by whatmegsaid, on Flickr

There is more I would love to do this year of course. Some are big reaching (like changing schools and starting a new M.A. program), others more simple (being more organized for example.) But all are necessary. People say that setting things out and telling people help keep you responsible and feeling accountable. Well, there you have the three big things I want this year. Hopefully I wont let myself or anyone else down. After all, we can’t keep putting away the start of a new year in life, who said it has to be only once a year anyways?