As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is I have been taking the time to think about Mr. Donald Trump's candidacy. I began this inquiry when I first heard of his bashful comments towards Mexican's, Muslims, and the walls of divide. I began to think about his thoughts further as the polls continue to rise for him. My concerns have also heightened. From a historical perspective we have seen the damage that occurs when obstacles have been placed. If we think about it, when there is a wall, people will simply try to jump over these, or somehow find a way to get over them. They are a source of anxiety.
However, as much as there were many concerns about his candidacy I was quite surprised for his wishes sent out via twitter for the festival of Cinco De Mayo. When I saw his tweet, I thought to myself, maybe there is a chance that his thoughts are shifting towards inclusion. Sadly this was not the case. We continue to hear these comments, and slurs to the specific groups that have been mentioned. I also decided to say thank you and later share some thoughts. He continues to address Ms. Hilary Clinton as "Crooked" It does not matter if she is an opponent, everybody deserves to be treated with respect. If he is addressing women like that now, what will he do if he becomes President? And for the women who think that it is OK for him to be referencing women like this, then this is truly a sad case. Women like Audrey Lorde an activist who strived for the rights women and the LGBTQ community, or Susan B. Anthony who was a political activist striving for social reform. She played an active role for the suffrage of women. Historically, women have fought so hard for their rights, can we ignore this history?
This also includes the topic's of human rights. President Abraham Lincoln (November 6th, 1860) took strides to abolish slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation. President Thomas Jefferson became famous for the Declaration of Independence, he was the 3rd President of the United States of America (February 17th 1801). What about these pioneers? Can we ignore the strides of the founding fathers? They worked so hard to try to put an end to the harsh realities so that equity, freedom, and happiness could be achieved for all walks of life. My questions can also be linked to the idea of walls, can we ignore the histories associated with the building of walls? As much as I tried to understand Mr. Donald Trump, I couldn't grasp his views at the level of his candidacy, and also through a global lens.
How will he as a president be able to converse and interact with other world leaders if he is already promoting exclusions within his own country? The truth is that America is a diverse nation, individuals from all walks of life contribute to society. You can't just rule out specific groups because you don't like them.
So it is with hope that I was happy to hear about a Libertarian nomination Gov. Gary Johnson, This is really interesting because this is a party that is formulated with the views from both the Democratic, and Republican parties. I think that this will be a great opportunity to merge ideas and think about a nation through a holistic lens. Gov. Gary Johnson is from the State of New Mexico, this also really sparked my attention because I was reading the history of Mexico in South America. Mexico is a nation that is so rich and vast. There is a promise to this land, this promise has yet to be realized.
Having considered the above points, it just does not make sense. Why does Mr. Donald Trump continue to bash Mexicans and Muslims? These are human beings, just like him who are seeking to survive. It does not matter what you accumulate in this life, regardless of social / financial status, class, ethnicity - the road ends for us all at some point in time.
His comments are damaging, they will damage how America will be viewed as a whole. How will this impact tourism, or investments? Is this candidacy really going to make America great again? His macro-level message is damaging because like it or not he is swaying his message to others. It will filter down to the level of the micro.
If you think about it, it is evident that he is not showing an interest in the founding fathers, his bigotry, slanderous comments, ideas of separation are not what the Nation of America is about. Can we really have a president plastered in place that will harm the very values that leaders have worked so hard to shape?
The argument of the constitution - We all know that if elected he would have to follow the constitution. Which will mean that the comments that he himself is making he will also have to brush off. Will he be able to do this? Will he be able to regulate himself to abide to the constitution? I think not. Most likely he will experience cognitive dissonance, which will manifest outwardly through another outlet.
As I continue to think and reflect, it is with much love that I offer my thoughts for your consideration. Mr. Donald Trump is not going to make America great again. His messages have, and will create more harm than good. How will he be able to get down to the level of the people who are experiencing the harsh realities without being disrespectful? His abilities to slander individuals, and groups just shows the types of people skills that he has.
When we are in a position of power - our own biases must be put to the side so that we can find common ground and good for all, Mr. Trump's candidacy and campaign has faltered to this end.
A thought to leave you with:
If we take a moment to think about the two dates when the Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were in office, they achieved so much for their time. If we take a look at Mr. Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, how will his Presidency build upon these histories? Will it build or will it abolish?
Home is where the heart is, my thoughts with love & kindness! :)
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to the people of America, it is on your lands I found great love. Home is where the heart is.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand written on May 31st 2016. Please note that the thoughts contained in these writings should not be considered as a personal account of Mr. Donald Trump, but rather an analysis of his candidacy and presidential campaign.
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As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is that I lately realized that my phone may have been hacked into. To protect my own privacy (if there is any) I won't go in to specific details, but I would like to share some of this experience.
It is truly a great feeling to know that with my phone (iPhone) that I could stay connected to my family here and abroad. We can connect through messaging, various apps, and direct calling. A phone can also act as a safety device, when we are walking alone, or in a case of emergency. There are numerous uses of a smart phone, from checking emails, setting reminders, alarms, music, the list goes on. It's benefits and safety features are very comforting. But what happens when we do perceive that we have been hacked? This device acts in a total reversal. The feeling that our own personal privacy is being peered into, knowing someone is tracking your each and every move is a very very frightening experience. All the benefits and the safety features have become a device to track and record behavior. They have now become a mechanism for fear and human tracking.
As much as I did take the steps to ensure that this was not the case, there is still a huge possibility that this is happening. You may ask why don't you switch phones? Well here is the dilemma of locking yourself into a contract. There is no way out unless you are willing to pay the fees for cancellation...... there is no opt out. Contracts cannot be transferred or cancelled until the terms of the contracts have ended. The simple irony is as a customer how is this affecting our satisfaction? Can we as customers be satisfied by this?
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone it was his mission to deliver a product that aimed to serve the customer with the highest form. 8 years ago the iPhone was invented, as Steve Jobs introduced this, his keynote is now regarded as the best keynotes that Apple has ever delivered. As the years have progressed with the changes to the executive, now Tim Cook and a Knighted Sir Johnathon Ive as chief designer. I question and wonder where the mission of Apple is headed. This product continues to offer new designs, services, and apps, but are these going to improve our services as a customer? Or are customers being fooled into ownership of new tracking features.
I recently heard of Apple Pay, an app that can be downloaded from the app store. Download it and you can use it as a mobile wallet. Pay for everything through this service. This app is being marketed to the customer with the idea that if you download this app, you will be free of credit cards, there will be no reason to have these in your wallet anymore. It makes sense to use phrases such as these to market the product, but again this will only serve as a another measure to track consumer spending, and habits. Then there is the idea of a chip, finger prints etc. These are details that we as consumers have to consider. After saying this I have to admit we have truly loved Apple, especially because of Steve Jobs. We remained loyal. But now we feel hurt because our loyalty has been transgressed because of this hacking experience. This experience has alerted me not only as a consumer but also from the lens as a parent and educator.
This experience led me to think about our children and question their safety not just on their iPhone but also the internet. I am sure that these types of questions and thoughts have arisen for many individuals and organizations such as schools. There are firewalls built into the iMac, yet there is no guarantee of the elimination of a virus or the potential of being hacked. For example with regards to the iMac you will know that you are potentially being hacked into when you see an error message appear on the screen. This message will tell you to click it. I warn you don't (because I did). Also there is another "thing" that appears saying it will clean up the iMac, don't ever install this. Having learned the hard way I share these experiences with you. My concerns continue......
These concerns lend themselves nicely to the environment of the classroom. Students are using iPad's. Privacy and security will always be an issue especially as in most cases these iPad's in a classroom are linked to one Apple ID. Students can view each others work, this can be great for collaborative purposes, but what about the question of plagiarism or academic integrity? These questions force us to place student's cyber-security above and beyond the mechanism of learning. Can we compromise safety over learning?
These questions have forced me to think of how we can continuously use technology but with care and consideration for safety. I think as educators it is crucial to think about which type of technology will be used for learning, because this is also a modelling.
Google for the classroom
Many educators have promoted Google for the classroom because it is much more secure. Whilst offering the benefits of group work and collaboration, its features are restricted to the users within a group. Teachers can become Google Certified teachers, they can learn these technologies and continue to be passionate about teaching
I also view this as an opportunity for Facebook to diversify its product and think about entering the market for educators. The truth is that students / children began using Facebook for social purposes. The social aspects such as self esteem and using this platform to degrade and demise have happened, and continue to do so. Part of the problem to this evolution is that these platforms were placed in the hands of Generation Y. They learned for themselves and coped for themselves, at the point of early entry, adults were not willing to get on board and learn these platforms.
However, students are already using Facebook to create groups so that they can collaborate with others for group work and plan events. How about if we began to develop features that can enhance and enrich learning environments? With the latest investments from Mark Zukerberg and the fact that his wife Priscilla Chan was a teacher it only makes sense for them to think about these ideas.
After taking the time to think through and reflect, I wonder how would Apple's product line, or mission be the same of differ if Steve Jobs was alive today?
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to Steve Jobs. You are loved, we miss you. 1955 - 2011.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand written on May 25th and amended on May 28th 2016. The thoughts with regards to the iPhone are my own personal experience.
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As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect upon my previous thoughts. In particular the lines: "Why should a majority rule over a minority, or why should a minority rule over a majority?" I also began to connect this thought at a historical level.
My thoughts are representative of an idealistic society. It would be so beautiful if everyone regardless of the colour of their skin could see each other as their equal. The thoughts of human being's working together, living in harmony regardless of the color of the skin, class, ethnicity, gender etc, is so lovely. However, can we negate the harsh histories that have taken place? It is my view to hold that it is important to learn about these, but also to find solutions to overcome and prevent these from taking place. For example: It was International Jazz Day. This was a day that was celebrated around the world and also at The White House. This event reminded me of The Harlem Renaissance. A time where many African American individuals were experiencing racism, in the deep south of America. Individuals moved to the Northern Area's. They wanted to find places to live where they could express who they are. Individuals began to write poetry, sing songs, Jazz, Blues, rhythm, dance and much more. The expressive arts formulated a platform not only to express how people were feeling, but also to create awareness.
You see minorities have been through and are still going through many struggles to this present day. To say it in simple terms" THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. The struggle was and continues to be real. The struggle to achieve the harmony that I envision is also real. However it begins by putting our hostile natures to the side. There are histories, when we learn these histories it opens up new doors, new perspectives and new ways of thinking. When should acknowledge these, but we also don't want these histories to discourage us to getting to know people of difference.
For example: in my previous thoughts I mentioned my own experience with racism. These experience do frustrate me, sometimes I loose hope. However if I continued to remain in that space of thinking I would simply shut down, Experiences do discourage us, but it is having the courage to continuously believe and see the positive. Even from a negative experience, we can ask: what did we learn from this? How can I improve? Was there a lesson in this experience?
I once had this type of conversation with a Professor (African descent) , we talked a lot about histories, but we also agreed that we have to be open and willing to know and learn from each other, we have propel ourselves to move forward. It's all about the children of today and tomorrow globally. We may not have the tensions and harsh histories of yesterday but these can still be seen when we hear of terror attacks, how do these impact children?
I began to relate this question to my daughter. Her name is Sabbah, she questions just like me, she is interested in histories just like me, she wants everyone to get along just like me. She learned about the Holocaust and the incarceration of the Jewish people. She was devastated. One of her best friends is Jewish. When the attack on Paris, Brussels and Pakistan took place each and every time she asks "Mama, why are Muslims killing?' This is what she asks. She is saddened because this is the faith that she embraces. She wonders why such a peaceful way of life - Islam is being displayed in such a manner. Even though this type of attack is direct, they are impacting Muslims adults and children who practice a peaceful way of life at a psychological level. We also see constant attacks in the eastern hemisphere's and murderous plots in the west. The hate, hurt, and terror that is induced is being carried forward to east and west. The war of today is psychological warfare at the expense of the ones who serve their country through loyalty, and innocent civilians. These are wars of human dignity.
The other day when I saw His Royal Highness King Abdullah II share a video to a factory visit in Jordan which was shared via twitter. His Royal Highness met with women, shook their hands. Truly I cried my heart out, not only because it reminded me of my first job as a factory worker, as a sewing machinist in the UK, but because: Muslim's have migrated all over the globe, living peacefully, but these attacks, constant acts of terror leave us searching, searching and questioning. I thought ... we too need His Royal Highness King Abdullah II we also need to know that you love and care for us. Our children don't understand. They don't understand they want peace, they are also seeking validation.
I also took the time to reflect upon President Obama's speech at Howard University commencement 2016. It takes courage for a leader to stand up and talk these truths, especially in a Presidential position where we have to be mindful of everyone. However, when we embrace these teachings as learning opportunities we all benefit. Learning is lifelong, it is continuous. Perfection is unattainable, but we can and should always strive to do better.
It is all about the children of today and tomorrow, and even our own sanity as adults. Children are growing up in very different and diverse environments. We may decide to ask students what kind of world they imagine. We could even do classroom based activities. Students could draw images, or write reflections about a world they imagine. Then as a class community analyze these thoughts collectively, to find a common vision that unites all of these thoughts.
To conclude this activity students can collectively think of an action that they could do to promote a positive, for the envisioned vision. For example: If students want to see more happiness in the world, then students could decide to smile more at people that they interact with, or take sometime to engage in a conversation.
Be the change you wish to see! Be Love!
Love is universal
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to His Royal Highness King Abdullah II and Beautiful Queen Rania, I am glad to have found you both through twitter. To President Obama, thank you all for your thoughts, and carrying the risks that come through leadership. You have inspired me. These words are also dedicated to all beings, know that you are loved. My thoughts with love and kindness. :)
This post was originally had-written on May 3rd 2016, it was amended on May 8th to include the You Tube videos. For more information and teaching and learning resources about the Harlem Renaissance, please visit: Our Community Of Learning.
Please also visit With Love and Kindness ENG1D1 for resources
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Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)