A Penny for Your Thoughts ? Pick the social, political, ethical, or religious issue, affecting people in this world, that concerns you most. Illustrate what the issue is, who it affects and...
Pick the social, political, ethical, or religious issue, affecting people in this world, that concerns you most. Illustrate what the issue is, who it affects and how, and why you have chosen it.
What action(s) can you personally take BOTH now to address the issue, and in the future to help the cause?
Identity issues (and related notions of identifying people) are concerning to me. I am biracial and find that many of the codifications and terminology used in the everyday processes of idenitification are disturbingly inaccurate and often harmful.
There are not many ethnic, cultural or personal categories which are wholly positive in their application and impact as identifiers. The words we use to define ourselves (group affiliations) are also the tools with which we think about identity.
The problem is that some of our group definitions and terminology (and therefore our thinking too) ends up being contradictory and in conflict. Where we can see some danger in this problem is when people feel driven to extremes of identity, becoming radicalized in different kinds of ways (socially radical, religiously radical, politically radical).
This feeds into the situation of polarity and polarized social politics which seems so intractable sometimes.
The solution is to change our thinking by changing our language about color, ethnicity, race, sexuality and the various "basic" group-based distinctions which drive our thinking on identity.
This does not mean that we should be more politically correct in reference to one another's group affiliations but instead simply choose to be even more basic in our references, which means being more expansive in our identifications.
People can be dark skinned or light skinned, without being folded into an ethnic category. People can be speakers of certain languages, without being ascribed to a nation or religion, etc.
Anyway, that's an issue near my heart, though it may seem absurd to most people.
I think the story on the news this morning about how children's attitudes have changed and bullying has increased strikes a cord with me. While children will always have a mean side, general social attitudes have really grown dangerously dark in the past few years. There is a new generation coming along which has little respect for adults and authority. Bullying has become an inescapable cyber crime as well as a grade-school torment. I think parents and society at large need to step up and show children how to behave. Somehow we've drifted away from the social niceties and manners. There have to be consequences for bullying and inappropriate behavior. Society needs to reset social attitudes and expectations.
I have a major problem with the prejudice which still runs rampant in the United States (and other countries of the world). I wish that people would realize that once they try to take away the rights of another person or group that it gives others the right to try to take away the rights of anyone. I guess this would speak to many different ideas (like religion). I think learning and understanding tolerance is necessary. We do not have to agree with everything people do, but we should be tolerant of ideas different than our own.
For me, the major issue is how we can learn to be less materialistic. I think that we believe that having material goods will make us happier even when evidence shows that we are no happier today than we were when we were less affluent. The only thing I can do to help this is to live in a less materialistic way and model that for my kids and for others who know me. If they come to think that maybe they could live that way too, perhaps I will have done something to help.
Like one of the above post, I wish prejudices would disappear. I wish that people could respect one another despite differences. Prejudices are horrible. People need to learn to at least tolerate one another, even if they do not like one another. I believe in diversity. I work hard in my classroom to tear down prejudices through the literature I teach. Without prejudices, it would be an ideal society.