Being Human Part 2: Faith

At the start of the year, I promised that I would write once a week….

That was two months ago. In the mean time, I failed to update my blog and this series fell by the way side. I am infamous for starting long haul projects and pausing for another project and somehow forgetting that another project meant so much.

As I struggle to find my place and continue on a million and two other projects, I needed to stop and come back to the project that constantly plagues me. What it is like being human?

As I am continuing within my career and constantly am surrounded by a multitude of life stories from the people I work with, the people I work for, and the people that I am in charge of helping, I cannot help but constantly come back to this project.

As I started the series I wanted to explore different facets of human nature and norms in society that in fact become the large picture of ‘being human’.  One of the largest factors that both fascinates me and is also a subject that is near and dear to my heart is faith.

As humans within the world we all face different paths, decisions, hardships, upbringings, internal struggles, and the list is endless. Although we are all drastically different there is a constant theme that filters through society and that is Faith.

Eighty-four percent of the world population has a faith in some sort of religion.  That equates to over 8 out of 10 people having some sort of belief system defined by a specific religious affiliation.  In reality the eighty-four percent refers to people who identify as having a belief in a religion and does not account for the amount of influence that their religion has upon their life and values but it still gives an idea of Faith and the idea of faith within the world.

A part of being human and the way we live our lives is contingent upon a number of factors but regardless faith is a large factor for the majority of the world.

Faith can be defined in a multitude of ways but one that I personally would like to draw from, not only for this post but one that I utilize anytime I speak of faith is the following:

Faith- strong or unshakable belief in something, esp without proof.

As I explore the people around me, I tend to also explore the aspects of faith in individuals.  I tend to come across two main groups of individuals, people who are deep and steadfast in their religion and people who think religion is the most ludicrous idea. One thing struck me, they all have a faith. Both have this Faith that things in this world have a natural order and that life has it’s own wait of turning things around.

It is a funny thing, Humans are built on this little feeling of Faith and what is yet to come. Regardless if it is a new day or new beginning. Faith is the corner stone of us Humans in one way or another.

Faith in the future. Faith in a new day. Faith in a divine being. Faith in heaven and hell. Faith in a place better than where you are at. Faith in tomorrow. Faith in who you are. Faith in your religion. Faith in your convictions. Faith in the good in the world. Faith in karma. Faith in what is to come. Faith in others. Faith in the unknown. Faith in science. Faith in technology. Faith in finding a cure. Faith in oneself.

Faith is constantly around us, and we each carry a little bit with us each day.

Faith is a subject that not only makes us human but divides us. It is the catalyst that perpetuate wars. A large subject constantly used as a way to separate each of us from one another instead of realizing it is a common ground for all of us.

What is being Human?

Being Human is having Faith. Having a strong and unshakeable belief is something.

But that ‘something’ is often times what separates us.

Please comment and share you thoughts below, I would love to know your opinions. Also there are a ton more subjects a head on being human, if you want to talk or discuss something specifically feel free to email, DM on Instagram, or leave a comment. I will be sure to answer or address it within a post.  Also to get an understanding of the series please see Being Human: Introduction.

Until next time.

-Bella

 

 

 

Podcasting Dreams

Day in and day out as humans we have limitations. Things that stop us from reaching our full potential.  We struggle to comprehend why we never hit our full potential.  Personally I used to fall victim to the idea and notions that there were forces that limit my goals and ambition.  This is why I am starting a new journey that will explore the questions and concerns that all of us naturally hide within, and never freely discuss. Within the next few months I will be adding a new form of discussion added onto my blog and media sites. I will begin to explore pod-casting with a co-host to create an open discussion on the topic covering what stops us? What limitations are placed on us? The society we live in. The culture that we create and end up falling victim to. Its time for us to wake up and truly start to understand the world around us, and the limitations that may not even exist. Join the discussion. Shall we say all the things people fear to face?

 

What is being “too white”?

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In American society, if one has an ounce of African-American blood running through their veins, other Americans instantly consider the person “black”.  Do not get me wrong, I embrace the fact that people call me “black”, and I encourage people to realize that in fact my father is African-American and North American Indian.  “.

Although at large people only consider my African-American heritage, there is one thing the drives me insane. When someone state that I act “too white”.  People from both the African-American community and White American community have both stated this comment.  I will not argue with someone who states that I have “white” mannerisms, I dress preppy, I engage in “white” conversation, or any other “white” attribute that I seem to obtain.  I guess what I am trying to say is what makes what I am doing “white”, how am I “too white”? (besides the obviously fact that my mother is in fact white). Many educated people of color that I have had the pleasure of knowing find it highly offensive and demeaning to categorize their mannerisms as “white”.  If you look at some of the most inspirational advancements within the African-American community it was by these amazing people who seem to have a lot of  “white” mannerisms.

What this all boils down to is: when in American culture have we substituted having diction and speaking American English language as it is taught categorized as white?    Why is wearing a certain brand of clothing considered “white”?   On that same note “why are so many white people acting black?”  Why do we categorize mannerisms, personal style, and speech by race.

Our major issue in American society is not police brutality against people of color, the major issue is separating everything between what is “black” and what is “white”.  We separate and distinguish between our differences rather than coming together as a whole society to celebrate our similarities. Unfortunately our society is constantly reinforcing stereotypes and categorizing certain negative characteristics as “black” instead of listing it as it truly is.  Such as aspects that people consider “hill billy” or “country” is a negative connotation that does not necessary stem directly to one race or another.  Can we list a style as hip-hop and speech simply as “slang”?  By eliminating certain stereotypes (Not just white or black but all cultures) that cause negative view of a culture as a whole can allow American to be great nation that we pretend it to be.

Passion behind the “Pen”

Our lives are impacted by sometimes the most small and insignificant conversations and moments that seem rather coincidental at the time.  There are so many small and incidental moments in my life that has caused a shift in my entire mindset.  It is no secret that my family and upbringing was different from most people at the time.   I come from a multi-racial family that was culturally inclusive.  Growing up within an environment that is a result of multiple cultures colliding has shaped my unique outlook on life and wide cultural acceptance.

I was thinking the other day about my inspiration to blog or write in general. When looking at previous blogs most are inspired by the harsh nature and consequences of stereotyping. Not only do I blog about the most insignificant forms of stereotyping, such as stereotyping introverts and extroverts, but  I have written multiple pieces throughout my college career and researched the existence of stereotyping in many different forms that range from the Japanese internment camps within the United States during World War II and the ways in which Hollywood reinforces stereotypes within society through show and movie scripts.  Stereotyping is a large social issue that plagues society, but has also been one of the largest social issues that affects me directly on a daily basis.

When I was younger, my family lived in a smaller town that was comprised of a large white majority with a small black minority.  Twenty years ago in this neighborhood there was little to no biracial or multi-ethnic families.  To be honest, this fact never quite bothered me. I never realized that my family or I (for that matter) was different.

The first time that I realized I was different was in first grade.  Earlier that day my mom visited school to drop off treats for the class; that afternoon on the bus ride home, one of my classmates simply asked me if I was adopted.  Oddly enough at this point in my life, I had no idea.  She asked me if I ever realized that my older sister and mom skin was completely different than what mine was.  That night I asked my mom why she would not tell me who my real mommy was and why I do not look like her and Ashley (my older half sister).  Looking back on the day, I have realized that I offended my mother deeply that night (also because she told me).  After that afternoon, she spent probably about two months convincing me I was not, in fact, adopted. (Unfortunately she still needs to convince me of this sometimes because I am still the “black sheep” of the family and act completely polar than the rest of my siblings)

From this day forward, I viewed the world differently.  I never saw the world the same or uniformly.  This would be the first step in my journey towards becoming the person I am today.  It has shaped my personality, explains my confusion on how I should look and act, how I should speak, and my personal style.  When we are young, we strive to maintain the status quo, and to fit into the mold of society.  At this young age, realizing that my family was not the status pro quo was probably the most difficult part about growing up in a biracial family.

So all those who seem to wonder across my site or my writing, beware there will most likely be an undertone examining the social issues of stereotyping and racism, and urging people to open their minds to new ideas.  My past shapes why and what I write daily. Also keep in mind that children are so impressionable and the sometimes the smallest things have some of the greatest impacts on their lives without one ever realizing it.

Stereotypes: Who is to blame

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As one scrolls through social media one gets a snapshot into the lives of all those people that we call friends or acquaintances. Over the past few months I have noticed a handful of my African American friends make posts or comments such as the following statement:

“As a black man, I feel as though I have to work twice as hard and present myself twice as well in whatever I’m doing, because whether someone believes misconceptions and stereotypes or not, I can’t afford to let any of them enter their mind.”

I found myself guilty of liking and emphasizing with those friends who would post these status and updates. Although I am biracial, I could understand the motive behind these statuses and comments. I am constantly telling people about how I have to work twice as hard and seem to be prove a point every step of the way. In the same instant I have thought about how each person has to deal with stereotypes on a daily basis. Society has engrained within each of us a set of rules that we seem to guide our very existence upon.

How Asian’s are deemed as the mathematical and scientific intellects of society, white males the leaders, African Americans as underclass, Latinos as trespassers or illegal aliens, women as the weaker sex. No matter where ones turn there is another stereotype that we as a society continue to reinforce. We constantly talk about the dislike of others or outsiders placing us in a box but continue to endorse society to place us in the box.

We continue to allow stereotypes to exist by filming and producing shows and movies such as “Basketball Wives” and the Madea movies that only help to reinforce the negative images and actions of African Americans. In the instance of Latino the “George Lopez Show”, and for women almost any film which the woman is the madam in distress (which is about 85% of movies out there). Not only do we film and produce these types of shows, but we also become a captivated audience to these productions. How can we argue that society puts these negative stereotypes onto us when we are willing to sit back and laugh at this debauchery within our homes?

Not only do we watch this madness on television and in movies, but we are all guilty of placing ourselves in this box. By referring to ourselves or allowing others to refer to us as the “black friend” or the “white girl of the group”. We also soften the atmosphere by creating a joke like “hey don’t worry I am not going to steal anything”. And let’s not forget about apologizing or needing to explain being that black person who loves country music. Why do I need to apologize or explain my preferences?

I am going to leave all of you with something to think about. Next time you are tempted to post a status about needing to prove yourself to others, or working twice as hard to keep stereotypes out of their minds think about white men for one second. While most people think they have the easiest stereotypes to live under, they indeed are one of the hardest stereotypes to have. Because instead of being able to be the first woman to complete an obstacle on American Ninja Warrior, the first African American President, or the first Latino Court Justice, they are expected to become all of these things. When they have scandals and make mistakes, they are scrutinized heavier because they are expected to “know better”. When someone becomes the CEO or gets promoted over the “white men” they do not see the other person as the more qualified, but sees the fact that the “white man” is a disappointment for not gaining a position that is was destined for. Or if the son of a prominent attorney decides to become an artist it is looked upon with shame. The stereotypes when one has to live up to a high standard are much more difficult than those when people think lowly of you. It is easier to prove someone wrong than to try to prove someone right. It is more satisfying to do something someone sees as impossible or unlikely than to become someone people expect you to already to become.

Now I am well aware that stereotypes will not disappear overnight, but it is nice to be aware that although we complain about these stereotypes we also help to enable people to continue to solidify these misconceptions through our actions. I am not saying to give up your favorite television shows (it is also one of my guilty pleasure), but I am simply trying to soften the blow when someone decides to place a stereotype upon you or others you may know. Although I will still continue to like those status updates about the unfairness that stereotypes place on a race that I feel a part of, and share feminist articles on Facebook I do understand that I not only endorse stereotypes but help to create them. Simply live your life to the greatest and do not ever compare your struggle to another’s because everyone is fighting a different battle.