Where Is The Love?

Where Is The Love?

Lately I've also been wondering where the love is...

Black Eyed Peas just recently released a remake of their griping song “Where is the Love?” Where the message is both inspiring and has an impact to countries around the world. The purpose of the remake comes in light of the recent issues and events from Black Lives Matter to the attacks in Paris.

This song has always had a powerful meaning, but now it seems that it couldn’t come at a better time since we have seen so much hate this past year.

Pictured Above: The Group's Symbol for the remake of "Where is the Love?"

The main difference between the original 2003 version and the remake is that there is a lot more involvement and support from both familiar and unfamiliar faces. Some of the familiar include Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, Usher, DJ Khaled, Justin Timberlake and more.

The group has made sure to make the unfamiliar faces familiar and show that they are just as important to the message as the familiar faces. The features include: Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown, Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile who was killed by police, and Sandra Sterling, whose nephew Alton Sterling was also killed by law enforcement.

So why did the Black Eyed Peas decide that this song needed a revamping? The reason is simple - the world needed a reality check and a little togetherness. Lately, I've been feeling like the world I've been living in has been so full of hatred and disgust towards other people and I've been questioning why this has been happening.

Maybe the world has always been like this and now we're finally starting to see it for what it really is. It's possible that certain figures have triggered tragic events to occur. Whatever the reason may be, it needs to stop. As I'm writing this article, I keep hearing commercials of election sound bytes in the background and they're all filled with so much hate. It seems that wherever I turn, I can't seem to escape it. The Black Eyed Peas must have felt the same way and decided that it was time to speak out again through their music.

Pictured Above: The Black Eyed Peas in their video remake of "Where is the Love?"

Seeing this 2003 hit being remade in the midst of all of this tragedy gives me hope that there are still some of us who can still see the good in people and imagine a world where love can overpower the hate. This song gives me the hope that it will reach people from every corner of the world again like it did in 2003 and the result of that will a better world.

If we can come together and accept one another for who we are, where we come from, and what we represent, then maybe the world can still be fixed and we can get back to a place where we celebrate our advances rather than wondering why we have to live in fear.

This song may not stop the fury, but it's a start to help us realize the kind of world we're living in and it'll make us question if this is the kind of world we want to continue living in. Next time you hear of another tragic event or you even catch yourself judging someone because of their skin or their background, just ask yourself where is the love?

Cover Image Credit: Manila Bulletin

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Feeling The Pressure To Remain Successful After You've Tasted Success

I want to stay at the top, but I'm not sure how.

Everyone has pressure on them, some might have too much, some might have barely any, but we all have it. My pressure lately has been about writing a good article.

It's the pressure to write good articles after you wrote two that all of your family and friends are reading. Even completely random strangers who follow Odyssey on Facebook, and saw them post your article.

I am so grateful for this, so don't get me wrong!

It’s hard to explain because even though you’re not viral like Victoria Higgins (which if you don’t know who that is then done you even read the Odyssey online?), you still had a lot of shares and over 3,000 views.

Like, what??

I never thought that many people would read just one of my articles, nevertheless 2 of them within a week of each other getting that many views!!

I can’t even explain all the words going through my head about having so many people relate to my articles. I love seeing that people love their boyfriend or husband, or whatever he is to them. Both of my successful articles were about relationships, so I feel like that’s what people want to read.

I mean I wrote other ones months ago about relationships that don’t even have anywhere near 1,000 views, and that’s ok!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of the views I get on all of them because people took time out of their day (even if it’s just a few minutes) to read something I wrote.

I get to express my thoughts through writing, which I love.

I just feel this pressure to write articles that people want to read because I got to have that feeling of freaking out when my editor tagged me in a post that the Odyssey posted.

I finally felt successful.

I had someone at HQ email me saying how great I’ve been doing. Like, they noticed me?! All the way from New York, they read my articles and loved them.

I still can barely fathom that.

I want to put out what the people want, and that’s so much pressure. It feels like there’s a spotlight on me, even though there’s not. Maybe that’s just me being so self-centered, but I don’t want to let people down that were so proud of me.

After racking my brain for the perfect article ideas of what to write next, I realized a few things:

1. I can’t impress everyone.

2. If I want more attention to my articles, write about controversial things.

3. I’ll just stick to writing about things I care about, and maybe other people will find them interesting, too.

4. The only person I need to impress is myself.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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A Thank You Letter To "Scandal"

I cannot bear to say goodbye, but I need to express my gratitude to Shonda and the cast.

Dear "Scandal" (aka Shonda Rhimes and the cast),

"Scandal" has been a part of my life for the last several years, and now saying goodbye to a show that has literally helped to change my life is a hard thing to do, but I find it appropriate to write a goodbye letter that can properly show all of my gratitude to an amazing, invigorating, and teaching piece of history, because "Scandal" is much more than a television show. It has changed the way people think; it has helped shape America.

I first started watching "Scandal" after its second season had finished. I was watching BET one Saturday morning with my mom, something that was not very uncommon while I was in high school. What was uncommon was that following a movie, they were having a marathon of "Scandal" episodes from start to finish. I had seen previews for the show the previous year and I had wanted to watch it, but I knew it probably would not go over great with my mom. Nevertheless, that Saturday, I started watching it while my mom was at the store. I am pretty sure I finished it that weekend. I strategically made sure we watched BET again the following weekend so that my mom would start watching the marathon of the show with me. That is how my mom and I became obsessed with "Scandal." But you see, I needed my mom to watch it because I knew there was something special about the show.

Obviously, "Scandal" is special because of what it did to network television, all television for that matter, in opening up new opportunities and new roles for women of color. At the time of its start, I could not even wrap my head around the lack of leading roles on network channels for women of color. Now it is not all that surprising after learning about the true realities of this country, but nonetheless, "Scandal" helped open up doors for so many other people. I am incredibly thankful to Shonda for that because I watch many of these shows, but more importantly, I am glad that someone finally opened the door. I cannot imagine what it must be like as a child to grow up and not see someone that looks like you on your TV screen. Shonda, with "Scandal," made the dream more reachable for many children.

Besides that, "Scandal" was special to me in its own way. It made me fall in love with politics in a way that I did not know was possible. I had always liked politics, but "Scandal" made me crave being a part of the process. I decided to volunteer for the Barbara Buono campaign in 2013. I learned a lot from my experience. I learned that people are really mean, in a way I had not experienced before. I came to the conclusion that at that current time, I did not want to be that close to the political process. I had one truly great benefit of the campaign though, seeing Kerry Washington speak at Montclair State University. It was an amazing opportunity, and it made me really think about the rest of my journey. I had already decided that I wanted to be a lawyer, but "Scandal" pushed me away from being a lawyer in politics directly. I learned that I have a love-hate relationship with the political world, as most do, but I realized I could affect change in politics through my love of social justice. Kerry Washington taught me that.

Olivia Pope taught me about justice. Through week after week and year after year, I learned how complicated and hard justice can be sometimes. She made me prepared for the world ahead as I went off to college. Olivia Pope has shown me how to wear the white hat, but also what it looks like when it comes off. In the final episode of "Scandal," Olivia Pope taught me that the truth is always the way to live by. David Rosen taught me to always stand up against the bad guys, even in the face of death. Rowan taught be that it is possible to use dog whistle politics against the majority of white political figures in the government. In the final scene of "Scandal," I would like to think that Olivia Pope taught me that anything is possible and that there is still so much hope for the future. Because even though it was just a show, it changed and shaped our life, and it even mirrored our life at certain intervals. So, maybe our life will someday mirror this life changing show.

With the greatest gratitude,

Vanessa Fiore

P.S. There is no actual explanation of the final scene; I am just using my own interpretation, because that is what I hope for.

Cover Image Credit: Awesomely Luvvie

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