The Time Is Now: How Watching A Documentary Turned Into A Call For Action

The Time Is Now: How Watching A Documentary Turned Into A Call For Action

Our daily chores and duties oftentimes distracts us from working on our true goals—but now is the time to put an end to the destructive cycle.
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There is a difference between ambition and dedication: the laziest person in the world can also be the most ambitious. Ambition describes an intention, an aspiration. Dedication describes commitment to that aspiration. Without action, ambition is irrelevant. It does not matter what you want to accomplish, it matters what you actually accomplish. To be successful is to be dedicated, and to be dedicated means to be active.

We all have things we want to achieve. However, how many of us are actively striving towards achieving it? How many of us are making time for our goals? And I don’t mean small goals, like losing ten pounds, I mean life-changing goals... goals that if accomplished, will leave a lasting imprint on our lives and the world. We all have them, even if they’re buried deep down within ourselves, nestled underneath doubt and fear. For one person, it may be to find the solution to world hunger. For another, it may be to start a vegan-friendly chain of restaurants. Each and every person on this Earth has a desire to do something amazing.

We have these desires embedded deep into our hearts, but we don’t have the passion needed for them to flourish. We want to make them a reality, but we don’t need to make them a reality. We don’t want food every day, we need food every day. It is our driving force, our sustenance. When we think of our goals, oftentimes we think of them with distant regard, as something that we will eventually accomplish.

But why not now?

Why don’t we see fulfilling our life goals as much of a necessity as eating three meals a day? We don’t hold off on feeding ourselves, we make it a priority. In our busy lives, we get sidetracked. We have to work, go to school, make time for our family and friends, and complete a multitude of other duties, which means we leave our most demanding goals on the backburner. We think to ourselves: "Developing that business plan can wait until the weekend, I have a paper due tonight” or “Finishing that novel can wait for a couple of months. I have to find a job.”

I get it. The majority of us don’t have the means to dedicate all of our time to focus on achieving our end goals. I surely don’t. My most important goal is to develop a non-profit organization, but I don’t believe I’ve even formed a plan for how I will accomplish that. Social activism is extremely important to me, but you won’t see me at any marches, protests, or volunteering with any organizations. I’m too busy with school, too busy trying to have an active social life, too busy trying to make money. I tell myself I’ll eventually start working on it… But when is it ever the right time?

The time is always right, but we will never act during this time until our desire transforms from a want to a need. In the famous words of Eric Thomas, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”

I attended an event last week at the Douglass Student Center on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. We watched the Kalief Browder documentary and later had a discussion about solutions that can be implemented in order to spurn prison reform and put an end to systemic racism in America. If I had to choose a single event that had the greatest effect on me, I’d have to choose watching that documentary with my peers and other members of the New Brunswick community (even if this event just happened recently.)

It was as if my eyes were opened. What the hell am I waiting for?

I see the injustice in my community, I see the injustice in the world, and the desire to fix it has been burning inside of me for years. My anger has grown, my pain has grown, my frustration with the world has grown… but I haven’t done a single thing to accomplish something that is so important to me. I haven’t done a single thing to banish this system which destroys lives and crushes the opportunity for all people to assert their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I haven’t done anything.

And that is not OK.

Yes, my grades are important. Yes, my social life is important. Yes, making sure my bank account doesn’t drop below -$5.50 is important, but so is saving my community from impending destruction. Honestly, it may be more important, and I can no longer be stagnant in my fight towards this.

None of us can afford to be stagnant anymore. None of us can afford to neglect what is important to us anymore. What social activism is to me, is what fashion is to someone else; or music; or acting, etc. You get the point. We all have something we want to accomplish that means so much to us that it determines our whole character, our whole sense of being, and we can’t allow this something to burn out and be diminished by our daily duties.

Our goals come first, not because we want to achieve them, but because we need to achieve them to live the fullest life possible. I don’t know about anyone else, but I cannot allow myself to live my whole life and never develop that non-profit. And I hope the girl that wants to be an actress doesn’t live her whole life without ever performing on broadway. And I hope the guy who wants to be a fashion designer doesn’t live his whole life without having his collection shown during Paris Fashion Week.

I no longer will allow myself to think of my social activism as something I eventually want to do. It will be something that is a part of my daily life because it matters, and nothing should stand in the way of that. Whatever it is that sets your heart on fire, that nourishes your spirit, I hope that you decide to make time for it from here on out. And don’t half-ass it. See your goal and go after it, even if you’re only taking baby steps. Dedication is not working to achieve something as quickly as possible. It’s just commitment to make sure you take every step needed to get there.

Ask yourself: If I'm not working on achieving my life goals right now, then what am I doing?
Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.

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"A man told me to have a good day...I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in, because that is the extent of modern-day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote,"I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern-day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "we can do it!" but realistically speaking, in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully-developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex-oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's Twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25-year-olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump-haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred, and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern-day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.

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I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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