Essay #1 - Caste System in the US
How would you describe the current caste system in the US? Is it purely socioeconomic or are there other elements? What does it look like to you? Is this something you think about?
The most defining feature of caste is its ability to render a pervasive and rigid hierarchical system of exclusion and inclusion as inevitable. Like race, caste is created with the aim of exploiting a particular group, or groups of people. While caste shares the characteristics of racial systems of oppression and class, it is quite different from them and distinct in the sense that it takes into account religion and religious origins, without mentioning the connections that it makes between purity, skin color, and profession. In a bit to understand how caste impacts the experiences of an individual, it is essential to consider the overlapping and interconnections between caste, gender, class, and race, and treat caste as a different system from oppression (Adur, Shweta & Anjana, Pg. 254). As such, the current caste system in the US is primarily socioeconomic. Caste in the US is so deep-rooted such that someone may beat the poverty odds that are cast on them by religion, race, language, skin color, etc. but still be perceived through the lens of where they come from and or their caste location, rendering them unwelcome or limited to certain social circles.
Caste in the US is something that I think about from time to time. It comes up in conversations, and many Americans experience and live it every day of their lives. Everyone, from whatever side of the system is affected by caste in the US. I think the American society has stubbornly remained resistant to change, hierarchical and exclusionary with absolute disregard of what the civil rights movement was all about five decades ago. Caste is the excuse that Americans use to articulate their sense of continuous and persistent marginalization. Having been imported from India and successfully implemented in the US, caste in the US is foreign by virtue. As such, it is a complication to the narrative of American Dream. In addition to race and class, caste is yet another problem for the US.
When have you been faced with a time your beliefs were challenged? What challenged your beliefs? Why? How did you handle it?
I have always been a believer in gun control. America has the highest number of guns in total and per capita in the world. As a proponent of gun control, I hold the opinion that it is necessary and important to have more gun control laws. My claim and opinion are backed by the Second Amendment which was intended for the militias. Gun control best helps reduce gun violence, gun restrictions have always been in place since time immemorial, and a majority of American citizens, fun owners included, are in full support of new gun laws and restrictions (Smith, Pg. 10). Ass a believer in gun control as I am, I have had that belief challenged.
I was challenged over a conversation with a friend whose close relative, a gun holder, saved the rest of the family from a robbery that was taking a turn for the worst by his gun. This challenge made me stop and think. In as much as the challenge did not diminish my belief in gin control, it made me more aware of the whole issue of guns and their control. While the free and carefree licensing of guns to just anybody is the primary reason of horrific mass shootings that have seen hundreds of lives ended, there are people who understand why they have guns and how and when to use them. This challenge helped me see other ways of arguing my case and claim on gun control, and how I can influence people who refuse any gun control.
Think about the community in which you live. Think about what you could do to make it a better place. Choose one problem that needs to be solved to make your community a better place to live. Write a letter to the editor describing how solving this problem would make your community a better place. Tell what you would do. Give reasons why you think your plan would work.
Essay #2 - Drug Use and Abuse
Drug use and abuse are unwarranted in a community, ours included. It follows a pattern that regards the consumption of any natural or synthetic substance or drug, in unapproved amounts. This letter focuses on drug use and abuse as a problem that needs to be solved in this community to make it better, how solving the problem would make this community better, and what we can do to help deal with the issue of drug use and abuse in our community. Solving the problem of drug use and abuse in the community would help the community in numerous ways. There will be fewer highway deaths due to decreased drunken driving, there will be less drug-related fatalities, there will be less violent crimes that are drug-related, there will be fewer overdoses and resultant deaths, and fewer childhood fatalities as a result of drug use and abuse of the children's primary caregivers.
Traditionally, approaches to combating drug concern in the community and the society as a whole have been focused on the law of demand and supply. However, there are still enough drugs on our streets and more and more of our young people and getting hooked on drugs. As a people, we can take part in other ways to fight the drug problem in our community. We need to know the risk factors of drug use and abuse and preach them to the community. There are given risk factors that increase a person's chances of abusing drugs such as poverty, underachievement, mental illnesses such as depression, having a family drug history, and easy access to drugs. We should sensitize our community members about these risk factors. Even though these risk factors do not necessarily make a person a drug user or abuser, it is essential for everyone to know them so that the necessary steps can be taken to reduce the risk. Knowledge of these risk factors will help families and friends intervene in the lives of their loved ones, and help individual people take steps that can reduce their own risk.
Imagine you are someone's shadow for a day: Who are you? Where do you go? What do you do?
If I were to be a shadow for a day, I would be Barrack Obama's shadow. I am the shadow of the most the predecessor of the current President of the US, and the only Black man to ever rule the free world. I am the most immediate retired President of the US. On this day that I am the shadow of Barrack, I would bask in the mid-morning sun reading one of my current reads. I came out to the porch to bask a little late today because Barrack spent the better part of last night in the study working on his Memoir. While reading and enjoying the morning sun, I am enjoying my breakfast. My day is easy. The only commitment that I have outside of my home and working on my book is a rather brief meeting at a local school. At the school, I am set to meet the candidates of the year and encourage them to pursue their passions, be the best they can be at their areas of choosing, and to take their part in changing the world.
In the evening after I am back home from the school, I intent on taking a walk around the neighborhood and perhaps jog a little. I do not like making concrete evening plans when I have such an easy day. Instead, I prefer to leave them open for when my wife, Michelle Obama is also free so that we can plan out evening together. She is set to attend a couple of lined up meetings today. In the event, those meetings go late till, after dark, I will take it upon myself to make us dinner and a good setting for us to catch up and bond as a couple.
Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.
I open my eyes wide only for them to hurt from the immense rays of light that are coming at them. My head is spinning. I can see stones cast or normally lying in front of my aching body. The pain in my body and the scratches and bruises on it tell me I have landed and rolled on stones like the ones I am looking at, only that they are behind me. How far behind they are, I am not able to tell; at least not yet. I am lying on the coarse floor on my side. Other than my pain, my bruises, the stones and my imagination, my eyes cannot see more than an arms' reach in front, sideways or behind. Turning my head or my body is a daunting and a painful task. The air around me is as thick as it can get. I cannot only feel but taste the debris deep in my throat. I am tempted to cough, gives in to the temptation, but my body is not cooperating.
Suddenly, a frame flashes past my weak vision. I can only notice it as it passes by and backs a few inches from where I am lying. My hearing is impaired at this moment. All I can hear is the high pitched tone that is screaming in my head. My senses have completely blinded my being. I realize there are more flashes of the frame in front of me, and it keeps passing back and forth much more often now. I want to shrink back and succumb to the terror but my body, once again, has a brain of its own and it decides, yet again not to cooperate. I resolve to focus on the frame, and I realize it represents people who are rushing in the opposite directions right and straight past my defeated self. They are not bothered to see my helpless self to lend me a hand. I imagine they are also blinded by the smoke, fog, and haze cloud, just as I am. On the flip side, they may be not but instead are imagining I am dead. After all, I look dead. I am dead; at least I will be in a few moments.
What causes poverty in the US?
There are numerous causes of poverty in the US. For example, poverty in the US can be attributed to job loss, a rent increase, an exorbitant increase in rent, untreated mental illness, etc. A majority of Americans cite inequality as the primary cause of poverty in the US rather than a person's fault - doing and undoing. Poverty in the US is majorly considered as a pervasive problem. The truth is, inequality is a primal cause of poverty in the US. People from different backgrounds, skin color, etc. are not looked at as equals when it comes to the disbursement of education and opportunities. While inequality is a major contributor of poverty in the US, it is irrational to rule out the lack of effort on the individual's part as a contributor of poverty in America.
A majority of poor Americans have made peace with their situation. Even those who have a chance of bidding poverty goodbye are at peace with their lives. Some of those people who can make certain decisions to turn their lives do not. While it easy to point a finger at the society for poverty in the US, individual people have a hand in the poverty levels that are and have been experienced in the US. Other that inequality and failure on the part of the individual, other causes of poverty in America include lack of affordable housing, drug and substance abuse, expensive education and the consequent lack of education, and medical expenses (Edelman, Pg. 9).
What causes fear of commitment?
Also known as commitment phobia, fear of commitment is the excessive, uncontrollable, persistent, and irrational fear of any commitment such as relationships and marriages. According to experts, there is a difference between fear of commitment and fear of marriage. An individual may be afraid of marriage that he or she might be comfortable with a long-term relationship, and remain committed to one person for life. The fear of commitment is often likened to the fear of dying which some people have. People who suffer from fear of commitment would rather they remained bachelors or spinsters for life for the rest of their lives, if not stay in committed relationships without having to tie the knot. As it is with many other phobias, commitment phobia or fear of commitment may be caused by intense experience.
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