Manifesto.

Fukushima. The Philippines. Oil Spills. GMOs. Needless wars. I feel like there isn’t a single thing out there that’s not screaming out to me:

“WE NEED CHANGE, AND WE NEED IT NOW.”

People are being arrested all over the world for a myriad of silly, non-harmful actions as our police are increasingly focused on and being bought out by big money.

On that note, cops are overstepping their authority in just about every twisted way you can imagine (“protect and serve?” Not so much.).

There are people thinking that “if we could just pass a few more laws!” everything would be perfect. But it won’t – laws don’t change people, people change people.

Then, there are the people who think we have too many laws (and I’d be inclined to agree with them, to a degree) and that getting rid of them will make everything perfect. But it won’t, the entire system needs a major revamping.

Our legal system is a joke, where the winner in any case pretty much comes down to the person with enough money to pay for a lawyer who knows all the loopholes in our giant mess of laws – the number of which is only increasing every day.

Our food system would be more properly named our “food-like” system, as more and more of it is being concocted in labs as opposed to grown on farms (and sometimes even what’s growing on the farm was made in a lab!).

Our general lack of real nutrition is causing people to need MULTIPLE prescriptions per person, and the TV acts like this is just totally normal, while the drug companies happily soak up all that extra money they get from the terribly jacked up situation.

Speaking of which, our for-profit healthcare system is focused on prescribing patent-able drugs, rather than preventing and curing ailments and diseases, because, of course, doing that would make them a lot less money (and when the almighty dollar has nearly-god-status, we can’t have that, now, can we?!).

Our mass media system has death on replay and manages to keep any semblance of good news far from any now-hopeless American ears, ensuring that people keep believing change is impossible and that everybody everywhere is out to get them (and their children).

Millions of people are just scrounging to get by while the fat rich kids continue to nickel-and-dime us all in order to buy bigger houses, shinier cars, and more advertising space – ensuring that you continue to believe that this is the way everything is supposed to work.

And that, my friends, is the saddest part of it all. Most people believe that everything in the world is just dandy, civilization has reached its peak, and to do ANYTHING even remotely differently is like making a deal with the devil. You want to revamp the entire government? You’re a terrorist! You want a new economic system that distributes wealth more equally? Then you’re a communist, libtarded, idealistic, evil-hippy who knows nothing about how this stuff works. You want to legalize marijuana?! You must be the devil incarnate – God, save us all now!

But – truth is – I’m not a terrorist. I’m not a communist, and I’m not the devil-incarnate. I’m a human being. A human being who cares an awful lot about the one and only planet we inhabit, the delicate balance of life that must be maintained in order for our species to survive, and, of course, the billions of other thinking, feeling, loving human beings that inhabit this tiny little earth with me. I see, more clearly than you could ever imagine, how easily we could turn our dire situation around if we could only admit that we have a problem, and commit to working together to fix it.

Sure, we could just do nothing, all die in a hellish apocalypse together, and the universe would probably go on as if nothing had happened. That is an obvious possibility. But wouldn’t that be an awfully anti-climactic ending to the wonderful human story we’ve written together thus far? I mean, we’ve worked our way through the Dark Ages, fought our way through slavery, and protested our way to human rights for everybody – young, old, male, female, black, white, and otherwise. We’ve come so far, but we still have a long ways to go. To give up now would be to throw away 10,000+ years of human history – all of that effort for nothing!

I simply will not give up that easily. I was not born on this planet to witness all of this injustice and then just sit back and do nothing about it. I’m going to keep fighting – regardless of the names I’ll be called, the looks I’ll be given, or the rumors that will spring up around me and what I’m doing. There is LIFE out there that needs my help, and I’m not going to ignore its cry.

All I hope for in this is that you – yes, YOU – might join me in my fight for Justice, in my fight for PEACE, in my fight for truth, and in my fight for love.

Together, we CAN make this world a better place.

Love,
KT ❤

love

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Christianity & Homosexuality.

I realize there are probably a million posts on this topic around the web, but I want to present just a slightly different perspective (Honestly, I’m writing this for all the Christians that I used to know when I, too, considered myself a “Christian,” as I understand the way they think and I can generally see the exact points where their logic goes awry). So, without further ado, this is what I’d like to discuss with any Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin: why?

So far as I can tell, there isn’t a single logical reason that the Christian community has presented as to why homosexuality is a ‘sin.’ In the past, Christians have made attempts at logical reasons like, “homosexuals are more likely to molest children,” or “children growing up in a homosexual household will have severe mental issues,” and even “homosexuality is unnatural.”  All such reasons have since been proven wrong, and most Christians have retreated to the defense that homosexuality is a sin – or somehow morally wrong – simply because the Bible says so.  This, quite obviously, makes no logical sense.  In order to claim that something is morally wrong – and yes, even Christians know this – you must have a better reason than “because so-and-so said so.”  It doesn’t matter if the so-and-so is someone you believe to be God.  Why?  Because, with that logic, you end up like the Pentecostals who won’t cut their hair “because the Bible says so,” or Baptists who won’t let women preach because “the Bible says so,” or even the Jews who won’t eat pork or shellfish – why? – of course, because the Bible says so.  The Christians I grew up around considered all of these groups of people to be Bible-illiterate, or interpreting the Bible incorrectly, yet they all are doing the same thing with regards to homosexuality these days.

Now, to be clear, some moral claims Christians make from the Bible do make logical sense.  Murdering and stealing involve infringing on another person’s rights.  Cheating and dishonesty erode the trust that is necessary for healthy relationships.  Being a drunk causes you to make horrible decisions and can be extremely bad for your health – physically and mentally.  However, when it comes to homosexuality, there are literally no logical reasons why it should be considered a sin – as in, morally wrong – only the overused claim that “the Bible says so.”  (Which, in fact, it really doesn’t, but that’s a whole post on its own.)

I would love to hear a logical reason as to why homosexuality is a sin – here’s one last one that I’ve heard:  homosexual couples aren’t able to reproduce.  But of course, in that case, those who are unable to bear children together should also be considered sinners, as should those who choose to remain single/celibate and couples who choose not to have kids. 

So, again I ask: why

Thanks for reading, and have a GRRRRREAT day!
Much love, ❤

Related Posts: Same Love, Jesus Wasn’t Christian, Speaking the Truth

The World’s Changing, and Your Role in It

“I will do the best I can.” – Wangari Maathai, Story of the Hummingbird

The topic of the Power of One has been popping up everywhere in my life lately.  I’ve seen it in documentaries, discussed it in social psychology class, witnessed it in my own and my friends’ lives, and learned about it in the books I’m reading.  I think people often forget – or are never even told – about the power and effect that each individual person has on the world; however, society – this thing we often see ourselves as having no control over – is simply made up of people, their beliefs, and their individual actions, much like the ocean is made up of tiny drops of water.

In the documentary I Am, Desmond Tutu puts it this way: “[You may think] you can’t do anything about global poverty, but yes, you can! You can do something about this guy.”  And that guy.  And the woman over there.  Small actions such as these can combine to manifest huge changes in the world, which brings me to my next point:  the world is changing, and for the better.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it quite so plainly as I’m seeing it recently. 

Towards the beginning of the summer, there were a good three months where I was experiencing pretty intense episodes – for lack of a better term – of depression over the seemingly overwhelming ‘thing’ that is society and the direction it so often seemed to be headed.  I’ve realized, though, that there is a counter-movement.  There’s now a steady stream of people that are walking the opposite way, away from the cliff that is society’s doom, and the numbers are growing every day.  I know this.  And I want you to know it, too, so I decided to share with you some examples I’ve seen of how the world is changing for the good of all of us (I realize all people might not agree with all of these, they are simply my opinion). (;

– I see higher degrees of socio-political awareness in everybody.  Younger people are following world events; traditionally “conservative” people are opening up on issues like marriage equality, medical marijuana, and environmental destruction; “traditional” businesses are trying to appeal to people like you and me, and more and more people are in favor of peace over war, which prefaces the next point:

– The people of the world essentially halted what could have been a huge mess in Syria. President Obama was more than ready for a military strike, but between other countries and American citizens opposing the action, he decided that it “might not be a good idea.”

– Through my social media accounts, I’m seeing more and more of my friends “awakening” to idea that the world needs to change, and that we have to do it ourselves.  They are using their own accounts to spread the message.

–  There are a growing number of – in my opinion – high-profile “world-changing organizations.”  A few examples: Non-GMO Project, TED, NORML, and Food Not Bombs.

– There’s increasing access to free, online, college education on sites like Coursera, OnlineCourses, and MIT OpenCourseWare.

– We’ve witnessed the first ever legalization of cannabis/hemp in two American states, and half of the United States have legalized medical marijuana (and many are working to follow suit).

– Europe is taking large strides in terms of Energy and is doing so successfully – i.e. German Solar Power, Biking in Amsterdam, Affordable Travel via Eurail, Waste-to-Energy programs, etc.

– There’s an ever-growing amount of social and psychological research in: consciousness, empathy, violence and crime, groupthink, sociological interactions, etc.

– A rising number of people have a decent understanding of human environmental impacts, and there’s an increasing public will to change things (slowly, but surely.)

– And of course, there are many, many more which I cannot list for the sake of brevity (and this list is already quite long!).

I hope this helps you see, even a little, how things seriously are getting better.  Whenever our society’s obstacles seem insurmountable, think about all the similar problems we have overcame as species in the past: slavery, apartheid, equal rights, monarchies and dictatorships, corruption… sure, some of these problems still linger, but we humans are certainly better off than we have been in years before. Not to mention, we now have the internet to enhance our efforts! I’m confident that we’ll continue on this track of progress if we do not give up hope on the many projects and policies we are collectively pursuing.  (:

If you’re already doing your part, stick with it.  Remember the Power of One.
If you’ve yet to come aboard, join us!  Learn about the Power of One. (;

Much love going out to you all, ❤
KT

& Kids matter, too!

I should warn you up front that this is quite the rant; I need to write more blog posts, I think. I’m losing my sanity without them!  (;

So, what is it with parents and this idea that if their kids hate them they are somehow being a “good parent”?  I mean, I get that parents “know better than their kids” in certain situations and you’ll sometimes have to not let them do something they may want to do. But why, oh, WHY would you want your kid to think you’re a “horrible parent” in order to validate your parental effectiveness?  (I literally read that in an article today, that otherwise was actually really good!)  Where did we come up with this kind of thinking?  That it’s funny and something to be proud of when our kids think we’re mean, horrible, and the worst-parents-ever?

I’m sorry (okay, not really), but I want my kid to think highly of me!  I get it, you need to “be the parent” and tell them no to things they want to do sometimes, but if you talk to them like they are an equal human being, use empathy to understand their point of view, and always give reasons for why you aren’t allowing them to do something (no ‘because I told you so’s), I think we’d be amazed at how much better kids respond to us. Children are simply young people, not freaking prisoners or slaves.  They need to have a trusting RELATIONSHIP with you.  Kinda hard when they think you’re the worst parent ever, no?

I don’t see why people treat parent-kid relationships any different than the zillion other relationships they have.  Would you say that you know your friendship’s doing well if your best friends think you’re the worst friend ever, or that your relationship is going well if your spouse thinks you’re the worse spouse ever?  I would certainly hope not.  Why should it be any different with your kids? Your kids are not pets, they are not slaves, they are not prisoners, or anything else that you get to have some kind of “rights” over to control how you want.  They are individuals; human beings with wants, needs, issues, concerns and FEELINGS.  Your children’s feelings should not be disregarded simply because they are your child.  If anything, they should be even more important to you.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and had to get it out.  I hate the way I see parents talk about their kids like they aren’t even human beings, but just little ‘things’ that they get to have complete control over for 18 years and do whatever they want to do with.

Children deserve rights, too.  I really think we should get it out of our heads that parents have to act like some kind of self-righteous dictator to be “good parents.”  Good parenting should be about having good communication with your kids, respecting them (yeah, never thought of that one did you?), being there to help them through the myriad of problems they face, and supporting them in WHATEVER endeavor they choose, regardless of if it isn’t what you would have chosen for them.  Stop micromanaging their lives, give them some space to breathe and see how much these kids we so often give little or no credit to will blossom.

I guarantee you the results will blow our minds.

#thankful4 Wednesday: Travel

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I’m grateful for the ability to travel.  Not just in the sense of moving from one location to another, but in the broader sense of experiencing new things in their entirety:  sights, feelings, tastes, sounds, smells… Something about being in a place where I recognize absolutely nothing is extremely exhilarating to me. 

 A lot of people seem to think they need money to “travel,” but if you think about it in the way I just described, there might be somewhere within your own town to “travel” to that you just didn’t know existed!  Just the other day I discovered a new park with a number of beautiful hiking trails right on the outskirts of my town; a ten minute drive away! I felt like I was traveling, even though it probably took less than a gallon of gas to get to this place.  You don’t “need money” to travel; just a sense of adventure and imagination, as well as an appreciation for the simple things – like those I mentioned above.  

What are you thankful for today?
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Previous Post: #thankful4 Wednesday: Ability to Think

* Every Wednesday, I post a picture and a couple paragraphs about something – usually something out of the ordinary – that I’m thankful for. Anybody who wants to is welcome to join me on this endeavor. (;

Animals Matter, Too!

I liked my last photography post so much that I decided to do another one. (: I talk a lot about humans and their rights on this blog, but I believe that animals* and the environment have certain “rights,” too. Without them, we wouldn’t be here! ❤

Note: I may have a particular affinity for cats..

Blue

Kitties

GirafFe

Cat

Mr Snake

Lilo

Monki

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*If you believe in evolution like I do, humans really just are another kind of animal. (;

Creativity?

Starting at some early point in my life – approximately the time of middle school – I began to believe, as many other people did, that I simply “wasn’t creative.”  I was really good at math, which contributed to me being “pushed” towards it and related subjects by teachers and mentors.  Eventually, I began to believe all the people saying that’s what “I was”: good at math.  I began college as a physics major that had a concentration in astronomy, but I changed majors to liberal arts by the beginning of the next school year.

Right around this time, in part because of my super-creative and talented boyfriend, I started getting in to painting, as well as photography.  I ended up taking courses in both, as well as two different writing courses over the span of the next school year.  I received A’s in all of those classes and got a lot out of all of them. 

Since then, I’ve painted more than a few paintings that I am proud of, became a pretty decent photographer, started a blog, and gotten in to drawing, crocheting, re-designing old clothes, rapping, composing music, and more!  I am by no means an expert at any of these things; in fact, I’m still quite the beginner in most of them.  But I tell you all this to say: you can’t let what society tells you about yourself get to you.  We live in a pretty left-brained world where, often, the varied number of skills we refer to as “the arts” are seen as silly, unimportant, somehow “lesser” than other subjects, and only suited for a select group of people.  It is misguided, and often teaches kids, just like myself, that there are “creative people,” – the ones who are “naturally” good at creative endeavors and will go far if they pursue them – and there are “non-creative” people – people who are only good for science and math and other rigid, left-brained work and shouldn’t even attempt things like painting, even for leisure. 

It’s a completely false dichotomy.  Just like Macklemore says in his song 10,000 Hours, “the greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint; the greats were great because they paint a lot.”

If I had simply listened to what society was telling me was true about myself, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this today.  And if I exist, others like me exist with powerful capabilities to positively impact the world who are just looking in all the wrong places.  If you’re reading this right now, there’s a pretty good chance you’re a part of the WordPress community and have tapped into your unique creative potential.  However, there are many more people out there who have not.  Regardless of which group you fall into, this is for you – because the complete reverse can be true of society, too, where many people think they simply aren’t good at highly “logical” subjects like math or science.  It still comes back to the point that “the greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint…” or as Eminem puts it, “you can do anything you set your mind to!”

Much Love.

#thankful4 Wednesday: Ability to Think

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I searched the internet for a word that describes this “ability to think,” but I couldn’t find any exact matches.  So, more specifically some things I’m grateful for are humans’ ability to have creative ideas, solve problems, learn new things, and (somewhat) comprehend pretty crazy facts like the sheer immensity of the universe.  I’m grateful that we can talk to ourselves in our head, and that we can use reason and logic to figure things out, analyze the past and (somewhat) predict the future.

The human brain is truly amazing, and something to marvel at no matter where you think we came from.  Despite their numerous failings, our brains are capable of some very intriguing, remarkable stuff.  ❤

I think you should be grateful to have one, too!

Much love,
(;

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Previous Post: #thankful4 Wednesday: Family Time

* Every Wednesday, I post a picture and a couple paragraphs about something – usually something out of the ordinary – that I’m thankful for. Anybody who wants to is welcome to join me on this endeavor. (;

Charity & Changing the World.

As I was driving home from work yesterday, I heard someone come on the radio and advertise a school supply drive where you could bring school supplies to this particular location and they would then be donated to people in need.  I sat there and began thinking: yes, donating school supplies to people in need might help a child a little bit in school, or at least help out the parents so they don’t have to spend the money, but to what end?   The people doing this don’t actually care about changing the systems that put people in need of school supplies in the first place.  All they’re doing is giving companies like Walmart and Crayola some extra money that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

I don’t believe we should stop giving people things they need like food, clothes, medicine, and school supplies.  However, we should realize that if that is all we are going to do, all we’re doing is creating a situation where generations after us will still be giving school supplies to each other years down the road, with no actual problems being solved.  We’re just going to end up with more and more people who need school supplies, clothes, medicine, food, etc.

I think that our concept of “charity” here in America, however well-intentioned it may be, is not solution-oriented enough.  We think we can just throw people money every now and then and maybe it will fix the world’s problems.  NEWS FLASH! That isn’t going to work!  To solve the problems that we see in the world today, we need a lot less charity and a lot more working on innovative ideas that will really change things.  Does our economic system allow for people to make absurd profits off the proliferation of complex societal problems like mental disease, poverty, drug use and abuse, the cancer and obesity epidemics, and terrorism?  Absolutely.  Capitalism definitely has its pros, but it also has some major cons.  Does our current governmental system allow people with large amounts of money to have a much larger political influence than those without the same?  Yes.  We may have a “democracy,” but it is corrupt, and it is not serving the people.  It needs a renovation.

To reiterate, my point is that charity, however helpful it may be for some people at some times, will not change the world in any meaningful way.  We need to – and I say this all the time – think bigger.  As in we need to see a bigger picture.  When we see problems – for example, cancer – we need to focus not just on ways to “cure” them or to put a metaphorical band-aid on them, but on ways to prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

So, I say let’s get out there and do some real work to change the world.  Not just sit around throwing people a few things here and there while perpetuating the very system that got them there in the first place.  God* knows we need some new and fresh ideas for this crazy 21st-century world.

(;

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*or Allah, or Buddha, or Vishnu, or The Universe

Don’t Believe Everything.

“Do not believe anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” 
— Buddha*

Whether the originator of this quote was actually Buddha is apparently debatable (hence the asterisk), but the truth behind each of the statements made still remains, regardless.  What’s basically being discussed in this quote is logical fallacies, and I’ve been wanting to blog on some of those for a while now.  (;

So, as for the first sentence – do not believe anything simply because you have heard it –  it isn’t (to my knowledge) a named logical fallacy, but I would hope it’s pretty self-evident that you should not believe things simply because you heard them somewhere.  That would be the definition of gullibility and would leave you believing everything, which would inevitably lead to many contradictions in your brain and probably leave you feeling pretty unhappy with yourself.

”Do not believe anything simply because it is rumored by many” is referring to the appeal of popularity, or ad populum.  Believing things just because everyone else does is a fallacy because an idea being popular does not make it somehow truer.  False ideas have, throughout the course of history, been very popular, like demon possession causing illnesses and mental disease, the earth being flat, and human sacrifices having some kind of measurable effect on our natural and physical environment.  Clearly, somebody’s opinion can not be invalid solely because it is not the same as everybody else’s.

The next two lines in the quote are essentially talking about two very similar logical fallacies that both show an over-reliance on a perceived-as-true source.  The first – believing things simply because they are in your religious books – is the fallacy of blind loyalty.  It means you are overly trusting of your sources, to the point where you believe things simply because of where they came from.  Right after that, you have the appeal to authority mentioned, which is claiming certain things as true simply because the person who originally claimed them is in a position of “authority.”  People in positions of authority are no more likely to tell the truth than anybody else, and, in fact, they are rather notorious for using their power to tell and sell lies.  The president of this country in 1998 made the statement, on-camera, that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.”  Well, as we all know, that statement didn’t turn out to be true.

The last fallacy that thou shalt not commit according to this quote is the appeal to tradition.  We should not do things simply because that’s how it’s “always been done” or because it’s “worked best so far.”  On the other side of this fallacy, you have the appeal to novelty, which is saying that something is right or good simply because it is new.

So, how are we to come to believe things if not in the aforementioned ways?  Well, I agree with the quote that careful observation, thorough analysis and – in my words – unbiased reason are faculties that everybody would do well to practice.  What should we be striving for in doing these things?  Again, I completely agree with what Buddha* said in that we should be focused on creating a society which is conducive to our common good, but without losing sight of individual rights in the process – “the benefit of One and all,” as the quote puts it.

There are, of course, many more logical fallacies out there that could not possibly all be covered in this post, so I highly recommend looking into those if you have not done so before.  People believing in so many illogical untruths, as discussed in this post, is a large part of why the world has all the issues that it has today.  Though I am pretty adamant about the powers of love, it is good to note that in absence of truth, love can not love at all (I think the new age movement promotes a lot of this, but that’s for another post).

So, here’s to truth!  And from there on, love. 

I hope you all have a wonder-full day.  ❤

Related Posts: the Matrix., Speaking the Truth
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Sources:  Wikipedia, YourLogicalFallacyIs.com, Master List of Logical Fallacies