Innovative Mindset in Society Is America Losing the Edge in Innovation?

Is America losing the edge in innovation? How can this be? Where did we go wrong? What happened? Could it be that we’ve changed our education system and society in a way that gives less incentive to innovators? That would be a travesty since our entire national identity is in part founded on the ‘can do attitude’. Let’s discuss this briefly and you tell me if you see it too.

Are we losing our ability to think creatively and innovatively solve problems? I believe so. We also seem to be losing self-reliance, no need to solve problems – all the problems have already been solved. No need to think, just look up the answer on Google. Suddenly, there is no accountability or integrity – passing off copied ideas and plagiarism for innovation.

Look, I am not Luddite, and I don’t live in a cave, I know there is innovation out there – it’s just that I see an ocean of imitation and very few pearls of innovation in comparison. Everyone is busy liking, friending and forwarding – searching online for the daily highlighted viral original concepts rather than coming up with new ideas themselves. Maybe that instant gratification of a dopamine blast is as good as that “Ah-Ha Moment” when you solve a problem or when the light-bulb of innovation dings that bell inside your brain?

There seems to be a deep desire among members of our society to be creative and innovative, just as companies know there is a distinct advantage to the having a robust Research and Development Department and maintaining an innovative edge in their sector. Perhaps that’s why everyone and their brother claims to be an Innovation Expert Consultant. It’s rather hilarious how many of these ‘innovation coaches’ promise to teach us how to innovate, yet, I dare to ask; how many of them have original thoughts themselves. Is this yet another case of; ‘those who can’t teach’.

As an innovator myself, I find it amazing what is passed off as creative or innovative in this day and age. I guess we all have free speech in America and one is free to call themselves an innovator if they wish without any proof or examples of creativity of innovative attributes – but that doesn’t make it so. There is no honor in continuing this faƧade, we are only hurting ourselves and we cannot fix the problem until we address the reality and the problem here. Do you see it too? What should we do? Please consider all this and think on it.

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Individuals in Societies

The relationship between individuals and societies is very close. Man is a social animal who lives in social groups in communities and in society. Man cannot live without society because man is a biological and psychological being equipped to live in groups. Human life and society almost go together. Society has become an essential condition for human life to arise and continue to live.

The relationship between individuals and societies is ultimately one of the profound of all the problems of social philosophy. It is more philosophical rather than sociological because it involves the question of values. Man depended on societies as a result of the society that is surrounded and encompassed by culture which is a societal force. It is in the society again that he has to conform to the norms, occupy statuses and become members of groups.

The questions of the relationship between the individual and the society is the starting point of many discussions. It is closely connected with the questions of the relationship of man and society. There are two main theories regarding the relationship between individual and society. They are the social contract theory and the organismic theory.

Relationship between individual and society

There would be no society if there were no people talking to one another, acting and interacting, cooperating with one another. But how to behave in one’s society or what is right and what is wrong in the society, all these things, one has to learn in the society. Each society has its own special set of rules, its own customs and traditions, its own set of values and beliefs, and each must teach its members to fit into the society. The idea of the society implies a mutual give -and -take process by the individuals concerned either in the form of mutual glances, waving of hands, greeting, handshake, conversation or the more subtle forms of give -and take such as letter writing, talking on the phone, e-mailing, internet chatting and participating in public affairs.

The relationship between individual and the society can be viewed from three angles

1 functionalist

2 interactionist, and

3 culture and personality

Functionalist view

Functionalist regard the individual as formed by society through the influence of such institutions as the family, school and workplace. Society is a reality, it is the origin and for all individuals. The collective consciousness showed the ways in which social interactions and relationship and ultimately society influence the individual’s attitudes, ideas, sentiments.

Interactionist views

As regards to interactionist view, it is through the interaction of people that society is formed; the main champion of this approach is built up out the interpretations of individuals. The structuralists or functionalist tend to approach the relationship of self-individual and society from the point of the influence of society on the individual. Interactionists on the other hand tend to work on self (individual) outwards, stressing that people create society.

Culture and personality

In reality, it is not society or the individual, but it is society and individual which helps in understanding the total reality. The extreme view of individuals or society has long been abandoned. for sociologist the present have recognized that neither society nor individual can exist without each other and that they are in reality different aspects of the same thing.

To conclude it, it can be stated that the relationship between society and individual is two-sided. Both go hand in hand, each is essentially dependent on the other. Both are interdependent on each other.

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Living In A Disposable Society – An Addiction To Junk

We live in a world where mass production of everyday household goods is leaving our earth piled high with broken junk. Products are losing out in quality so that they are cheaply available. This is creating a disposable society, a world full of unwanted items.

Once upon a long time ago, families bought household essentials with a view to keeping them for a lifetime. Even as an heirloom to pass down to future family members. Things were produced carefully and with quality in mind. In other words, they were built to last. Minimalistic lifestyles were the norm.

Today, in order for conglomerates to enrich themselves, use by dates on many of our day to day products are deliberately enforced to force us to buy the same thing again and again. It’s a paradox. A contradiction. On one hand we worry about pollution and a growing concern about our future earth, yet we fill up our homes with more gadgets, (some absolutely useless), than we will ever need. We buy cheap tools, kitchen gadgets, personal items that have a very short life span. This is due to poor quality materials being used in manufacture. Industry has learned that people are more likely to buy a two dollar, poorly made screwdriver, rather than a ten dollar Sidchrome screwdriver that will last for decades.

Take a moment and pull open a kitchen drawer. How many can openers do you own? How many vegetable peelers? Tongs? Need I say more? We are all guilty of this affliction. We are enticed into buying products we think we need, use them once or twice, then they squat in the bottom of a drawer for who knows how long.

Do you want our children and grandchildren to inherit a better planet? Then don’t fill it with junk. Next time you shop online or visit a mall, think carefully. Buy well. Ask yourself:

• Do I really need it?

• Is it of a quality that’s going to last?

Up-selling seems to be another commercial norm. The old, “Buy 2, get 1 free,” trick. Who really needs a pack of three vegetable peelers? You only need one good one.

Two dollar shops are flourishing, and the internet is full of I-commerce websites with page after page of picturesque adornments, trying to sell a plethora of low priced wares. We are easily convinced. We are barraged with offers from every where and on a daily basis. The mass media, the world wide web, and on our phones. Very few websites are ad-free. There overwhelming numbers of enticing links, urging us to buy. The end result – homes full of broken gadgets.

Before this post gets too lost in itself, I want to make its point clear. Buy Quality. Spend an extra dollar or two and buy things that will last. You don’t need a home or garage full of broken tools and household implements. You only need one good rake, one good shovel, quality knives and kitchen implements, and furniture that’s well made and going to last.

Using the excuse that quality costs money, is a poor appeal for justification. Why? Because you will be replacing cheap quality over and over, then in the end you will have spent just as much on junk anyway. Fork out an extra buck or two, buy it once, and don’t clutter your life with crap.

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The Use of Ladies Wigs for the Modern Society

Ladies wigs have been very popular, especially in western cultures. It’s mainly because they can be very useful in many ways. There are some that use wigs in order to change or improve their look and there are also some that use wigs due to medical conditions.

And that’s not all, sometimes, women who would like to stand out during a special occasion may use wigs. It may be a party, a gathering or a job interview, ladies wigs can not only improve how you look, but also boost your confidence.

Getting Tired of Looking The Same Way Everyday?

Try wearing a wig for change. You can choose from a wide variety of styles, from short to long wigs, small to large wigs, or even try out the ridiculous ones, if you are really into it. You can also choose to wear wigs to match your outfit. Though in a sense that, not all outfits can look alright with how you wear your natural hair. Given that thought, that’s why we have wide variety of wigs to choose from.

Wigs also come with different materials and styles. There are synthetic wigs, although a lot cheaper but can still get the job done, and there are also those which are made from actual human hair. If you are looking for a wig to fully express yourself, it is advisable that you opt to using synthetic wigs. These wigs come in colours and sizes and can give you the look you want, no matter how outstanding or outrageous it may be.

On the other hand, if you want a genuine look, you may go for Human hair wigs. These wigs, if worn and fitted exactly right, can make the impression of having natural hair instead of looking like you are wearing a toupee.If you are not sure what kind of wig to go for in order to get the look you want, you can ask or talk to wig manufacturers and suppliers. These guys, being more knowledgeable in the business, can help you with ideas and guide you through the selection process.

Ladies Wigs for Medical Conditions

Wigs are also preferred by women with hair loss problems such as aging or as a result from cancer therapy. Not only that they hide the condition, wigs also help boost the self-confidence of patients.

Additionally, not only that you are entitled to choose from a wide variety of wigs, in some cases, you can also avail for a tax exempt or even get lower price for wigs you buy. Some suppliers offer special discounts to women who has to wear a wig due to a medical condition.

If you are planning to get a wig to compensate for hair loss, first thing you need to do is to take a picture or find a picture of yourself, particularly your hairstyle. There are a lot of different wigs and experts will be able to determine what kind of wig you have to use in order to look the same way though having a medical condition. You can even send them your picture, head size and a lock of your hair to help determine accurately what is best for you.

So in the end, wigs are not just here to improve the look of modern women or get them in style. There are also those who use wigs to compensate for their medical conditions. Hair loss have a very big impact on one’s self-esteem and confidence, though sometimes it may be the result of illness or illness treatment like chemotherapy. Nevertheless, ladies wigs are here as an option whenever women encounter such a situation.

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The Relationship Between Science, Technology, and Society

Science and technology is the best thing society could ever ask for. Since the industrial revolution in the 18th century science has been in progress. Some sectors that have been boosted by science and technology are energy, physical sciences, information and communication. The society has greatly gained with the invention of technology.

Infrastructure in the society has grown with the help of science and technology. Modes of transport like electronic railway lines were realized and these actually benefited the society by offering them a better means of transport. In the past, almost everything was analog but thanks to the science and technology we are now being digitalized by the day. The invention of the telephone and radio services has broadened human communication.

Without society then there would be no science and technology and that is why the invention of certain tools and equipment have helped achieve big things. Society can not do without the industries we have today. The society needs science and technology. The creation of computers is work of art by individuals was a milestone that would come a long way in helping the society. A computer helps us to leverage ourselves by gaining valuable information that we can use to enrich our lives. The impact of science and technology can seriously be recognized. Many people around the world take for example scholars in colleges and universities have taken the lead examining the relationship between science and technology.

The evaluation of this relationship has emerged as an important area of research. Public interest groups and academic organizations throughout the world are recognizing the importance of STS. The reason is that people need to recognize that there are people who are affected by the science and technology. Controversies such as modified foods, stem cell research are the issues that have brought policy makers and scientists together to have a way forward on this.

Science and technology has actually largely contributed to the vision of man about himself. Science has been modified the opinion about the origin of man and place of origin too. Through the results of scientific discoveries the perception of man about his behavior and his place of origin has been modified diversly. Experiments in science today are in one way or another affecting the society.Take for example the experiment on cloning a human being. The experiment brought a lot of controversy since the society was skeptical about it.

How is science and technology related to society: The developing world has a long tradition of participatory action research, popular education and community organization joining up to solve some science and technology issues that affect the society. How is science and technology related to the society is something that is calling even for the government intervention. Science and technology related issues are actually been discussed worldwide today. Progress in this has resulted to the ability to produce diverse types of material items. Answering the question how science and technology is related to society.

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The Social, Cultural and Religious Roles of a Graphic Designer in Society

Graphic designers play several vibrant roles that ensure the development, survival, and sustenance of the society. It is no exaggeration to say that the products and services provided by Graphic designers ensure the smooth running of activities carried out in the society. Graphic designers educate, warn, inform, notify, entertain, etc. The Graphic artists play significant social, cultural and religious roles in the society.

Social Roles

Societal activities are promoted through the use of his products. For instance, the entertainment industry relies heavily on products in Graphic design. Cinematography, which is an aspect of the area is used for entertaining the young and old through its animated images and cartoons. Products in Graphic arts such as the production of hilarious books and other comic magazines that carries humorous stories coupled with satirical images are a mouth watering form of entertainment to the general public especially students.

The activities of the entertainment industry are communicated to the general public through communication tools such as posters, banners, flyers, handbills, etc. The identification of players and teams which are through jerseys bearing their individual names and flags of their respective countries are made easy as a result of printing.The programs of various sports are communicated to the general public through graphic design communication tools such as posters, banners, handbills etc.

Cultural Roles

In the traditional system of governance where a chief and his council (body of elders and other sub-chiefs) exercises authority over his subjects or members of the society, Graphic design products are greatly at work. Festivals, ceremonies, and rituals that are done in the society rely extensively on his products. These activities are relayed to the general public through posters, banners, flyers, and billboards. Cultural fabrics are printed with symbolic patterns that portray and educate us about our rich cultural heritage.

Religious Roles

Religious activities of the various religious bodies in the country are effectively carried out as a result of Graphic products. The location of the various temples, churches, shrines, and cathedrals are as a result of the signboards, signposts, billboards and banners carefully situated at vantage points. Without them, it would be very difficult for people to find the locations of the countless religious associations in the country. The printed attires which help us to readily identify roles that members of the religious group play. How will a new person in the church, mosque or shrine identify the leader of the religious group if not through the printed attire that they wear? Those with duties such as ministerial duties like ushers are identified by the printed stoles that they put on. Members of youth, men and women’s associations of several churches are easily recognized through the T-Shirts and association’s printed cloth. The interiors and exteriors of religious buildings are lavishly decorated with several wall hangings, buntings etc.

Also, the numerous posters, banners, flyers and handbills that inform members of religious programs, meeting days and times, harvest and fund-raising ceremonies are made possible by the Graphic designer. Church items are safely kept because of the comprehensive labels that have been done on them. The stickers, key holders, bangles and other church paraphernalia that attracts and draws new members into the various religious groups are as a result of him.

In some religious denominations, special books which are believed to be ‘holy’ such as the Bible and the Koran are used for teaching and disseminating the doctrines of the religious bodies. It can be said without exaggeration that the Graphic designer assists greatly in the smooth flow of religious activities carried out by the various religious bodies in the country.

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Narcissism and Today’s Society

“It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self – love.” – Voltaire

The subject of ‘Narcissism’ has intrigued us for many decades, but social scientists now claim that it has become a “modern epidemic”. The term ‘Narcissism’ originated more than 2000 years ago when Ovid wrote the ‘Legend of Narcissus’, which tells the story of a beautiful Greek hunter, Narcissus, who, one day, sees his reflection in a pool of water and falls in love with it. He becomes obsessed with his own beauty and is unable to leave his reflected image until he dies. The concept of Narcissism was first introduced by the famous psychoanalyst, Dr. Sigmund Freud’s essay ‘On Narcissism’. He popularized this new concept through his work on the ‘ego’ and its relation to the outside world. Narcissism can be defined as the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The ‘American Psychiatry Association’ has classified this as ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’ (NPD).

Narcissism lies on a continuum from healthy to pathological. Healthy narcissism is part of normal human functioning. It represents required self – love and confidence based on real achievements and the ability to overcome setbacks. But, narcissism becomes a problem when one becomes excessively preoccupied with the self and seeks complete admiration and attention, with complete disregard for others’ feelings. Lack of satisfaction of this need leads to substance abuse and major depressive disorders. In adolescents, this causes ‘Substance Dependency Disorder’ (SDD) – they display overt narcissistic and prosocial behaviours, which show a connection between self – centeredness and addiction. These substances include sedatives like alcohol, psychedelics and hallucinogens like marijuana and LSD, stimulants like cocaine, narcotics like opium, heroin, and morphine, and anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax.

“Narcissists unconsciously deny an unstated and intolerably poor self – image through inflation. They turn themselves into glittering figures of immense grandeur, surrounded by psychologically impenetrable walls. The goal of this self – deception is to be impervious to greatly feared external criticism, and to their own rolling sea of doubts.” This is how Elan Golomb describes NPD, in her book ‘Trapped in the Mirror’. The narcissists fail to achieve intimacy with anyone as they view other people like items in a vending machine, and uses them to serve their own needs, never being able to acknowledge that others might have their own feelings too.

Narcissism is filled with irony and paradox, whether as a character trait or as a clinical disease. Emily Levine says, “I thought Narcissism was about self – love till someone told me there is a flip – side to it… it is unrequited self – love.” It must be remembered that, Narcissus weeps to find out that his image does not return his love. This indicates that, a loving engagement with the self does not, and cannot, come from putting on lofty airs, acting with self – satisfied arrogance or being obsessed with assorted fantasies of ideal brilliance or beauty. Healthy, non – egotistical self – love arises from an unconditional acceptance of the self, without having to declare superiority over others. Deep down, the narcissists know, albeit unconsciously, that they are not really what they project. In fact, one of their central defenses is to endlessly project onto others the very flaws and fears that they are unable or unwilling, to allow into awareness. They are critical of others’ shortcomings, but completely blind to their own – their self – love must be seen as an illusion, a spectacular triumph of self – deception. They can only love their false, idealized self – a mirage that cannot possibly return the fantasy – laden love. Their flawed self, hidden beneath their outward bravado, remains locked up and placed in permanent exile. And, to continuously safeguard themselves from a reality that so frequently contradicts their grandiose assumptions and pretensions, they are forced to employ a massive defense stratagem, with extraordinary rigidity.

Although very few of us are actually diagnosed with NPD, almost all of us are guilty of sharing certain narcissistic tendencies. So, Todd Solondz says, “Narcissism and self – deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off the bridge.” For true narcissists, the defenses are absolutely necessary to compensate their ego deficits and reduce feelings of shame. Without them, they might result in a state of suicidal depression; for, narcissists do not really like themselves – the more they boast and demean others, they are more likely to cover up for their deeper, largely hidden feelings of inferiority and lack of love. Blinded by their idealized self – image, they try to project themselves as gifted, exceptional and unique – that in turn makes them egotistical and arrogant. According to TS Eliot, “… half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm but the harm [that they cause] does not interest them. Or they do not see it or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” This shows a distinction between narcissists who are malevolent, and those who simply lack concern of how their behaviour might adversely affect others. It is yet another way of gaining attention to their supreme self – absorption, which makes it impossible for them to identify with others’ feelings.

Kurt Cobain says, “I don’t care what you think, unless it is about me.” This shows the narcissist’s indifference to the outer world unless it specifically relates to them. They are completely incapable of a genuine interest in others’ matters unless they are needed for the former’s assertion of superiority. Narcissists are also great con – artists; after all, they always succeed in deceiving themselves. It becomes particularly painful when they suffer from memory loss, when, they lose out parts of the person they love the most. In general, a narcissist “devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, wreathing shells aside”, says Sam Vaknin. Hate is a complement of fear, and the narcissists like being feared – it provides them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence. The difference between Narcissism and self – love is a matter of depth. Narcissus falls in love not with the self, but with an image or reflection of the self, with the persona, the mask. Narcissists see themselves through the eyes of others, changes their lifestyle and behaviour and expression of feelings, according to others’ admiration. Narcissism is voluntary blindness, an agreement not to look beneath the surface. Yet, Oscar Wilde says, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life – long romance” – this notion of self – love leans towards the pathological and the auto – erotic as well.

Prof. Jean Twenge differentiates narcissism from the idea of self – esteem. One high in self – esteem, values individual achievements, but they also value their relationships and caring for others. Contrarily, narcissists miss out on valuing and caring their relationships, as they lack empathy. Prof. Twenge and Keith Campbell, a specialist on Narcissism, joined hands to investigate whether people born in more recent generations score higher against Narcissism measures, than in previous generations. The tool they used to assess their subjects is the ‘Narcissistic Personality Inventory’ (NPI), created in 1988. It is the most widely used measure of Narcissism in social – psychological research, where a 40 item forced – choice version is the one most commonly employed.I Following Freud’s and Kohurt’s theories, individuals would be diagnosed clinically as patients of NPD, if they fulfil the following criteria:

A. Grandiose sense of self – importance or uniqueness

B. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

C. Exhibitionism

D. Cold indifference of marked feelings of rage, inferiority, shame, humiliation or emptiness in response to criticism, indifference of others or defeat

E. At least, two of the following characteristic disturbances in inter – personal relationships:

I. Entitlement – expectation of special favour without assuming reciprocal responsibilities

II. Inter – personal exploits

III. Relationships that characteristically alternate between the two extremes of overidealisation and devaluation

IV. Lack of empathy

F. Vulnerability to shame, rather than guilt

G. Denial of remorse or gratitude

In this regard, reference can be made to Hotchkiss’s ‘Seven deadly Sins of Narcissism’, which include shamelessness, magical thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation, bad boundaries.

The ‘narcissistic dilemma’ is seen when, being criticized, the narcissists show themselves pitifully incapable of retaining any emotional poise or receptivity. But, these disturbed individuals also display an abnormally developed capacity to criticize others. Their dilemma is that the rigidity of their defenses, their inability ever to let their guard down, even among their closest people, guarantees that they will never get what they most need, which unfortunately, they are themselves oblivious to. People are never born narcissist, it is powerful environmental influences that make them so. Being neglected and ignored, or constantly disparaged or berated by parents in childhood, they form unrealistically high standards of behaviour. Unable to meet up to their parents’ unreasonable, perfectionist expectations, they create an imaginary “ideal self” that could receive the parental acceptance, even adulation, which they yearn for. The main elements of narcissism are narcissistic supply, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury, and narcissistic abuse. Narcissism can be of various types, and its causes are not yet well – known. Inherited genetic defects are thought to be responsible in some cases, along with environmental factors –

1. Childhood abuse or neglect

2. Excessive parental pampering

3. Unrealistic expectation from parents

4. Sexual promiscuity

5. Cultural influences

A study shows the changes in levels of Narcissism over the past few decades, among the college – going students, i.e. the youth; it is seen rampant in the society of USA today, because these youths are the future leaders, and Narcissism is very harmful to the society as a whole and can cause failure in academic and other endeavours. Twenge and Campbell conducted a survey in American institutions from 1979 – 2006 and found an upward shift in scores on the NPI, meaning that, now the average college student embraces narcissistic tendencies more than their counterparts, two decades ago. The rise in Narcissism in the American population might be because now, from a young age, Americans are taught that they are very special and unique, that in turn increases their self – esteem. Extroversion and assertion are the key factors of Narcissism. It is also due to the large emphasis on materialism and wealth, with a focus on individual’s pleasure and success, in the current American society.

Today, Narcissism has gripped the entire world, as indicated by the rapid change in society that occurred during the industrial and post – industrial times. The past few decades have witnessed a societal shift from a commitment to the collective to a focus on the individual or self. Here comes in the ‘self – esteem movement’ which became the key to success in life. The parents tried to “confer” self – esteem upon their children rather than allowing them to achieve it through hard work. The rise of individualism and the decline in social norms that accompanied the modernization of society, led to a shift from the concept of what is best for the others and family to what is best for “me”. The commercial world with total focus on wealth and fame, created an “empty self, shorn of social meaning”. Today, the generation of young adults – the ‘Generation Y’ – also known as the ‘Millenials’ and ‘Generation Me’, comprising of individuals born between 1975 – 1995, are condemned for being narcissistic, selfish, self – entitled, and having unrealistic expectations from life.

The rise in technology and the advancement of immensely popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, YouTube have changed the way we now spend our leisure time and communicate with others. Internet addiction is a new area of study in mental health and many researchers show that addiction to Facebook, Twitter is strongly linked to narcissistic behaviour and low self – esteem. The notion that the current generation is increasingly becoming narcissistic, as a product of the “like effect” (a theory where the number of ‘likes’ on social media produce greater self – esteem) has been widely debated. This effect creates negative self – esteem contrary to egotism due to modern youths constantly comparing the quantity of ‘likes’ or the quality of a picture to that of another. The ego can never be satisfied with increasing number of ‘likes’. Also, the total control over one’s perception of social media allows modern youth to see an unrealistic, distorted image that they will compare themselves to. Thus, regular posting of ‘selfies’ on social media promotes Narcissism, that is actually a cry of ego – satisfaction. Social networking sites are believed to be outlets for narcissistic expression, and Gen Y, aged between 17 – 21 years, are particularly vulnerable to its negative effects. Lucy Clyde says, “If you are a narcissist, you are looking for a positive reflection of yourself, the world is your mirror and you are constantly looking for affirmation. For this reason, you’re probably curating your own life very heavily on social media.”

Named ‘Word of the Year’ in 2013 by the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “selfie” has become very common among all teens and young adults, in today’s technological era. A “selfie” is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken by a smartphone or a webcam, and shared via social media”. For Gen Y, taking selfies and posting them on social media has become inevitable parts of daily living, promoting Narcissism. Millenials, aged 18 – 33 years, are hyper – connected with little awareness or concern for the others. “Generation Me”, today, is a victim of the ‘Selfie Syndrome’ – they post, tag and comment on self – portraits, believing that others are interested in their daily activities, and they want to tell others what they are doing. Selfies symbolize that shamelessly flaunting your Narcissism is trendy; if you put an inspirational quote under your selfie, no one can see your Narcissism. A selfie a day keeps insecurities away – “constantly taking selfies will not make you prettier; may you someday find someone to love you as much as your selfies indicate you love yourself.” Today, the confidence level is measured by “a selfie with no filter”. Never before has a generation so diligently recorded themselves, accomplishing so little – “if you could take selfies of your souls, would you find it attractive enough to post?”

It seems, those people who constantly post selfies must not own mirrors like the rest of us; but again, mirrors should not be taken too seriously, as one’s true reflection is in his heart. Increase in Narcissism pose a threat to the emotional and psychological health of the youth – it results in self – enhancement and self – promotion, preventing them from establishing lasting intimate relationships. Also, they tend to be prone to respond with violent and aggressive behaviour after being criticized. Online relationships may appeal more to narcissists, who are otherwise unable to, or unwilling, to form meaningful relations that demand any time or emotional attachment. The increase of smartphones and many new sophisticated gadgets allow people to access social media very easily, contributing to widespread Narcissism. Managing and revising one’s online profile content is a vital aspect of the youth’s online identity and “e – personality”. Social networking sites give narcissistic individuals the chance to keep the focus of their profile’s content solely on themselves. By this, they post status updates, comments and photos that depict only themselves, and not others, perpetuating their selfish nature. The online profiles allow them to achieve a type of social identity that they wish to portray, through exaggeration of certain character traits, and present a persona that they believe is appealing to the world, at large.

Lack of empathy for others cause preoccupation with the Gen Y’s own frustrated selves and emotional distresses, while growing up – they go out of their houses, but focused on themselves only, taking selfies – and thus, can never completely come out of their own selves. They lose out on moral values, and find it difficult to come out of their own fears. The increasing demand for plastic surgeries, worldwide, to look better in the eyes of others, is also an unfortunate consequence of the rise of Narcissism. They always remain emotionally and spiritually unfulfilled, hungry for a nebulous something they cannot even conceive, and project a constant detachment in all relationships, even in the most intimate ones.

Treatment of ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’ (NPD) is possible through psychotherapy, or talk – therapy. But Narcissism has certain beneficial effects too. It has a fundamental connection with leadership, as both the notions have the common factors – dominance, extroversion, confidence and power. Because of these, narcissists become good and successful leaders, provoked by their desire for self – assertion, glory and power. But today, individualism is co – related to materialism and Narcissism. So, together, the world’s Narcissism is huge – the collective Narcissism results in the destruction of the planet. Together, we are wiping out one species after another from this world, fuelled by consumerism and our growing self – importance. Our Narcissism may eventually turn out to be our Nemesis, in the end.

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The Addictive Society and Cannabis

This is the first of a three-part series about the contextual influences modern society has on mood disorders and addictions, 2) the risks of buy-in, and 3) the possibility of soul renewal via (but not limited to)therapeutic cannabis use.

Part I: The Addictive System

“We live in a society bloated with data yet starved for wisdom. We’re connected 24/7, yet anxiety, fear, depression and loneliness is at an all-time high. We must course-correct.” ~Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey

The “addictive system” (1) is the elephant in the living room. Mood disorders and addictions, like everything else, do not occur in a vacuum. Yet we tend to miss the overarching societal ‘space’ when only focused on individual issues, like depression and anxiety or opioid and social-media addictions.

What exactly is this context?

It is an invisible psychological environment, the backdrop within which people are unwittingly succumbing to addiction or suffering mood disorders. The rise in antidepressant prescriptions and the number of suicides profile the growing dark side of modern society.

It is a complex, interconnected web of public (government) and private corporations, aligned with the media in the marketing and advertising of information, products and services 24/7: a surround-sound cacophony of targeted messaging designed to shape both public opinion and an ever-stronger consumer mindset.

Some call it propaganda.

Intangible, psychological concepts are applied to marketing and sales, ones that supposedly drive all humans: the perceived need for: social status, safety, winning, the right image, having the best, looking good, gaining an edge, keeping up with your neighbor, excellence, being the first, etc. Advertising messages then weave-in the promise of helping the ‘consumer’ achieve one or another of these intangible goals when they purchase their information, product and/or service. The ubiquity of these messages in modern society have become normalized and even welcomed.

How did we get here?

Edward Bernays, in early to mid-20th century, is most likely the person who set the bar for public relations and advertising in the U.S. He was the nephew to the well-known psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, and like his uncle before him, Bernays believed in the predictability of the human unconscious when it came to the human and psychological motivations of self-preservation, security, aggression and sex.

He transferred what he learned from his uncle to help launch his career in public relations and became wildly successful. Due to his efforts on behalf of the pork industry in 1915, bacon became a mainstay of the traditional breakfast. In the 1920’s he make smoking fashionable for women by calling cigarettes “torches of freedom” to advance the tobacco industry, and established fluoride as indispensable to dentistry in the 1930’s (a waste product of aluminum) for his client, Alcoa Aluminum. (2)

Watch this video that says it all: Be Inspired

Stay tuned for Part II: Buy-in to the Addictive System at Your Own Risk

  1. Anne Wilson Schaef. When Society Becomes an Addict. Harper and Row, Publishers Inc. 1987
  2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_relations_campaigns_of_Edward_Bernays
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Swift’s Criticism of Society in "A Modest Proposal"

Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” (anonymously published in 1729) is a powerful political satire about the economic and social conditions of the poor in Ireland under British rule. The essay is rich with references to political events in England and Ireland in the 18th century. Swift takes ‘irony’ as the best weapon to attack on all kinds of vice and injustice prevailing in the society. Now we will see how Swift criticizes the society in his essay.

Before, entering into our discussion we are to know something the miserable condition of that Ireland. Actually the misfortune of Ireland begins when, in 1541, the Irish recognizes England’s Henry viii, a Protestant, as king of Ireland. The protestant landlords acquire almost ten percent of estates. Meanwhile, a law is enacted limiting the rights of Irish to hold government office, purchase, real estate and get education. Consequently, many of Irish flee away and those who remain live in poverty disease and starvation.

The essayist, at the very beginning of the essay, states the deplorable economic condition and social picture of Ireland under the British rule. As the author says:

“IT is a melancholly Object to those, who walk through this great Town, or travel in the Country; when they see the Streets, the Roads, and Cabbin-doors crowded with Beggars of the Female Sex, followed by three, four, or six Children, all in Rags, and importuning every Passenger for an Alms.”

Moreover, the author fears that, when the infants of these beggars grow up, “either turn Thieves for want of Work; or leave their dear Native Country, to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.”

This miserable situation is, in fact, resulted by the indifference of English administration and the oppression of landlords. Instead of solving the problem the British government shows a great carelessness to the repeated appeals to feed those hungry mouths.

Now, swift, as an English patriot finds out a “fair, cheap, and easy Method of making these Children sound and useful Members of the Commonwealth”. He wants to come with a proposal in such a manner, as he says:

“… as, instead of being a Charge upon their Parents, or the Parish, or wanting Food and Raiment for the rest of their Lives; they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the Feeding, and partly to the Cloathing, of many Thousands.”

Swift criticizes the authority by prospecting that this scheme “will prevent those voluntary Abortions, and that horrid Practice of Women murdering their Bastard Children” which is “too frequent among us”. His criticism towards the English administration becomes more clear when he doubts that, the poor innocent babies are killed “more to avoid the Expence than the Shame”. The author mocks the intellectuals and the policy makers of the time by proposing his grotesque proposal in the most formal manner with a great gravity. As the essayist comments:

“I SHALL now therefore humbly propose my own Thoughts; which I hope will not be liable to the least Objection.”

Now we will have a look on his proposal. In his proposal Swift suggests that a significant portion of Irish children should be slaughtered and their carcasses should be sold to the wealthy as well as landlords so that the poor parents can be economically benefited and get rid of the burden of the maintenance. The essayist criticizes the brutal mentality of the authority, as they never considered Irish as human being. To indicate their meanness, the essayist uses such words which are best suitable for the animal not for the human being. He uses the word, for example, ‘carcasses’, remains of dead animals dressed by butchers, to refer the remains of children prepared as meat.

Again, the essayist equates the oppressors with the butchers as they mercilessly snatch away the bread from the hand of the Irish children and rush them to the way of death. As the author says:

“…and Butchers we may be assured will not be wanting”

The essayist also criticizes the landlords for their aggressive attitude to the poor Irish. As Swift remarks:

“I GRANT this Food will be somewhat dear and therefore very proper for Landlords; who, as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children.”

Swift stabs the authorities for their mistreatment to the Irish poor prospecting that, they will be very glad to eat human flesh as they have lost their sense.

“I could name a Country, which would be glad to eat up our whole Nation without it.”

The author also criticizes the fashionable ladies and the so called gentle folk of the society. As he says:

“THOSE who are more thrifty (as I must confess the Times require) may flay the Carcase; the Skin of which, artificially dressed, will make admirable Gloves for Ladies, and Summer Boots for fine Gentlemen.”

Swift, in order to criticize the society, ironically shows six benefit of the proposal.

Firstly: it will reduce the total number of Catholics, the enemy of the Protestants.

Secondly: the poor parents will get some money with which they can pay landlords rent.

Thirdly: the money will circulate among the Irish and increases national income.

Fourthly: the mothers will get rid of the charge of maintaining the children after the first year.

Fifthly: the empty taverns will be full with a huge number of customers.

Finally: it will be a great encouragement to marriage and increase the care and the tenderness of mother to their children.

Actually Swift’s proposal shocks every reader even the cruel barbarian can not think of such a cannibalistic idea of eating man’s flesh. Everyone with common sense can easily understand that out of extreme agony the essayist gives such suggestion. He wants to say beneath this proposal that government should take this proposal if they can not solve the problem immediately.

At the end of the essay, the bitter criticism is clear when the essayist terminates the proposal ensuring the readers that he has not least interest rather the public good of his country. As he says:

“I have no Children, by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine Years old, and my Wife past Child-bearing.”

Swifts, by this easy, very successfully draws the attention of the authority as well as the readers. Robert Phiddian has written an essay entitled “Have You Eaten Yet” after reading this essay.

Some scholar argues that, “A Modest Proposal” is largely influenced by Tertullian’s “Apology”. James William Johnson points out the same central theme in both of the essay. Both of the essays are similar in their tone and the use of irony.

Last of all, it can be said that Jonathan Swift very successfully uses his mighty pen against the English oppressors by ridiculing their so called vanity as the writer knows that, the devil is brave in the face of threat, strong hearted before the tears and vulnerable only in the Achilles’ heel of his vanity.

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Sports Psychology: How To Win Your Next Competition: 31 Tips To Help You Perform Your Best

If you’re a sales person, a manager, an entrepreneur, a trial lawyer, a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, you frequently need an edge to perform to your fullest potential.

If you know how to get into the zone and stay there, you definitely will have the edge or advantage you need to win, beat your competition and perform to you fullest potential.

What Is The Zone?

In short, the zone is a state of relaxed concentration where there is no self-criticism. You are confident, relaxed, focused and living in the present. Furthermore, there is a sense of enjoyment, your actions seem automatic and easy and there is an increased belief that your dreams can become realities.

It is interesting to note that the zone parallels and matches a hypnotic state of mind.

Thirty One Tools You Need To Use Effectively To Stay In The Zone

The author has worked with thousands of world class athletes, young athletes and weekend warriors. He has evaluated and helped Olympic champions.

Below you will find a simple questionnaire and rating system that can athletes, coaches and parents of athletes to understand the elements which comprise the zone. Readers of this article will also understand what the common barriers are to getting into the zone.

Here are the questions.

Simply rate yourself from 1-10 on each of the questions.

You can use ratings from zero to ten and you can use decimal points. Ten is the highest rating you can get a zero is the lowest rating.

  1. How confident do you feel?
  2. How relaxed do you feel?
  3. How focused do you feel?
  4. How well have you been practicing?
  5. How resilient do you feel?
  6. How well do you sleep the night before a competition?
  7. Are your eating, sleeping and exercising patterns in balance with one another?
  8. How much fun do you have when you compete?
  9. Can you quiet self -criticism?
  10. Do you engage in positive self-talk?
  11. Are you able to tune out distractions?
  12. Are you able to stay in the present?
  13. Do you have pre-shot routines that you consistently use?
  14. Do you have a “Plan B,” if your “A Game” is not working?
  15. Do you follow and eating regime that makes sense for your body and your sport?
  16. Can you empty your mind and trust your athletic body?
  17. Can you quiet your mind to focus on just one thing?
  18. Are you injury free?
  19. Are you able to control any interpersonal problems or stressors?
  20. Do you use a simple mantra, phrase or tune to reset your mind and your body during before, during and after you compete?
  21. Do you know how to recover from a loss, setback or slump?
  22. For young athletes-How is your relationship with your parents?
  23. Have you seen yourself on video in the last ninety days?
  24. Are you grateful for your opportunity to master a sport or a skill?
  25. Do you have a technique to move from choking to the zone?
  26. Are you having fun competing and practicing?
  27. Do you set short and long term measurable goals and objectives?
  28. If you are a religious or spiritual person, do you use prayer as part of your training and as part of your pre-game routine?
  29. How well do you manage the highs and lows that are a part of any challenge?
  30. How is your relationship with your coaches, teammates and colleagues?
  31. Do you practice meditation, visualization, guided imagery or visualization prior to competing and when you practice?

“Ideally, I like to see athletes with scores of 8.5 on most of the above. Being eighty five per cent ready, is usually enough to produce fine performances. So, a perfect score on this test is about 263.5 If you get this score, there is a good chance that you are in a mental frame of mind that will allow you to perform well.

If you discover weaknesses that are causing you to lose matches and tournaments, you need to develop strategies and techniques to overcome these deficiencies.

It is hard to make these kinds of changes on your own. A sport psychologist, coach or mentor can often be quite helpful in building confidence, reducing anxiety, improving focus and in showing you how to enter the zone more often.

If your scores are very low, you can probably benefit from some counseling, mental toughness training or training in self-hypnosis.

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