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What We Can Learn From The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting.

On February 14th, 2018, Parkland Florida was struck by an absolute tragedy. A 19 year old MAN (Not a child, a man) shot and killed 17 people, Alyssa, Scott, Martin, Nicholas, Aaron, Jamie, Chris, Luke, Cara, Gina, Joaquin, Alaina, Meadow, Helena, Alex, Carmen and Peter in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 12 other students suffered injuries from gunshot wounds as well. This took place near the end of the school day on Valentines day but before even 24 hours passed, students of MSD jumped into action. These students have inspired me in so many ways, here is what we can we can learn from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting.

Sometimes “See Something, Say Something” Fails.

As most of us have heard, the shooter had been reported to the police and the FBI over 20 times. He had been psychiatrically evaluated and proven to show signs of mental illness, He had been outcast by his peers due to his behaviour, expelled from school, violent with other students, disturbing social media posts, the list goes on. He had even been reported that he was at high risk of  conducting a school shooting. It’s absolutely beyond me why nothing could have been done to prevent this when they had so much information on the tragic state of this man. So why would we ‘Say Something’ if it doesn’t do anything anyway? Well, although clearly protocols were not followed in this situation, that does not mean we give up. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure somehow information is relayed to police when you see signs of danger within a student or peer. As scary as it can be to contact police, you could be saving lives. Or maybe not, maybe nothing will come of it and you were wrong all along, maybe there was nothing truly ‘wrong’ with this person BUT its worth the time and effort in case your gut instinct is right.

High School students have far more potential than just being “Millennials” 

We’ve all heard the stereotypes and assumptions about this generation. We’re all on our phones, addicted to screens, lack motivation, won’t amount to much, the list really does go on. At times I agreed with a lot of these things, but these students have created a whirlwind of education, emotion and pure motivation that I have never seen before. Their genuine drive to create change is truly inspiring and something that everyone can learn from. Its not easy to go through what they went through then jump right into interviews, political debates and potential life changing discussions, but thats exactly what these students have done. Which brings me to my next point…

Change can happen. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods has released a statement announcing that they will no longer be selling assault style riffles and will not be selling ANY gun to anyone under the age of 21, regardless of state laws. The chief executive of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward Stacks stated “We don’t want to be a part of this any longer.” It was also stated that this is a direct act due to the Parkland Shooting. This is concrete proof that if you diligently act towards an issue that you’re passionate about, change will come. For the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, remaining the same was not an option. Its been 2 weeks since the shooting happened and change is already happening. As people we can keep pushing and keep demanding action. Whether you live in a place where gun violence is a prominent issue, or its something you’ve never had a personal connection to, you can create change for our world.

There is hope. 

Overall, there is hope. I know sometimes it doesn’t seem like it and sometimes it feels like the world couldn’t get any worse, but there is hope. There are people out there that care about human beings and care about the state of humanity. Those are the people that will change our world for the better. Love will always win. Keep pushing, keep feeling and keep fighting for what you believe in and don’t stop no matter how long it takes.

#NEVERAGAIN

The 17 victims who lost their lives… Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet , Aaron Feis, Jamie Guttenberg, Christopher Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alexander Schachter, Carmen Schentrup and Peter Wang.

Please remember these people are not just numbers, statistics and faces. These are real people with real lives. If you want to know more about the victims lives, watch the video below.

Rest In Peace.

d36d6f73-d7a7-41e0-aa76-c92382983198-ALLVICTIMNS

New York Times | Dicks Sporting Goods Article

Ways to support:

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES | Sign The Petition/Donate

Student Speeches/Responses:

Emma Gonzalez Speech | We Call B.S.

CNN Town Hall In Wake Of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting | Full Video

Cameron Kasky Interview | “This is something that CAN be stopped and this is something that WILL be stopped.

 

 

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Activism, Bullying, Self Improvement, Uncategorized

Why The Internet Has 99 Problems And Logan Paul Is Not The Only One.

Since we hit 2018 less than one week ago, we’ve already had our first internet meltdown. On January 2nd, 2018, Youtuber Logan Paul shared a video of him and his friends visiting a forest in Japan that is a very well known place that people go to commit suicide. From the very beginning of the video, the concept of suicide was treated as an absolute joke by Paul and the rest of his team. When entering the forest they came across a dead body hanging from a tree, filmed it up close, laughed about it and turned it into a full 15 minute YouTube video to attract views.

Why is this wrong? Well, what logan Paul did was extremely disrespectful and inconsiderate but, lets look at the bigger picture.

Think about what you saw on YouTube 8 years ago, then think about what you’re seeing now. The entire concept of video making and entertaining has changed. It’s no longer about expressing yourself and creating quality content for people to enjoy, it’s solely about producing any content that makes your life look better than everyone else’s and video titles that people feel inclined to click on. Youtubers like Logan Paul follow this method and have become so invested in views and money that they have lost touch with reality. This also comes from the sense of entitlement that is developed when you have a large social media following, if you’ve ever seen a Logan Paul vlog, you would know his sense of entitlement and superiority is through the roof, he’s constantly causing public disturbances and creating trouble for other people wherever he goes and he gets paid for it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that if someone makes quality YouTube content that they are passionate about, they should be paid for it. But there needs to be boundaries for what people can and cannot post. If there were clear and enforced guidelines of what you can post (and be paid for) Logan Paul would have never posted something like that. But a lot of the big youtubers we see use aggressive titles because they’re differen and shocking and thats what will get you views.

Here’s where we come in…
As an avid YouTube watcher I know what it’s like to sit on your computer for hours and hours looking for things to watch. I know it’s easy to trail of into pointless videos which usually ends up being completely harmless. But, when we watch youtubers like Logan Paul, we are feeding his career. We’re giving him our time and views which is giving him a platform that he has been abusing for quite some time now. Could you imagine if none of us ever clicked on his videos in the first place? Maybe things would be different, or maybe they wouldn’t. But I do know that is that if we make the choice to put our time and views into youtubers who make quality content and care about what they produce, things would be a lot different.

Watching “clickbait” videos is a huge waste of your time. We live in this bubble of social media and clickbait, where people are dying to think of a title for their video that will make you feel like you need that video in your life. These titles are created simply because the video is clearly not that interesting and they need people to think it is. Why else would you do it? Do yourself a favour and go live your life instead of watching mindless people live theirs. Trust me, you can save yourself a lot of time by being able to recognize and ignore clickbait.

What can we do to fix this? Although there is a lot that can’t be fixed or undone, as an individual give your time and energy to people that do good and work hard for their careers to thrive! There are so many entertaining youtubers out there who truly work hard and love what they do but just because they don’t cause a scene everywhere they go, they’re never recognized for what the do! Underneath this post I will put a list of youtubers who I watch personally that I think are very fun and admirable. Give them a watch, you might find someone you like!

Cody Ko

Emma Chamberlain

Shane Dawson

Liza Koshy

Jimmy Tatro

Tyler Oakley

Glozel

JacksGap

Joey Graceffa

 

I’m sure this will get you started, explore YouTube, find new (good) people, or just get off YouTube and go outside maybe? No? Ok never mind:)

 

thanks for reading!

 

Arden Sullivan

 

Activism, Self Improvement

If a story moves you, act on it!

“Stories are necessary, but they’re not as magical as they seem, says writer Sisonke Msimang. In this funny and thoughtful talk, Msimang questions our emphasis on storytelling and spotlights the decline of facts. During a critical time when listening has been confused for action, Msimang asks us to switch off our phones, step away from our screens and step out into the real world to create a plan for justice.” -quote from TED talk discription

Activism, Mental health, Self Improvement

Getting through your worst days with mental illness + more

Having anxiety, depression, low self esteem, any mental illness or even if you’re just having a tough time can make it extremely hard to see the light in the future or even the light in that day. Here are some tips and strategies you can take to actively beat your worst days and relax your mind for even just a short period of time. Life can be extremely stressful and we all need to take a step back sometimes!:)

Ending it all is not an option. We all have days, weeks, months and even years where we feel at our worst and we don’t feel like we are accomplishing anything. Some of us feel as though the only resort is to end it all but my biggest piece of advice I can give is to think “Ending my life is not an option.” Wether you believe it, agree with it, think its valid or not, live by those words. Because although it can be extremely hard to see, there is light beyond what your feeling and life beyond what struggles you’re facing and you need to tell yourself that suicide is not the answer no matter how easy or good of an option it may seem like.

Write and walk! Get yourself a pen and paper or a journal and just write for a while! You can write about why you’re feeling the way you are or even relive a really good day that you had and why you are grateful for that day. Write about whatever your mind wants to let out. If you choose to write about why you’re feeling sad or what triggered you on that specific day, after writing it out, throw it in the garbage then go for a nice walk! Walk around, listen to some music or even just listen to the sound of the world and just take some time to yourself. Sometimes in stressful situations we forget to stop and breathe for a minute which will cause a lot more stress. It’s always a good idea to get some fresh air.

Netflix and chill? Sounds great! No, not the Netflix and chill you’re thinking of! Sometimes you just need to chill out and watch your favourite TV show or old movie. I personally like to have a hot bath (add a nice bath bomb or bubble bath!) and set up my computer in the bathroom and relax while watching some old Disney shows (those always bring up my mood!) Or a favourite childhood movie. This should take your mind off whatever’s going on around you and give you some time to just relax and lay low for a while.

Do some art therapy! A lot of people find drawing, painting or even just colouring extremely therapeutic. If you already have art supplies, Great! But if not, you can find colouring books and pencil crayons for under 5 dollars at a local dollar store. Draw anything you want, quote paintings, dogs, a skyline, anything your heart desires. This will give you something to put all your focus into. Having your mind very focussed on your art will relieve your brain for a while from all of its stress.

Talk to a trusted friend. Sometimes on our worst days we don’t feel like talking to anyone but isolating yourself for a long period of time can become extremely counterproductive. Meet up with a friend or family member (or even just give them a phone call) and tell them how you’re feeling! They may not be able to help you directly, but talking about how you feel will feel a lot better than keeping it all to yourself.

Take a really deep breath. Sometimes what you really need is a big deep breath! When something is making you sad or stressed out it’s extremely easy to work yourself up and bring more and more stress upon yourself by thinking of every little thing that’s wrong in your life. But do yourself a favour and just take a few deep breaths and try to make your body and mind relax. It’s a lot more effective than you think!

 

Disclaimer: There are just a few personal tips that I find helpful on some of my harder days. In no way am I saying these tips/strategies are a cure for mental illness. These are just a few strategies you can use in the moment to calm yourself down in a stressful situation or time. If you are or think you might be suffering from mental illness, there are endless methods of help out there for you. Like I said before, these are strategies for relieving current stress, although some people might be helped long term by these, not everyone will. Seeking professional help is crucial to recovery and know that you are not alone!

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Don’t forget to smile today!!