The new main stream thing: mass shootings!

As many of you are aware of, there was another movie theater shooting last night in Lafayette, Louisiana. Another white male, standing up and shooting among his peers. It’s fine, it’s just another one, life goes on right? See, that’s the issue right there. These mass shootings have been occurring much more often in the past decade and each time, there seems to be excuses made to back up each one.

“He used to be such a good kid, he just got off track somehow.”
“He was just crazy, simple as that, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“Something must have angered him.”
“He had a tough childhood…”
“Maybe if everyone had a gun on them…”

Hold on.

Maybe if everyone had a gun on them? Let’s talk about that for a moment. Bring your thoughts back to Sandy Hook – where the victims were young elementary school children. There is absolutely no way they would have a gun on them; I am going to assume that would be considered common sense. So okay, maybe all the teachers and administration should be armed. That way we can teach young children to fear everyone around them and show that the world is truly an unsafe place… sounds like a great idea!

It is so depressing and honestly, a little pathetic that these shootings continue to happen in our country without any consequences. How many more people have to die in order for a gun control law to be put in place? How much longer should people have to live in fear of dying when they go out at night? Or when they go to class? Or just by walking out of their house?

It’s time for us to stop protecting the criminal. It’s time for the excuses to stop – there should be no insanity plea in these types of cases. This is pure evil, pure hatred, and deserves a true punishment. Our country needs to step up and protect its people.

Young women like Mayci Breaux and Jillian Johnson could still be with us today. Now is the time for our country to weep with their families, pray for them, and then work to fix the issue that has caused their deaths. We shouldn’t have to wait for another shooting like this one. For those families, life doesn’t just go on – it stops dead in its tracks.

There is a lot of support on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but the thing is, a hashtag isn’t going to change anything. If you want a law to be made, start with your local government, talk to a representative or a congressman, do everything you can – because you can create change.

The time has come to end this long trend of fear.

Rest in peace Lafayette victims.

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Restaurant etiquette: why your complaints are probably unnecessary

I’ve been working in the restaurant business for almost two years now, and I’ve noticed a few things that really irk me. I’m currently a hostess and a carry out girl, and for some odd reason, people feel the need to complain to me about their food being cold or their service being slow or for any other inconvenience they might have experienced. Today I thought I would share with you some of my favorite complaints, and the responses that I kept held up inside. Keep in mind, these are actual quotes from actual people – even though they might seem absolutely ridiculous.

“Hi um, I’ve been here for about three minutes now, and my waiter still hasn’t come by, could you like, remind him that he has tables?” 

No way… really? He has tables? I bet he has absolutely no idea. Actually, your waiter probably has multiple tables that he’s currently attending to and he will most likely be there in just a couple more minutes. If he hasn’t shown up in ten, then come get me.

*Watches woman eat the avocado in her salad*
“Hi, miss, yeah could you come over here? There was no avocado on my salad, can you go get me some? Make sure your cook cuts a new one too, and make sure it’s really fresh.”

Okay, I know there was avocado on your salad and so do you. Also, the avocado that was on it was fresh. If you feel the need to have extremely specific ingredients, either bring your own or cook at home.

*Gives woman a medium well done steak instead of a medium*
“Hi, I ordered a medium steak, and this is obviously medium well, and honestly this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” 

Well honey, if a medium well steak is the most disgusting thing you have ever seen in your entire life, it looks like you are pretty well off, so congrats, and maybe try going to an actual steakhouse if you’re looking for a grade A steak.

*Gives woman a turkey burger*
“This is not a turkey burger. It’s obvious that it’s not. Look at the pattern of the ground beef here, you can tell it’s beef, and this is absolutely disgusting. Take this back and fix it.” 

THIS IS A TURKEY BURGER! I don’t eat beef either okay, I feel your pain, but I can tell you 110% that this is a turkey burger so eat it and enjoy it and please, for the love of god, stop inspecting the pattern of ground beef.

me: “Hi! Welcome, how many? Three? Okay it’s going to be about a ten minute wait, I just have to clean off a table and wait for our kitchen to catch up a bit!”
customer: “Ok well it’d better not be long.”
*Five minutes go by*
customer: “Seriously? Is our table ready yet? This is absolutely ridiculous, what are you doing, you obviously have no idea.”
me: “I was just about to seat you actually, like i said, i had to wait for -”
customer: “I don’t want to hear it, you are absolutely awful, you don’t know how to do your job, I am never coming back here, you are absolutely horrible.”

OKAY. HERE WE GO. One, if you hate a restaurant, why would you go there and put yourself through that? Two, what makes you think that I’ll treat you better if you’re rude to me? Three, if i say ten minutes, you have absolutely no right to complain until that ten minutes is up. Four, I AM A PERSON. I am making minimum wage to walk you to a table, I am not making minimum wage to be talked to as if I am not a human being. I am not paid to be your servant or your punching bag. If you disrespect me I will refuse to treat you nicely because you do not deserve any sort of kindness.

Okay, rant over.

Hopefully after reading this, you’ll understand how unnecessary half of complaints are. We know when your food is taking a while, we know when you’re waiting on us, we know when your food is right or wrong. We are people too, please do not treat us like we aren’t. We are trying to make your meal enjoyable, so please, help make our jobs enjoyable too.

Baltimore: the purge

If any of you have been watching the news lately, you would have seen that Baltimore has basically gone up in flames. Protests for a young man, Freddie Gray, who died in police custody have turned extremely violent. Simple marching has escalating to the looting of stores, throwing bricks at police and journalists, setting buildings on fire….. some of these events can be seen from the pictures below, which have been taken from cnn.com.

  

These pictures show unrest in all possible ways. It is obvious that residents of Baltimore are outraged with their police force, which possibly has stemmed from the recent protests for men such as Mike Brown and Eric Garner. However, it is also obvious that within these riots is pure violence. These photos show rage, confidence, a sick determination to overcome…. but overcome what? By hurting other residents of Baltimore, what are these riots achieving?

The people rioting and hurting the innocent are the same ones fighting for equality, and losing. The people destroying stores and police cars are the same ones preaching the words of MLK. The people breaking glass and disrupting neighborhoods are the same ones begging for peace. If that isn’t counterproductive, I don’t know what is.

Equality is not considered an eye for an eye or getting even, it is simply just being respected as the same. Killing a police officer for every black man who has been a victim of police violence will not create a world of peace. Basing this entire issue on race will not bring us all together.

I do not support police because I am white.

I am not against the Black Lives Matter movement just because I support police.

I am simply against corruption and for human rights.

PSA: You’re not gonna “catch the gay”

I go to a high school with over 6,000 students. This is great in the way that kids are able to make many new friends each year and there are hardly any of your classic “cliques”. It is not so great however, in the way that it gives room for many kids to feel pushed to the side, forgotten, or out of place. Until I became comfortable with myself and found my core group of friends, I was one of those kids, so I know what it’s like to feel as if you are just a walking body with no way to engage yourself.

It is my senior year now, so I have spent four years watching kids close themselves off from the world around them. I have found this to be especially true with students who have come out to be gay or transgender. As they gained courage to come out or went through the very difficult transition of publicly stating which gender they want to identify with, people around them quickly shut their eyes and walked away. Maybe it has something to do with my generation or the age of high school kids, but I simply don’t understand why so many people who are so close to me choose not to accept their peers. What are they doing that offends you? I’m aware that this argument is one that has been repeated too many times, but it is still extremely valid. If two girls are holding hands, does that somehow make you any less of a person for having seen them? Does it make you any less straight? Does it make you any less religious? In case you can’t answer those questions, I’ll do it for you. No. It does not do any of those things.

If someone has the courage to come out as gay, then there is absolutely no reason for someone else to ridicule him or her. Using the word “fag” in a derogatory way or treating him or her like he or she is not truly a man or a woman is the epitome of immaturity. If a boy decides that he is more comfortable as a girl, then you have two options: either stand by her and support her or pass by without saying anything. You have NO right to look down upon her or verbalize hatred towards her. With that, I don’t see why anyone would want to do so. How can someone else’s actions cause you so much anger that you feel the need to act aggressively towards them?

This rant was fueled by comments I heard today during class:

“He came out as gay?”
“Why would anyone wanna hang out with a fag?”
“I’ll beat my kid if he comes out as gay.”
“Is he going to start talking like a girl now and wear short shorts?”

I’m sure most of you can see the unbelievable amount of ignorance in these comments. Actually, I was so angry that these words actually came out of someone’s mouth that I got up and left the room. I feel bad for people like this. It is obvious that they have chosen a life of immaturity and stupidity. You do not have to support an act to accept it. All you have to do is end your negative comments.

If you have come out as gay or transgender or anything else and have a story to share, feel free to do so. I am open to listening and responding. I promise that you will have my unconditional support. If you read this post and realized that you may have been acting homophobic or transphobic or just plain mean, I suggest giving the person a simple apology. Sometimes that is all it takes to make up with someone.

I cannot stress enough how much equality is necessary in our world. We cannot achieve peace unless we all work together, so please, help me to help all the people around you and end the constant bullying. Speak words of love, not hate.

What inspires me to write

What inspires me to write?

Everyone comes with a story. Some people like to say they carry a lot of baggage, while others say that they travel light. Personally, the amount of luggage I claim depends on where I am going. Either way, I promise I will have a story to tell you.

I often write about other people, and how they relate to me. I find it to be quite easy to share other people’s stories. I like to show other perspectives to encourage my readers to have open minds, and through that, you can learn my own personal thoughts. I, however, have yet to write a post strictly about myself, and so I thought that today would be a good day to share a piece of me with you.

At least once a week, I am asked what inspires me to write. I don’t think people understand how complex this question is. I could go on for hours naming all the different parts of my life that have inspired me to become a writer; there are so many unique experiences I have had that have convinced me to spend my life telling stories. For you though, I will keep it somewhat short.

So what inspires me?

One: The incredible stories of other people. One of my favorite things to see is someone’s face light up as they talk to me about something they are extremely passionate about. It’s my passion to share theirs with all of you. I like to serve as a middleman, taking in the excitement and distributing it all over the world. (Yes, I see you my international readers – thank you).

Two: My beautiful family, amazing friends and my too-good-to-me boyfriend. Without them, I don’t know if I would be going into journalism. Although I am the first one to make a career out of something non-business related, they do appreciate my work and support me with every decision I make, such as moving to Chicago. I will always have to thank my family for encouraging my writing, my friends for taking the time to share it with others and my boyfriend for working with me through a long distance relationship and giving me plenty of topics to write about.

Three: Emotion. As stated in one of my previous posts, I am an extremely emotional person. Those feelings are what drive my words and they are where my power comes from. With every sentence I construct, I do it with some sort of emotion, whether it be with anger, happiness, sadness or any other. There would be no thrill to writing if my mind was not wired to react at the littlest of things.

There are so many more inspirations for me, such as role models like Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams (pre-scandal). I did say that I would keep it short, and I keep my word.

If you’d like, comment below what inspires you to do what you do. I would love to hear your stories; as stated, other people’s passion is my number one inspiration.

A terrorist’s religion

Earlier this day, there was an attack on the Kenyan University of Garissa. As the story is being told, it seems as though a group of men stormed the University dorms and questioned the students, asking if they were Christian or Muslim. If he or she claimed to be Muslim, they were set free. If he or she claimed to be Christian, they were shot and killed on the spot.

No one can deny this is a hate crime. However, the question going around is whether or not it is a religiously motivated crime.

Here’s my opinion: absolutely not. There is no crime that can be motivated by religion, because no religion condones violence against others. The inhumane acts that are preformed by these extremist groups are simply motivated by hate. It is impossible to say that a type of God told them to act that way. The hate is brainwashed into the group members by the few extremists that have been hurt by the world around them.

If you are a terrorist, then you have no religion. You worship pain, you thirst for hurt, you pray for sorrow. There is no humanity in you. If you believed in a God, then you would have completely shut him or her out.

If you are a terrorist, you have no faith. You are simply an entity on this earth who searches for souls to prey upon. You do not have any light of God in you, no matter how many religious acts you participate in.

If you are a terrorist, your mind has been twisted by a section of society that works to hurt the rest of us. You are not kind, you are not humble, you are not following the word of any God.

If you are a terrorist… then I hope someone can show you the true path of religion, because you were led astray by someone else. I hope that you can discover a sense of morality and humanity because someone else has taken it from you. I pray that you will be led to a section of society that promotes peace, because currently, your “religion” is only causing war.

CHALLENGE DAY

This post is beyond overdue, but I have to share this day with you all. Last week I had the incredible opportunity to experience a day called “Challenge Day.” It involved 100 people: a mix of students and teachers at my school, and activities that brought out every emotion. The overall goal was to prove that everyone is going through something and so we should not be too quick to judge. I can tell you that it achieved that and so much more. So, let me explain why this day was so incredible.

It started out extremely awkward. The leaders of the day were trying to pump everyone up and get them excited, which is very hard to do with an apathetic group of 80 high school students. We were paired up with multiple different people and told to express certain parts of our life in order to wean us to a more comfortable mood. From there, everything exploded into a whirlwind of emotions.

The leaders started by sharing their stories; what made them who they are today. They shared the negative things in their life with all of us, showing that no matter what you go through, you can come out strong. They showed us that sharing your story is a sign of courage, not weakness. So after that, we all had a chance to share our stories.

That’s really where the tears started.

As we went around in small groups and shared our stories of how we became who we are today, it was obvious that people were beginning to become more comfortable with each other. People stopped judging their peers on how they looked or how they talked for a little bit. Everyone, for once, just listened. It was heartbreaking to hear how much people have gone through, but it was also refreshing to be able to share what has happened to you.

I had never seen a group of people connect like we all did that day. As I cried, girls and guys I had never seen before were putting their arms around me telling me that it was going to be okay, and I did the same for them. Teachers were beginning to understand how hard some students have it, and students were learning that some teachers have it just as bad.

We gradually began to understand each other and accept that although we are all different, there is no reason why we cannot help each other. I heard stories that made me want to go and take on the world and I heard some that made me want to fall to the ground and sob. I wanted to help each and every person in that room, and I wanted to help myself as well.

This day was so inspiring to me and made me a little bit more aware of who I am walking next to in the hallways. It led me to take on this piece of advice: no matter what he or she looks like or how he or she previously acted, if they are hurting, you are capable of helping them.

I took this advice to heart. I have seen one to many friends harm themselves or end their lives because they felt as though no one was there for them. I realized that I have all the capability in the world to help those people around me and to make them feel as though they are not alone. Even if no other person on this earth wants to even look at them, I am able to make sure they know that I will be there. That’s what “Challenge Day” did for me – it put me up to the challenge to help all those that are hurting. So that is exactly what I plan to do, and that is what I hope others will do for me.

challenge day