Real Talk: Don’t Get Lost In Your Crowd

There’s a phenomena called the Confirmation Bias which “occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea/concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views (prejudices) one would like to be true (source).

Basically what this means is that we as individuals tend to favor information that confirms what we are already thinking. It’s easy because we are creatures of herds, we like to know that we are alone in our beliefs. The appeal to belong is instinctual as well as dangerous.

How is it dangerous you might ask?

Well, in a world where “alternative facts” now exist we can no longer depend on our Facebook feed for correct information. We can’t just flip on the TV and rely on the news to be filled with sufficient and accurate news *cough cough FOX*.

This means that we have to go out of our way to inform ourselves about what is going on in the world. With the new administration purposely giving out misleading information, it is imperative to be consciously aware of what is going on in our society. That includes, taking a step outside of our bubble to see what that “opposing” side has to say.

One cannot make a well informed decision, nor hold a compelling argument unless they are informed on both sides of the story. Some may say that the burden of accurate reporting and understanding current events is too much for the everyday citizen. I say, stop being lazy.  If you have time to read this post, to scroll threw Twitter, to post that stupid thing on Facebook, you have time to read an article from an unbiased source.

Here’s a nice image to help you get along. This is also a little old, so obviously FOX has turned into click-bait trash, but hey if you’re into “alternative facts” then that’s the way to go.

Real Talk: Your Facebook Post Aren’t Doing Anything For Me

I get the appeal, I really do. It’s MLK Day, and everyone is posting a famous tidbit of what Martin Luther King Jr. said, or did in his too short lifetime. It shows that you own a calendar, and access to the internet.

But here’s the thing. Posting a quote on your wall that says “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” doesn’t mean anything. What about the other 364 days of the year?

The thing is, a lot of us, including myself, don’t go out of our way everyday to improve the lives of those around us. There is obvious racial disparity in this country, and anyone that denies it is either choosing to be willfully ignorant or lying. And so slapping a quote from a great civil rights leader and not following up with actions is basically useless.

It doesn’t have to be something fantastical. You don’t have to fly to Washington D.C and protest, you don’t even have to spend money. You can start in your community, with the people around you. I promise, I’m not trying to make anyone look bad, or even to pretend that I’m a perfect activist, because I’m not. But for anything to get better, people outside of the oppressed group need to realize that there is a problem.

I know that one of the hardest conversations that I’ve had with a friend was explaining to them why the Black Lives Matter movement is important. We talked about my experience as a black woman in this country, and the fears that I had everyday. I talked to him about my experience with police, and what was fundamentally wrong with Blue Lives Matter. This was difficult because my friend is currently working on becoming a police officer, and is a white, cis gender, heterosexual, Christian male.

He was never forced to navigate through a system that was designed to oppress him. He lived his whole life born with privilege that he never asked for. As a friend, it was my responsibility to educate him about the experiences that black women and men go through. I didn’t shame him, or blame him for anything, but I did stress the importance of being aware of his privilege and the responsibility that he has to work towards equality.

Anyway, I’m not trying to bash MLK Day or anything. But I am asking that actions follow the words. We have a lot of challenges facing our country and it isn’t just a black issue, or a woman issue. It’s everyone’s issues.  Image how the country would be if everyone worked as hard on society as they do curating a social media following, or pruning their Instagram feed?

I challenge everyone, include myself to have at least one conversation of importance each week. 10 points if it’s in person!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

(How ironic that I end this post with a quote)

xo

Chid

RA Training Spring Edition Day 3: BCD

Today was the last real day of training, and thank goodness! Not that this training has been particularly difficult or anything, but I’ve been stressing about my pharmacy school interviews. Anyway, this morning was kind of a wreck.  I woke up a little later than usual and prepped for my interview before taking a shower and making my way up to the desk.

I started working on my passive to pass the time until the rest of my staff showed up so that we could go together to participate in BCD (Behind Closed Doors). Unbeknown to me, every single one of my staff members thought that the time for BCD was completely different that it actually was. We had to be there at 1 o’clock, and some of us thought it was at 1:30 or at 2:00. It was the struggle to wake people up, and we actually called someone while they were still in the shower to make sure that they were up.

After the fiasco of not knowing what time we had to bee there, we piled into the car and drove to our on campus apartment complex. There has been a lot of administrative changes, so the apartments are now part of our area, which is new and fun. We met up with other halls in our area and started with a small ice breaker.

For some reason, every time the word ice breaker is said in a room of RAs we all roll our eyes and grudgingly participate. Maybe it is because we try so hard to get our residents to do them, and they never do. Or maybe it is the whole preaching to the choir dynamic. Luckily Eli, who is the area director for my area made it super short and quick. Name and major, that’s it.

The whole purpose of BCD is to expose RAs to the different scenarios that can occur in the hall at any moment. Although it is very unlikely that one RA will encounter every single one of the scenes that were portrayed, it is good to know how to approach anything and everything. Being an RA is one of those things were, it doesn’t matter how much you practice a scene, real life has unpredictable variables and each situation will be unique. However, it is important to know how to handle the different situations and have a baseline of what to go off of.

We had some heavy scenes such as a resident contemplating suicide, as well as other not so intense scenes such as making sure residents don’t open the door for strangers. The way that we did BCD this time was a lot better than at previous training in the fall because we were given the scenes as a staff and we had to act them out ourselves and resolve the issue in front of the other RAs. After the scene was other, we got constructive criticism from other RAs, RDs, and our AD Eli.

This way was a lot less awkward than before and it also allowed us as a staff to discuss how we could adapt everything to our hall, and rely on each others strengths. The only down part was the scene was as serious as the group wanted to take it, but none of the staffs decided to over dramatize the scenes which was good.

After BCD there was a lunch quest that came up empty because basically all of the dining halls on campus were closed except one that was on the other side of campus. I ended up eating in my room and that was okay. I finished my passive which was exciting, and I am pretty proud of it. Not only does it tie into the theme of my learning community, I got to practice my hand-lettering on  a larger scale, that wasn’t a piece of paper in my journal.

Now that training is winding down, I can focus more on my interview for A&M which is in a few short days. I’m so excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t believe that I am one step away from the rest of my life, and its trilling to know that I have what it takes to get this far in the application process. Hopefully I’ll be accepted into their pharmacy program! I’ll keep y’all posted!

xo

Chid