Vantage Point

Being a teenager is all about knowing that your point of view is just that ... your point of view. So many people walk around campus and the world in general thinking that their ideas and their perspective are automatically correct, and/or better than everyone else's. That's where you're wrong. Life is all about interacting with other people and coming to understand their outlook on the world which is bound to be different from yours. You don't have to accept it, just validate it - we're all entitled to what we want to think. This is vantage point.

Let me start this post on a more solemn note. Every single time something nonsensical happens where individuals take the liberty of claiming other people's lives, in an act of terror nonetheless, I am always reminded of two things, perspective and hope. Can we all please take a second to remember what has happened in the past year, Aurora, CO ("Rise") and Newtown, CT ("Catastrophe") and now this craziness with the Boston marathon. My deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers are on the people affected by this true tragedy. It's absolutely unspeakable how something so terrible could happen to so many innocent, unsuspecting bystanders and marathon participants. A day has been ruined, lives have been lost, and millions of dollars worth of damage has been unnecessarily done to a lively city. I'm at a loss for what to say; words are not enough to express the shock I'm in about this foolishness. When I say perspective, I mean that people all come from different backgrounds and experiences and that's what makes us who we are. It's how we come to believe certain things, and to justify our actions by our own moral compasses. That's why things like this happen, people believe what they are doing is right and that's their point of view. The problem is that no one, and I mean absolutely no one can justify killing another human being, no matter what you believe, it's wrong. I don't care if I just refuted my entire argument for viewpoints, but I don't give a damn. I'm fed up with the insanity. When your ideas come to action and they affect other people, that's when we've all got a problem. Your life is only your own, you are not and should not be control of anyone else's, and by taking or drastically changing people's lives with bombs, explosives, and all the other weapons you've overextended your sovereignty. Live and let live, let us all live. My life should be my choice, not interrupted by someone who sadistically has made a mark on history. Perspectives are fine, but when you try to make your viewpoint the only one that matters, you've crossed the line. Let me interject here that this blaming nonsense on twitter is making me livid. No suspects have been identified and people are already presuming Muslims are the perpetrators, first of all - no information is available on committed the heinous crime, and even if the person turns out to be a member of the Muslim religion or a person of color for that matter, that person is not representative of their entire race. Do not persecute and profile those look like them, it's unfair, inequitable, and know that those who perpetrate these outrageous acts of terrorism are extremists. Be careful what you tweet, cause you know if the person turns out to be white and insanity is declared thank the #privilege for that - no white people will be racially profiled. My last point for this segment is an important one, that is the irrefutable importance of hope. H-O-P-E, hope - the single most powerful force (other than love) in the universe. It's what motivates us all to keep going. When it's lost, the end can be declared. You have to be optimistic about the future, about change and progress and know that things can and will get better. They cannot stay this way forever, hope with usher in happiness, restoration and peace. Never lose hope and keep the faith, there's nowhere to go but from here. From this vantage point I'm more than hopeful that miracles will happen and things like this never happen again.

UPDATE: Three dead in Boston Marathon explosions, at least 100 injured 
(Photo: Winslow Townson / AP)
With thousands of runners still on the course, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people, injuring at least 113 and turning the city’s most celebrated event into a grisly spectacle of shattered glass, blood and screams.
More on this developing story.
What a way to start the week. I'll quickly recap my weekend for you all who care so very much about all my teenage antics. Saturday was spent on a retreat with my fraternity brothers. It was awesome, I had a great time and I was glad that we were able to have some honest conversations about the progress we've made and the status of our relationships with one another. I appreciated the honesty, frankness and vulnerability everyone displayed. I love being with my brothers all together, I feel like I belong and our values as a fraternity perfectly align with my ethics as a person which means I never have to compromise my beliefs. Love my brothers, forever and always! I stopped Al's French Frys with my bro, Connor, and chowed down before heading back to my room to work on my religion & pop culture in the US project. You're all going to love this, I'm arguing that fraternity and sorority life on college campuses in the US is a religion, and demonstrating it through Greek (which one of my favorite show *second only to 9O21O). The amount of YouTube videos, tumblr sifting, and quoting I did for my powerpoint is absolutely unreal, I've never had this much fun or been so passionate about a project before. The night came and it was time to hit queer prom with my boys Taylor and Joey. The three of us took that quirky ass dance by storm. Let's just say "Birthday Cake (Remix)" has been my unofficial theme song. Taylor and I taught everyone "the Wobble" and the "Cupid Shuffle" (get it together people) and just went off. All in all it was really fun, and definitely an interesting experience. As a straight man (apparently it's not so obvious - a guy can be well dressed and like to dance; let's be real, it's because I'm African-American, it's my heritage and my cultured culture) it was like I had entered this secret world, but I found out I'm what they call "man-candy." Let it be known that I will forever be the unattainable hunksicle that errybody wants (JK, but actually though). I made some new acquaintances and called it a night. Sunday was all homework including a skype session with Dzenan and Taylor (we work better digitally) for genetics, and knocking out a shat ton of emails. I did my month's worth of laundry (which didn't include half my wardrobe) and it literally too me hours to wash, dry and fold it all. I've determined I have way too many clothes, but I'm okay with it. Monday was another political science of crazy sayings from professor Bryan and to the office to make phone calls and do some planning. I took a long walk (a rarity) to the TV studio to shoot a segment for my TV show and then passed out flyers to random strangers for Pizza Fest, before donating to charity and pieing a Pi Beta Phi sister in the face. I was looking hot and dangerous today and multiple people let me know it, a white t-shirt with the little pocket, and my nonexistent muscles were looking toned (it's only because I'm actually multiple shades of brown). I grabbed lunch and made it through my mid afternoon sleepy phase before heading to Pizza Fest to let the madness begin. The event started and the line went blazing fast as people grabbed their pizza, ate and cast their ballots for the best local vendor. I was running around doing the absolute most just checking in with everyone, taking some pictures, handing out stickers to everyone in line, and just working my ever so charming smile. You know nothing goes perfectly and snags and kinks were bound to happen, but the mischief was managed and it was overall a successful last event. Pizza boxes in the dumpster and a walk back the heights where I write this blog post (time loop). From my vantage point, it's been a weird couple of days, but I like to mix it up and see the world differently, it's imperative.

All my prayers and thoughts for Boston’s victims.
Being a teenager is all about realizing that we're all different. I've said it before and I'll say it again, no two people are the same. When you force your ideals on other people you strip away their humanity, and no one has the right to do that. Before you call someone's ideas stupid or ignorant, check yourself and try to real view things from their perspective. We all have a different vantage point.

TTxYJ- Archers by scotty9359
My blog post question for the day is ... if you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why? I would say I would end poverty for children and teenagers, it's absolutely heartbreaking to me that so many people have gone without experiencing the things I'm able to on a daily basis. It's unfair and they deserve more.


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