The Remains

Unanswered questions still remain,

But look ahead with hopeful eyes.

Rejection felt but not in vain.

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Empty the envy : Everyone is having fun but you.

Envy leaps in, a vengeful pest 

Its cruel quest can’t be denied

But when we look at what it brings 

We know that resentment never wins

Homie where’s the growth?

Ripe dreams expire

But you stay stubborn and hardwired

Finding it too comfortable to let go

Time for a new course of action

Let your heart be enveloped in grace 

And find a better place 

Where envy never finds its mark 

And emotions never darken

In a frenzy, it’s time to cleanse thee 

Wake up and empty out the envy 

It is understandable for one to feel envious when seeing someone’s life as “perfect” compared to theirs, and this feeling when left unchecked can become destructive. With that said, envy can often lead to damaged self-esteem and create resentment towards the person whose life we perceive as perfect. As a result, this gives way for an individual to constantly compare themselves to someone who has something that is bereft in their life, and in extreme cases want to sabotage it so satisfaction can be achieved, and with that, they create their intended level playing field. Moreover, once envy becomes destructive it prevents us from looking at our own lives in a positive light and instead allows the proverbial devil on the shoulder to take over our thoughts. 

Artwork credit – Rafi Perez

Social media has become a sort of vacuum and echo chamber for people to post, project, and propagate what they consider to be trendy or the ideal image of success. Therefore, these platforms facilitate data that is accessible for comparisons to be made by all users. It went from being a microcosm (pre-social media comparisons of those close to you) to a global assessment contest (strangers evaluating each other). In addition, if one doesn’t fit that criterion then they’re seen as doing something wrong and it gets exacerbated with a bombardment of imagery that erodes self-esteem. Furthermore, envy manifests itself as dissociation from the self. Not to mention, an individual will get frustrated after pondering on why they’re not involved in situations they’re missing out on (FoMO, Fear of missing out. Once this feeling of FoMO compounds one might begin vicariously living through the ones they envy and envisioning satisfaction. However, once reality sets in, a feeling of inauthenticity takes over.

  We carry around envy amplification devices and push buttons on fabricated images and stories. We internalize and rationalize them to the point where it becomes masochistic. In other words, when one voyeuristically scrolls (passive) they are shown stimuli that they lack in their lives. This in turn will elicit “comparisonitis”. In regards to that, this fixation becomes ingrained into the psyche to the point where it could lead to imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome, resentment, and comparisonitis are symptoms of envy but resentment comes last. The reason is, a person has to process what they have to do, and understand they’re as capable as the person experiencing what they desire, but they’re filled with doubt and fail to make a move. Moreover, if the feeling of envy isn’t confronted and rectified it can lead to depression and a sense of incompetence. An article that is the inspiration for this post (link included at the top of post) stated that envy is innate and I agree for the most part but I also think it can also be a learned behavior. For example, we have two brothers, and their parents get the younger brother better toys than his older brother. Not only that, the younger brother has to share them with him. From there the older brother gets frustrated that not only does he get subpar toys compared to his younger brother but has to share the better toys, which is something he wants (older brother) for himself. Hopefully, this example makes sense, because the point being made here is that even if you have something that will keep you satisfied, it’s never enough, and when you see someone you admire or is close to you receiving something that you’re deprived of, you can get consumed with resentment.

In summary, envy can be a destructive emotion that harms both the individual feeling it as well as those around them. It is important to understand why one feels envious and learn how to address those emotions without succumbing to the negativity of envy. If not, one will continue to meander through life as a malcontent individual who is not driven to find solutions. Once this point is reached it becomes insidious and habitual. Lastly, no matter how basic or lavish, everyone has something to be grateful for and strives to find the best for a positive life, and focusing on those reasons for living a life of gratitude and contentment will help to avoid the enviable trap.

Works Cited

Sarner, Moya. “The Age of Envy: How to Be Happy When Everyone Else’s Life Looks Perfect.” Pocket, 18 Oct. 2018, https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-age-of-envy-how-to-be-happy-when-everyone-else-s-life-looks-perfect?utm_source=pocket_collection_story&fbclid=IwAR2HgqMVgc0lG1qXzJH-eW8ChiXt3p6pGoHSnH4atJeHR6twpulvfORr7sg.

Cold Instruments

Cold instruments drill

Creating fearful vibrations,

Nervous smile, 

Open wide

For the clatter off the drill

To collide with a surprise

A pain you’ll always recognize 

Don’t fret the pain will subside

Well, maybe…

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Alive in the Arctic: Dinosaurs of the High Arctic

After reading this small summary on this topic, check out my poem below.

Baby bones are rare in most places, even those that produce lots of dinosaur egg fossils like the southern regions of Canada, Mongolia and the U.S.A.,” says University of Calgary paleontologist Darla Zelenitsky.

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Did you know that Dinosaurs used to roam and nest in the High Arctic? Well, they did and tiny fossils were discovered suggesting that the reptiles stayed there year long without migrating. Paleontologists have slowly gathered young dinosaur bones and not just one species, but many. Moreover, finding these bones from young dinosaurs is a reason for Paleontologists to be elated because those bones are rare. The reason is, young baby Dinosaur bones were rarely preserved due to their size and susceptibility to being victims to carnivorous predators.  University of Alaska paleontologist Pat Druckenmiller and his colleagues found the fragile remains of baby hadrosaurs, horned dinosaurs, raptors, and tyrannosaurs. “The discovery of these tiny bones and teeth was no small accomplishment,” Druckenmiller says. Whenever we see depictions of Dinosaurs in the media it usually shows them living in a stone age that was desolate or verdant, but never ones that lived in cold climates. In regards to that, Polar Dinosaurs acclimated to the harsh environment and didn’t find the need to migrate to a warmer region or hibernate. In closing, for more information on this topic please check out the link for this article below.

Frigid plains of the Arctic, 

Where Dinosaurs roamed and ruled, 

Exploring with vigilance, 

‘Cause predators were not far 

Massive and proud with their spiked tails, 

Strong and agile they moved through the ice caps, 

They were the lords of the cold north, 

Forever remembered by their legacy,

Snow blanketed the land, 

A pure white coating across the ground, 

A powerful pack of prehistoric giants, 

Each one a force to be reckoned with, profound

How does this sound? 

These days baby Dino bones can still be found in the ground 

Tales still whisper in the wind, 

Of great creatures that once lived 

Sweet n’ Smoky

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This poem was inspired by an article I read about the endangerment of incense in myrrh cultivation and trade in Northern Somalia.  As a Somali American, I’ve always been fascinated with the history of incense and myrrh in the country and how significant it is not only to Somalis but the rest of the world. Furthermore, the country is the largest exporter of incense to regions such as the Middle East and the Western world. Not to mention, is it believed that the three kings of the biblical nativity carried three precious gifts to commemorate the birth of Jesus, and from then on this region of Somalia (it’s Somaliland but from my perspective and the UN it’s always going to be Somalia) has been the epicenter of cultivation and distribution of Incense and Myrrh for the world to enjoy.

A sweet and smoky aroma to share

The billowing smoke dances in the air 

A pleasant and calming trance. 

Let the fragrance envelop the room, 

It’s an elixir of comfort and bloom 

Bringing delight to those who are near

But the motherland’s horn is in fear of losing what is dear

To their hearts

Sour like a Sweet Tart

A nomad’s cherished land is being taken apart

Operation mining for Gold, 

but the perseverance in these people 

Won’t allow them to fold

Reminiscent of times long gone, 

Reminding us of times we soon won’t forget

Though the days will pass, 

The night will bring something new

A smell of Incense that’s sure to rouse

Exclusion

A sinking feeling of exclusion,

Like warmth escaping a fire on a cold night

It’s a feeling that is inexplicable, 

It’s as if no one can hear your plight

Your worth is undermined constantly, 

Making you feel minuscule and unseen, 

A heavy weight on your soul, 

There’s no relief until you’re whole. 

Your heart aches for somebody who cares, 

The validation only comes from the people who dare, 

The same feelings of being broken and unseen, 

Until one day, you are all that you should be

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No matter how long

  • Welcome readers, leave a like if you’ve enjoyed what you read and hit that follow button so you can stay up to date with my future posts. As always, peace and keep it real.

A tale of times past and present, 

Of dreams that linger and events that are spent

A journey of a life we’ve all come to know,

For better or worse 

One step at a time, no matter how slow

Through laughter and tears, darkness and light, 

We live our days with all our might 

The search for meaning, joy, and peace, 

The search for something that won’t cease 

Enduring memories, fleeting moments remain glowing, 

The beauty of life is subjective for all we know

It’s a story of love reaching far and wide, 

From the depths of our souls, ever so persistent and intense,

It carries us through, no matter how long

The Robot Way: A look into Robots in Film and Gaming

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All Androids are Robots, but not all Robots are Androids. This needs to be stated because even if they both serve similar functions, Androids have a “closer connection” to humans in terms of from an aesthetic standpoint and can blend into human society. The inspiration for this topic came from my recent activity playing video games and watching movies that dealt with storylines pertaining to societies where humans and androids had to coexist. Moreover, I recently finished playing a video game titled “Detroit Human” and watched “Bicentennial Man ” a film that starred the late comedian and actor Robin Williams. I found some correlations between the two and I wanted to share my thoughts. Additionally, I’ll include some similarities I thought of with the science fiction action film “I Robot” starring Will Smith. 

So, I want to first delve into Detroit Human. Detroit Human to me was more than a video game but something that was filled with interactive allegories we’re all too familiar within our society (USA) i.e. Segregation, discrimination, Civil Rights, and Independence. Furthermore, it’s a game that causes the player to use their critical thinking skills because the choices one makes will be vital for the direction of the story. With that said, there’s an array of endings from happy and peaceful, to deadly and sad, but there isn’t a bad ending or an incorrect one because like I said, the player dictates the way the story plays out. All three Androids (Markus, Connor, and Kara) live in a society where they exist as property to serve humans but most of the public considers them a nuisance. In regards to this, it leads me to bring a correlation between this game and the film I Robot. In the film, I Robot Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) didn’t see the value in Robots because he believed they were something that would do more harm than good. While in Detroit Human, Lt. Hank Anderson shares a similar disdain for Androids and needs them out of his way so he can do his work as a cop. Not to mention, characters in both mediums of art discriminate against and blame the Androids/Robots for taking jobs away from them and infringing on their privacy. With that public pressure, Androids enter a survival state that results in them becoming Deviant. From my understanding, once an Android enters a state of deviancy, it’s equivalent to Fight or Flight in humans. Fight or Flight is a survival mechanism and the consequences depend on the circumstance, however, being in a state of deviance in the game and the film I Robot is seen as something that’s always hazardous. Having said that, it would cause the public to perceive the deviant Androids as volatile and they would do whatever possible to reprimand the Android for the sake of the public’s safety. Although deviancy in androids/robots is a cause for concern and usually a high-alert situation, not all deviants are created equal. For instance, in both the game (Detroit Human) and film (I Robot) there were plot lines where deviants were suspected of breaking the 1st law of Robotics (which they did) and needed to face legal repercussions since they were considered hostile. On the other hand, an Android like Markus in Detroit Human became a deviant and a messiah so to speak for the Androids of Jericho who would go on to fight for their civil rights in a society that marginalized them every day. Deviancy in both art forms is stigmatized as unacceptable conduct from the perspective of the public, but the intentions of the deviants are what matter. These intentions can be used for a beneficial purpose like in Markus and the Androids of Jericho who started a revolution for freedom and goal towards a utopia for Androids. However, the cost of freedom from slavery was the Android’s existence, so deviancy had its drawbacks even if the intentions were positive for the collective. Speaking of freedom, I want to now connect Detroit Human and the film Bicentennial Man.

“One is glad to be of service” was a statement Andrew, an NDR robot, would repeatedly say to his owners. Andrew (Robin Williams) functioned like a typical programmed NDR robot but as the years (the story would fast forward through decades) passed he began to become self-aware and learn the human experience. He would go on to appreciate the positive and negative aspects as the film progressed. Furthermore, when Andrew was a robot and going through his “coming of age” he began to love his family, especially Amanda who he would endearingly call “little miss”, and she became a catalyst for him to seek freedom and independence in a society that limited him to a specific role. With each passing decade, Andrew started “becoming human” and he took a journey to San Francisco to find a scientist that could help him become an Android. At this point in the film, he becomes more “human” and Robin Williams takes over the appearance of Andrew for the rest of the film. Equally important, once Andrew became “human” he got unplugged literally and figuratively so he could be reset to be something more than what he previously was, and also get “unplugged” from the restraints of society’s pressures on him and the indignation he experienced in his Robot form. In regards to this, in Detroit Human, the Androids are capable of unplugging from their programming once they become a deviant by removing a CPU installed in them on their temple, and once this is done they can move around in society without a feeling of being controlled. Additionally, being unplugged gives way to respite as Androids can become awakened from their controlled state and understand the potential they have is beyond what they were programmed to do. For example, both Markus and Kara unplug themselves from being in a household where they had to endure abuse from a family member (Kara from Alice’s father and Markus Carl’s son) but even after they “unplugged” they still showed empathy and love for the ones they cared for. They knew even if they removed themselves from the mental slavery of the programming, they still had a mission and their loved ones were counting on them. Near the climax of the game, Markus returned to a terminally ill Carl and expressed his frustration with his plan for Jericho and his remorse for not being there for Carl in his time of need. Carl understood Markus’s perspective and didn’t blame him because he knew Markus was more than just an Android, to him Markus was a being that was a great painter and caretaker. In the case of Kara, nurturing and protecting Alice from her father and threats was her mission and she stopped at nothing to protect her.       

All in all, even though all three of these pieces of art are entertaining, it provides a lot of messages and symbolism if you’re attentive to what persists in all societies where marginalized minority groups continuously do their best to find a balance in a world full of corruption. With that said, it’s poignant to see and understand in these stories the levels of ignorance that manifest into fear and hatred. On the other hand, that can and has in these stories be counteracted by the love of the ones who are suffering daily which becomes infectious and lights up the darkness. Never compromise the freedom to be you.          

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