Categories
Self-Help/Life Coaching

I WON’T SAY ANYTHING NEW

Written by Licia Simoes

Are you looking for some motivational reading? Something quite similar to “Change your physical and mental health in only five minutes,” then you have bluffed yourself. I suggest that you need counseling.  

Considering the physical health of individuals, maybe you have already experienced some back strain or knee pain, or most probably, somewhere in your body is hurting right now. And you want to get rid of that pain in the fastest way possible. Have you ever thought the movement can be an ideal solution? Does that sound easy for you? I don’t think so. Because in a world held under the motto—”I should have done that yesterday,” would lead us to absorb negativity, and still, spending one hour, three times per week, seems a waste of time. Trust me; that is the most popular excuse which I ever heard of, and if I provide a solution for that, there will be more consequences to come henceforth. Specifically, I would never appreciate an excuse because an excuse is when you say to your aunt if you don’t want to go to the family dinner.  

Considering excuses, it detailed my mind to describe how our ancestors had actively occupied with hunting and gathering. They were too busy to expect a break for them to rest. Though they continually searched for anything to accumulate by using their energy, therefore, they had been fit and healthy. The most exciting fact is that they used to chase animals until it gets exhausted before the final hunt. That had caused them to increase an immense amount of good health. But nowadays, as a part of human evolution, we as the fully matured humans take evolutionary reasons to be lazy. Evolutionary reasons: we became more advanced in lifestyle, we don’t need to go hunting or gathering because we got home delivery services, we have a house and a bed to sleep with paid rent and bills, we don’t need to run because we have public and private transportation, we don’t have to walk because we have hoverboards. So, we use those evolutionary reasons as an excuse to become that lazy bed-warmer, who eats junk-food laying on a sofa watching TV 24/7. 

As always, we only take a step forward when we need some urgent and immediate change in our life. But the bad news is: physical exercise cannot compare to taking a magical pill you only need to swallow once in a lifetime. It’s a routine that you need to bring throughout your entire life. So, let’s reschedule your daily agenda by giving priority to your physical activity in the same way you take time to brush your teeth. I am positive that your body and mind will sincerely appreciate yourself when you start to take care of it like other primary wants and needs in your life. 

The most important and factual bits of facts are that physical activity will enable you to jump without fearing a knee pain, you will be able to run along to the bus while not having any tiredness, you will get out of a chair actively, and you do not need to stop the movement because of some low back pain. Physical health and moral strength benefits are endless.  

Isn’t it the marvelous thing to own a healthy heart along with a positive mind? So, let’s take the first step: book an appointment with a personal trainer or a Pilates instructor, then join a gymnasium where you can sign up for swimming or martial arts classes. The essential advantage is in taking a step further. 

Though you might feel embarrassed in your first class, or you probably think hundreds of times, “I want to quit because I was never born to this.” However, physical exercise is the change that comes with baby steps, not as a miracle. Gradually, you will start feeling little differences in your body during your daily life. The table will no longer be heavy, and you will finally touch the floor without bending your knees. 

Remember, physical mindfulness is something that you must keep in your daily routine for your whole life, and I can assure you: you will hesitate to give up or miss a session with your personal-trainer. So, your life will become easy and pleasurable for you to experience the best.

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Categories
Law Self-Help/Life Coaching

POLYGAMY: IMPACT ON THE AFRICAN SOCIETY

Written by Francis Nwordu

In Africa, the practice of polygamy strives because most Africans believe that a man is supposed to have more than one wife under his control, in order to show that he is more superior than women in the society. It impacts negatively on society and creates poverty in the system.

Polygamy is one practice that has been embraced by many parts of the world in the present and past day social system. Emily Yoffe suggests, it is a way-of-life that enjoys an age-long history, and it accepted in different parts of the world according to the cultural variations. This way-of-life has occurred in African society when one man marries more than one woman. The practice of polygamy is quite pronounced in African cultures and accepted, while several social groups are refusing its ideology. The custom theory of the idea has been a traditional concept. In fact, polygamy is one of the practices that popularly observes as a common focus in the society of Africa. This very integral part of the African tradition or norm, only transformed to a large extent when some African cultures embraced Christianity as a result of copying Western culture in some situations. According to scielo.org citing, Kyomo and Selvan (2004:35) suggest that polygamy as an issue has been the preoccupation among African theologians and scholars, right from the 1960s, and it is still a relevant argument till to date.

In Africa, the practice of polygamy strives because most Africans believe that a man is supposed to have more than one wife under his control in order to show that he is more superior than women in the society. Usually, African culture influences many emphases on the fact that men are strong enough and capable of taking care of a large number of women.

Before Islam and Christianity arrived in Africa, the country had a religion that was popular and known in the conventional world as the African Traditional Religion (ATR). This religion recognizes polygamy as an acceptable practice among its adherents. Islam is one of the first foreign religions established in African society, especially in the Northern part of the continent. The polygamy as an aspect of religion made it far too easy for most Africans to accept the beliefs of Islam. With the rise of Christianity, many years later, Islam religion had been rooting in some African societies, as a result of trade and other activities. Thus, it caused to change people’s viewpoints about polygamy as a custom. Most Africans had to decide between continuing with the practice of marrying more than one woman as a way of life or accepting the dictates and the tenets of the new religion that came along with westernization. However, people will still agree that polygamy as a way-of-life in Africa, and it will always be a norm because many African societies, especially the rural settlements among them, still have strong adherents of the African Traditional Religion (ATR). As a way-of-life, certain benefits have derived from the practice of one man having to live or get married to more than one woman. When a man decides to have more than one wife, he enjoys the company of his wives and the members of the family to a certain extent. Another gain that can derive from having more than one wife in a marriage tradition is that there may be an increase in both human and material resources for the family, in time to come. This is possible because where you have so many people as members of a given family, there is a likelihood of having an abundance of both human and material resources.

Polygamy also has its pitfalls. Elbert Hubbard was a popular American writer who lived from 1856 to 1915 described in his words that “Polygamy is an endeavor to get more out of life there is in it.” This quest of man to get more from life comes with some consequences. 

Overpopulation is one of the most notable disadvantages of polygamy. It can arise as one of the consequences of having numerous wives. This is guaranteed to happen since every woman who is married to a man desires to have her own kids in order to be counted as a mother in society and be respected by all people. Another unfavorable effect of polygamy is that it may lead a man to poverty if the man is not capable of handling the financial pressure and challenges that come along in keeping a large family. Most households in Africa cannot afford three square meals a day as a result of tough economic situations or poor system conditions.

Most Africans need better orientation on why polygamy has to be controlled as a practice if the consequences have an impact on various African societies. The general public has to gain appropriate education regarding the dangers of having more than one wife and how it can be abusive to them and society. The governments of various African countries should intensify the effort to be aimed at controlling or checkmating the consequences of practicing polygamy, as in such,

  • Put adequate measures to curb or control the rate at which men go about marrying more wives than they can be able to afford and handle. 
  • Set up an agency that will be in charge of informing people and educating them on the need to maintain a small family based on their financial capacity. 
  • Create employment opportunities to enable people to engage in gainful ventures and be employed.

Apart from government involvement, religious bodies of a country must also play a significant role in curbing the negative impact of polygamy. Although they must counsel men in the society of how having one wife and a small family can allow them to ease their social depression. It will help both the man and all the members of his family to live a happy life. When a man is able to manage or succeed in taking care of his wife and his children, society, in general, will be prosperous and stable. And also, educational institutions and other organizations must consider this issue to overcome the negative results of polygamy.

In a nutshell, we can say that since polygamy has always been a regular practice in various African societies, any individuals that do not have resources to take care of a large family must follow up with thorough advice against going into it. The authorities in charge of states, religious bodies, and other organizations must play active roles in managing the impact on African society in a responsible procedure.

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Categories
Self-Help/Life Coaching

THE OTHER HALF OF EDUCATION

Written by Sherelee Rathnarajah

They say education is the key to success. However, only half of this key is readily available to children. So, where is the other half? It is within us. This article explores what these missing elements are and how to tap them out of our children for the greater good of the world.

Let me begin with a phrase that is being overused without much regard to its crucial meaning. EDUCATION SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED TO BOOKS. I will never get tired of repeating this statement, since I have long understood its core meaning. Compare one doctor who operates people for organ trafficking to another who operates tirelessly to save a dying girl. They are both skilled, of course, yet there is a fundamental difference; one of these doctors has received only half the education. I am sure it is obvious which doctor it is. Filling your mind with useful information, understanding it and repeating all of it on paper or replicating it practically or taking that information to more advanced heights is only part of the equation. The other part remains in the fact that a child is strengthened with essential values. These values provide a strong foundation which is conducive in nurturing an ethical child who is ready to internalize and use knowledge for a good cause. So what are these values? Let’s find out.

Self-respect

You cannot give others what you do not have yourself. Imagine it is one of those days that there is a water-cut in your area. Suddenly a thirsty man comes to you and asks for water. Can you offer him water? No. Why? Because you do not have it in the first place. It is the same logic that applies here. If you want your children to respect you and everyone else, first they need to learn to respect themselves. The first step is to change the manner in which a child speaks to herself. Remember that mind voice that calls us ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ or something even worse when we make an error? Children have it too. Teach children to train their mind voices to become kinder, more positive and more motivating. Teach them to tell themselves, ‘Hey, I did something wrong, let’s not repeat it the next time.’ The next step is to create a sense of accountability. Imagine a child promises to wake up at 6.00am in the morning. Then, teach her that she will put herself down if she does not stick to her plan. Teach her that putting herself down will make her lose the respect she has towards herself. Self –respect will teach a child to look at herself from an imaginary mirror. She will learn to stand in front of that mirror and talk to her reflection kindly and encouragingly to be accountable to herself.

Respect towards others

I think our children are taught the wrong concept of respect. If you ask a child what respect is, she would not be able to formulate an answer at most times. However, if you do ask a child as to who she should respect she will answer with something along the lines of parents, teachers, the clergy, one’s country or one’s flag. Do you notice how all these answers show that respect is directly proportional to authoritative power? The more powerful the person, the more respect that person deserves. This notion is the reason why most manual workers are either physically or verbally abused by their customers and employers. People are not taught to give respect down the hierarchy. Our children are taught to respect out of fear; not out of will. The right concept of respect is easier to teach when children are made to understand that everyone else is just as equal as they are. Children need to understand that it is not right to put another person down just as much as it is wrong to put themselves down. Children need to learn to vocalize their mind voices to spread positivity, kindness and motivation to everyone, regardless of their status. Remember that mirror? Now the child also learns to see another person in that reflection to whom she is kind and holds accountability to.

Empathy

If a child learns to respect another person in the correct manner, she will automatically learn to empathize. The concept of ‘being in another person’s shoes’ cannot be grasped easily without seeing another person as one’s equivalent. This idea can be made digestible to children by allowing them to look after siblings or by simply letting them have a pet. This allows parents to use the phrase, ‘How would you feel if your brother did the same to you?’ This question in itself is sufficient to create an empathetic thought pattern in a child. She will always stop to think, ‘What if it was me?’ If you ask an only child for help, she will find it harder to offer that help when compared to a child who has grown up with siblings. We cannot blame her, since she clearly does not have the mechanisms to easily cater to another person’s feelings. This is why schools have resorted to conducting group-activities as a part of learning. These activities bring out the basic tools of empathy: diplomacy, the need to listen, control of one’s emotions and giving equal priority to everyone’s ideas inclusive of yours. Empathy is that mirror through which the child reflects upon another.

Consent

Speak to your child about your likes and dislikes. Explain to her which of her actions make you happy and which do not. Do not forget to make this a two-way conversation. Ask her what makes her happy or sad. Let her be comfortable about speaking up her mind. Once a child learns that her opinions and feelings matter just as yours, she is not afraid to vocalize them. She starts to subconsciously normalize this habit with outsiders as well. She understands that she has all the right to give or reserve her consent as she wishes. She will learn to distance from anyone who intimidates her by saying a simple ‘no’. Make sure she knows she has your full support in this. A child who grows in this manner will not only learn to stand for her consent, but also for another’s consent. She will go out into the world having and acting upon a strong sense of consent rather than becoming an easy prey to unjust and abusive people.

Trust

Did you notice that respect, empathy and consent can be given? How about trust? Can trust be given? Can trust even be taken? I suppose neither is possible. Trust can only be built and building takes time. Once built, trust also must be protected. Building trust happens in a sequence of events. First you meet a person; you decide if they are likeable. If you like the person you start to maintain continuous communication with him/her. At first you talk about surface matters such as professions and likes and dislikes; then you discuss ideologies on politics and maybe religion; later on you may exchange more private information in the scope of background, family and friends; finally it would the extremely personal matters such as your struggles or important experiences – things that you would wish to tell no one else. You went through each of those steps after sufficiently assessing the person’s actions and reactions to what you had to say. With each assessment your trust is built. Then comes the challenge of protecting what you have built. You expect the other person to not use your disclosures as weapons against you. Rather, you expect the other person to accept you as you are and be someone who you could rely on now that he/she saw you at your most vulnerable. Allow your children to experiment these steps with you and trustworthy family members until they reach a significant age. Once they have gone through the loop, they would have a ready-made set of instructions on how to trust a person.

Being sensible

Make your child aware of the cause and effect cycle. Teach her to be patient enough to think before she takes her next step. You see, the world has become a haze of rapidity with all the easy access technology has provided us with. Our minds, unfortunately, have adopted this speed to our thought processes as well. As a result, we do not want to go through the long and painstaking affair of patiently taking the time to think of the consequences if a certain decision is made. Instead, we give priority to the first thought that pops up in our mind and act upon it just to feed our brain’s hunger of speed. Now think of your child who was born right in the middle of this era of technological explosion. She has no idea about an alternative thinking pattern other than what she was born into. Imagine the number of wrong decisions she would make throughout her life if you leave this situation unchecked. It is scary, indeed. Show your child the beauty of questioning. Let her be amazed by the answers that are revealed. Make her work with puzzles that take her time and patience while making her contemplate on what could happen if she fits a certain piece at a certain place. Let her finish the puzzle and let her be amazed at what she had created out of patience and questions. She will surely make it a lesson for life.

Self-esteem

You must be aware of how society idealizes genders. A man needs to be of a certain height and build and within a certain level of income to be accepted. A woman needs to be of an ideal body type with a certain disposition to be considered attractive. Now take into account a child’s mind which is being bombarded with these idealized images day in and day out, thanks to social media. We know in reality that this man and woman are misconceptions of what the general population really is. However, for your child these images are her reality, since that is what she has been seeing all her life. She wants to be that idealized image. If she turns out to be anything different from these images (which is the case 95% of the time) she would start to view herself as an abnormal person. The TV says she should look like this model. Her friends confirm that the TV is right. She looks at herself and notices she is not anything like that model and finally her self – esteem reaches a low deeper than the Mariana Trench. Eventually, she starts to seek attention and validation to soothe her burnt ego. It is a vicious cycle, which must be broken. Please, please, please tell your child that she is beautiful just the way she is. Show her real people with real bodies. Show her that everyone has flaws.  Teach her to groom herself to bring out the best features in her. More importantly, teach her how to be beautiful from the inside too.  Do not let her seek validation elsewhere, since today you forgot to tell her she is beautiful and unique. A child with self-esteem is a gem to have.

Let me repeat. EDUCATION SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED TO BOOKS. I am sure this does not sound a mere, bland utterance anymore. It is your child’s right to be nurtured into a blossoming individual. It is your right to be an important part of that process. Take the first step to this beautiful journey today. At first, you will be lost. Your patience would run dry. You would be angered by your underperformance. You literally will have to be a changed person. I assure you it will not be a leisurely walk in the park. Yet it would be for a worthy cause. Do not miss out on the other half of your child’s education. Best of luck!

https://www.parentingscience.com/teaching-empathy-tips.html

Coleman, P. (2019, July 9). How to teach young kids about consent. Retrieved from 

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Categories
Self-Help/Life Coaching

THE CURSE OF INSTANT GRATIFICATION

Written by Sherelee Rathnarajah Crawford

Approximately twenty years ago, the topic of this post made zero sense to anyone whoever interested in reading it. Also, I am sure; those days, probably, I had been spending much of my time rolling in the dirt rather than typing away at a computer. Anyhow, twenty years later today, what I referred to as “instant gratification” is a forage, and you and I are its prey. Let me take the lead by defining this phenomenon. Instant gratification is the hunger to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment. Generally, it is when you want something, and you want it immediately. You might wonder what would be the possible danger in wanting positive karma on faster wheels. Let me analyze this further.

Social Media thrust: It all started in the early 2000s when MySpace was the first form of modern social media that reached a million active users in a month. If I had to describe “MySpace” to the younger audiences: It was a site that allowed users to customize the layout of their profile page from color and background images to the way the page was structured. And it offers an option to insert content hosted on other sites such as YouTube. Also, it allowed users to interact with friends and non-friends alike, which means you had instant access to people as well as their approval or disapproval over your content. Now, just fast forward through those two decades and think about the number of social media platforms that have created with more or less the same features refurbished off MySpace. We have got ourselves hooked on almost all these platforms feeding our brains with instant gratification. 

Imagine, you post a picture, and the likes and hearts start popping in a matter of minutes (depending on your above-average look within a short period). Your lips sync to the song in your TikTok video gets so many instant views and likes that you end up believing you are a celebrity. It causes you to spark with temporary gratification. What do you think is the motive behind your favorite YouTuber? Why would they frequently remind you to like their videos and subscribe to their channel? It’s because they receive their much-needed dopamine-high in addition to the monetization when their channel increases the number of viewers. Now, let me explain the first-hand experience that I had to encounter from my end. The book I am writing these days was supposed to be simultaneous with my blog posts. However, I have postponed writing the book because my brain yearns for the instant gratification induced by the number of views my posts garner. 

The reference to my manuscript brings you to another vastly important topic, which I can confine as delayed gratification. Delayed gratification or deferred gratification describes the process that the brain undergoes when it resists the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a later requite. Even though I am putting effort into writing my book, it will take a painstakingly long time with no quick mood fixes. And I might spend the next two to three months questioning myself if the reward is worth the wait or should I ultimately give up. Sometimes, despite the nature of my efforts, instant gratification will leave me with this ever-present impatience for good results. 

The alteration of the dopamine level: The surges of dopamine are short-lived, which means you come back to feeling less-gratified just as fast as you reached maximum gratification. Hence, these results continue in you to engaging in less relevant tasks to keep your instant and short-lived happy moods coming at a steady level. Once your brain is comfortable on this sort of a high, it becomes reluctant to perform tasks that give you delayed gratification; then, it eventually creates a loop of action-reward-pattern that slowly takes command over all areas of your life. Therefore, 

  • You expect instant and positive replies from your partner via text messages. 
  • You want your teacher to quickly grade that paper that you know you had answered so well. 
  • You want your goods delivered in one day through e-bay and expect it to be the same replica of the photoshopped version you saw online. 
  • You expect your doctor to prescribe fast-working medication for a broken leg that usually takes three months to heal. 
  • Your whole life becomes an explosion of snappy rewards.

However, the real danger arises when you face critical decisions in life that need time. Most importantly, patience brings you delayed gratification such as, 

  • You cannot spend time studying the nature of your suitors since your brain wants the instant gratification of getting into a relationship. 
  • You cannot spend time on a four-year course to upgrade skills when you can quickly fame out by becoming a TikTok star, who does not need an education. 
  • You cannot wait five years for the business of your dreams to take off and bring you an income.

So, you succumb to whichever means of income that boost your dopamine hunger. And also, you refuse to wait through the process to get your hands on the results. Therefore, the above points are suitable information to define the curse of instant gratification. 

Solution: How do we escape this curse? I do not think we ever can. The human race is already well-bound in its chains. However, we do have a choice in as to what extent we are going to allow it to control us. I feel that self-control should be one concept that needs to be drilled deep in our minds when it comes to using social media platforms. We need to train ourselves to consciously unplug once in a while to let our brains to rewire itself to return to its natural state of accepting delayed gratification. It will be quite a feat for our generation. However, we must concern regarding this matter for the coming generations. We must prove to them the impact of our trouble. Then, they will have very adept role-models who will teach them the skills to cope with this curse.

Let’s start today by switching to crave for “Delayed Gratification.” My solution lies in starting that life-sucking excruciating book. Where does your solution lie?

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Categories
Self-Help/Life Coaching

SRI LANKAN VIRGINITY IN 21’ST CENTURY

Written by Eleena Mendis

Have you ever felt the frustration of being locked up in a room forever? Compression of culture and society can make it extremely hard. Being a woman isn’t a choice, being a virgin is a choice on your own but it takes a lot more effort to become a real human. 

The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a fascinating multicultural country with great biodiversity. It has a long history which is “great enough,” that we still talk about it so proudly. The Sri Lankan society holds a common culture of celebrating the attainment of puberty. Young girls are welcome to womanhood with grand festivals and ceremonies. These young girls go through a lot of rituals before they are welcome to the world amidst celebrations. They do have meanings and values hidden behind. However, not many are aware of these hidden aspects simply because they failed to think or to question from the previous generations. In contrast, they are careful enough not to forget to pass these rituals to the next generation. Failing to question, understand the true meaning, or to think the logic behind these actions is the bitter truth, but embracing the culture beyond limitations is a great quality I see in these people. However, it is amazing to see how these wonderful rituals are performed with great value and respect.

From this day onwards, a girl is being protected by her parents and the family is to make sure that she is a virgin till her marriage. This is the culture that has been created over the long years of this great history. It seemed all perfect until it created a lot of misconceptions in today’s Sri Lankan society.

Primarily I see a lot of young girls suffering or not enjoying their life due to tough parenting systems adopted by the whole idea created around virginity. When boys are allowed to go out with friends or do whatever they want to enjoy life and experience it on their own, girls often have to stay back at home or to be with their parents which seems completely unfair. There are so many strict rules on how girls should behave and dress. The pressure put on girls isn’t equal to boys. Girls are always taught and said to do the household work while boys are mostly free from it. This has been accepted as well as practiced by so many generations due to the mentality created by the culture. This is where gender discrimination starts. This is where gender roles are defined. This is where girls’ life deprivations begin. What I think is we need to create a culture where both girls and boys can enjoy and experience life safely, we need to create a culture that everyone loves and cares for each other. We need to reconstruct the idea of gender roles and create human roles instead. We need to teach both girls and boys how to perform basic skills of living. 

Secondly, I see no good sex education is provided or is even given enough attention to. Culture tries to avoid certain things without providing enough awareness. Also, sometimes culture pretends as if certain things aren’t true. This is where the real problem lies and the conflict between culture and the reality generates. What is important is to recreate a culture which provides the necessary knowledge and eliminates the untrue or illogical things. Culture should always be compatible with reality. People try to put more weight on passing down unquestioned or maybe even outdated rituals rather than providing the proper knowledge on hygiene, safety and sex. Sadly, talking about menstruation or sex as a topic openly with parents or adults is extremely forbidden. The tragedy is that discussion of contraception is taboo even though this should be one of the top-prioritized topics.

For young girls, this society would be too tough and too patriarchal but the truth is they are going to break the rules either on purpose or unintentionally. Unluckily this is going to create a lot of social issues such as unwanted pregnancies, mental and physical abuses and sexually transmitted diseases when they try things out of curiosity, while they lack knowledge. A tough and patriarchal society which hides the truth, won’t help this problem unless we create a safe environment with a lot of awareness. We live in a society where people are too ignorant to realize that sex is a primary physical and psychological need of a human but too wise to assume that the virginity of a woman is a primary requirement to get married. The weight put on a boy to remain a virgin till marriage is zero yet the weight put on a boy to get married to a virgin is hundred. Culture has a huge impact on society and societal forces are mostly driven by culture. It mostly works as an invisible drive. Socially we have created this imbalance with the influence of some misleading and illogical facts and practices that have been passed through generations. How do we balance this hypocrisy created by the interconnection between culture and society?

The hymen is something physical and can be broken due to sexual intercourse but virginity is a social construct that is being misused for ages. How does society give more value and power to virginity over humanity? Aren’t we supposed to look at this problem logically? Isn’t it the time to bring solutions to the wrong practices and all the misbeliefs?

Recently I came across some advertisements that hit me somewhere in between my heart and the brain. It was related to regaining lost virginity, also known as repairing the hymen. The captions they used were truly disgusting. “Afraid of getting married due to past issues?”, “Fear of marriage” such titles define clearly the society that we belong to. Encouraging such thoughts and enabling people to create new patterns of a dead culture is a tactic employing trauma. “Make it fragile once again” and “Restore your innocence”, such captions are extreme levels of misusing social norms. This whole idea sounds irrational to me because it keeps misleading society to understand a very untrue idea of virginity. It gives you the right to superficially fake the world. It is a form of misguiding yourself as well as one another. Why can’t we accept each other as we are? This is all because of the pressure put on the social construct of virginity. Why has it only become a feminine topic when it is supposed to be just common to both males and females? Why can’t this culture be honest and real rather than trying to be deceptively ethical? The captions such as “Were you cheated on?” and “Are you a rape victim?” are extreme levels of criticism. It reveals the sexual injustice we are facing today. Targeting rape victims sounds so poor because only regaining virginity does not fix the problem. It seems like they encourage rapists by offering solutions to the victims. Is that how we bring justice to the rape victims? What should we do about their lost personality and lost mental health? How do we exactly repay for the hurt? They matter and affect victims on a higher level.

It is hilarious to see when capitalism takes over society through businesses that affect their societal and cultural forces. The way they influence society matters. When they are supposed to bring solutions to the existing problems of a society where they call it a market, what they actually do is the exact opposite. They try to take advantage of every single misconception or any common weak points of the culture. When the profit is the only bottom line, businesses try to sell all the misbeliefs, and wrong thoughts if we are happy to welcome it. This creates so much of a crisis within society and it will never bring equality to the marginalized majority.

After all, we need to understand the contradiction between culture, reality, virginity, and humanity. Chimamanda Adiche mentioned, “Culture doesn’t make people, people make culture.” People like to believe that culture is the source that makes us special. They believe that it has the power to create purity. But the reality is, culture is completely a concept created by people. So, we need to make a culture that goes along with reality. Most importantly we need to know, just being a virgin does not make you a real human.

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Categories
Law

CHILD ABUSE AND THE ROLE OF TEACHERS

Written by Eleena Mendis

As soon as you read the topic, I know you think to yourself “Is it another article of child abuse?” Are you fed up of reading enough depressing stories? Have you ever thought of rethinking the idea of child abuse and your own role-play in it? Now it is time to realize. 

In consideration of child care, Child Abuse has been a much-needed topic. Also, understanding the proper idea of child abuse is very important. Every single day, many children suffer due to the lack of knowledge about child abuse of parents, caregivers, teachers, or adults. Society thinks child abuse is sexual abuse or brutal physical violence, but it can be any sort of maltreatment towards children. 

World Health Organization: Nearly 3 in 4 children—or 300 million children—aged 2–4 years regularly suffer physical punishment and or psychological violence at the hands of parents and caregivers.

Child abuse is a vast area that can discuss with five main categories.

  • Physical abuse 

Physical abuse is any form of physical violence towards children. Unlike the sexual abuse, the reaction towards physical abuse is less because some areas of the world or some cultures have normalized physical punishments as a way of adapting children. When a child makes a mistake purposely or not, the parents or the adults or even teachers tend to punish them physically. For example, hitting is a regular physical punishment, especially in countries like Sri Lanka. That can physically hurt or harm as well as this can affect a child emotionally.

  • Physical neglect 

Physical neglect is when children are not receiving basic necessities such as care and healthy nutrition. Many children suffer without enough attention to their physical needs. As parents or caregivers, we need to provide them with a sufficient meal-plan as they need it to grow up healthily. At the same time, we need to uplift the standard of living for them to grow up in a safe environment. Physical neglect has rarely noticed as child abuse in our society. For example, child laborers and children dropped out of school are considered as physically neglected. It is crucial to create more awareness of these types of child abuse and to bring up conversations and solutions to ensure the physical needs of children.

  • Emotional or psychological abuse 

This term is a very harmful category of abuse that can leave scars behind throughout the lifetime of a child. When adults act in a dismissive and hostile manner towards children, that defined as abusing emotionally / psychologically. This sort of abusive behavior is a severe problem that has to investigate with proper attention. It is always not easy for children to reveal what is emotional abuse, or in most of the cases, they do not have the knowledge to realize that how they got abused emotionally. Berating or intentionally scaring children can also lead to emotional or psychological abuse.

  • Emotional or psychological neglect 

Positive attention, love, and caring is a must in parenting. Lack of positive attention, love, and security for children is emotional or psychological neglect. For example, violence between parents or caregivers affects children immensely. Ignorance of children affects their mental health and happiness.

  • Sexual abuse 

Forceful intercourse with children or even with the consent of a child declared as an abusive sexual act under child abuse. It can be a traumatic experience that will affect a child’s mental state permanently. Physical pain, as well as physical illnesses, could occur due to sexual abuse. Also, children could be easily uncovered to sexual diseases and child pregnancies by child abuse.

As you see, “Negligence” is very easily missed out of the scope of child abuse, while it plays a huge role in it. Sexual abuse is not the only type of abuse that society needs to pay attention to in this condition. However, the above mentioning of types of abuse is harmful to society and children overall. We might be parents, teachers, caregivers to some children, or we may not, yet as adults, it is our responsibility to protect children from violence, abuse, and exploitation. Child marriage or cohabitation before the age of 18, child labor, female genital mutilation among the girls, and severe physical means of punishing children are some of the highlights that have taken the attention of the world. As in a personal view, I see a lot of cultural and religious backgrounds that discourage the ability to stand against the violence, abuse, or exploitation towards children.

World Health Organization: A child who is abused is more likely to abuse others as an adult so that violence is passed down from one generation to the next. It is therefore critical to break this cycle of violence, and in so doing, create positive multi-generational impacts.

The above statement clears the necessity of taking action to prevent child abuse because it works like a chain. It has practiced through abusersthemselves. Abusers, as well as victims, need special help to overcome mental instability. The number of cases reported in child sexual abuse is less than the actual number of cases taken place due to under-reporting and community codes of silence during the past decade. That is a major drawback in the struggle of child abuse that keeps encouraging abusers. We need to create more awareness as well as the self-confidence to raise in such situations. What is not recognized is the importance of reporting all kinds of abuse, and not only sexual abuse and above mentioned all five categories but everything else which relates to abusive measures. If we fail, then it can be seriously harmful to children equally.

Most of the parent’s and caregiver’s mind has settled to think about outsiders and strangers with regards of child abuse, and they try to keep their children away from the strangers while many of the cases occur within the family and close friends. At the same time, there are high possibilities of occurring child abuse from parents, caregivers, and teachers intentionally or unintentionally. That is a very tricky part of the struggle of overcoming child abuse since it is hardly noticed or reported while it seems to happen more often. From a teacher’s perspective, it is extremely important to have a good knowledge regarding child abuse to identify children undergone similar situations to help them immediately. First of all, they have to be very sensitive just like the children, because dealing with them is not as easy as you do with adults. Physical and emotional neglect and abuse can happen from many teachers than sexual abuse. Some of them tend to abuse children either way mentioned above because of personal grudges or dislikes towards the child or sometimes when the teacher is intolerant to take the right procedures with the child’s behavior or learning patterns. Teachers with a lack of patience can be harmful to children, and it is crucial to have the right knowledge, practice, and the mindset to become one.

Staying away from child abuse in any circumstances is defined as denying social responsibilities as a teacher. All the teachers have to be active members in identifying children undergone child abuse to help them overcome their situations. They must have the courage to stand up and speak up against it, even in situations that you come across seeing other teachers or parents being abusive. The teachers can observe children in order to figure out whether they are experiencing any kind of abuse,

  • Sleeping disorders 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Health situation (lack of nutrition)
  • Tidiness
  • Activeness
  • The way of responding to friends and teachers
  • Physical wounds
  • Scars or any other difficulty (ex. urinal infections or bleeding)

Then, they are able to talk with the child and the parents or caregivers to help the child or even to fetch them to any sort of mental or physical treatment for recovery. At the same time, it is your responsibility to take legal actions or encourage the parents, caregivers, or relevant parties to take action towards abusers. Even though this seems to be the last and the most difficult step of the process, it is the most crucial step to be taken towards the betterment of the world.  

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News

IS THE CORONAVIRUS DANGEROUS?

Written by Eleena Mendis

The entire world has seized up with the fright of the Coronavirus. Regardless of physical, societal, and economical or even religious boundaries, the number of victims has been increasing since January 2020. Nearly, the whole world is suffering from the virus and fighting for their lives while many people decided to give up. A pandemic is nothing new to the world. But for us as Sri Lankans, the Coronavirus pandemic situation is the very first global outbreak to experience with many difficulties.

All of a sudden, we had to postpone our day to day life. The country has been on lockdown for months. As we all know, sanitizing and social distancing are the precautions to avoid the risks, which seems quite simple, but complex in the act. Doctors, nurses, security forces, and some other laborers have been providing their good-will, and become today’s essential workforce to contribute with the system. They dedicated to serving their nation by sacrificing their personal lives and loved ones on behalf of their duties. 

This drastic incident has become one of the most sensitive topics around the world. Even some governments admired by their voters for taking sudden but harsh actions over civilians to control the outbreak. Is Coronavirus dangerous? Yes, it is, and it is highly contagious with the ability to kill millions of people by suppressing their breath. But isn’t it more dangerous what the other half of the world is facing right now? Isn’t it more serious what hidden behind the bigger picture of the pandemic? 

More than 250,000 people died, and in the meantime, two-third of the population has lost their employment and wages. Some of them are fighting for breath and starving to death every single day. These problems are more viral and dangerous than the biological impact of the virus. These are the problems, created by humans over the past decades. Nonetheless, the discussions on pandemic outbreaks to attack the capitalized system have vastly taken into attention by many authorities, since America and other powerful countries got extremely affected. Did they put any effort into changing their social-orders or bringing equality on the ground-level? The truth is not visible but buried.

Do you still believe Coronavirus is bigger than poverty? Comparing to the recent outbreak incident in the month of May 2020, which took place in Maligawatta, Sri Lanka, reveals the hidden picture of many untold stories. Three women were dead due to unbearable compression amid the crowd. Over three hundred people gathered there for two thousand five hundred rupees, which is less than $15, and stood over their lives because surviving against poverty is harder than getting cured by the Coronavirus disease.

We do not need another CSR (corporate social responsibility) project, a marketing campaign, or a political campaign that nourishes capitalism. We need true humanity for a better chance, and we must stand together.

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