I recently posted the following statement on Instagram and Twitter, “I do not want to go back to normal. I want to go forward to a better, brighter, and peaceful future.”
I have been reflecting a lot these past several weeks on many, many things, from what’s happening around us to my personal well being. How can I do better for not just this world, but also for myself? Do I have faith that these changes will indeed be for the better or is this just another phase?
The world is currently in a crisis, not one started by the COVID pandemic, but indeed exacerbated by it. Although many act like the virus has miraculously disappeared overnight or pushing their localities to “reopen already”, the crisis is still very much upon us. We are still in the first wave of this pandemic and the second, I believe, is not far behind.
Our planet isn’t getting better because people have stayed home. It may have gotten a small break, sure, but it will indeed get worse. As highlighted by a recent USA Today report, environmentalists are worried about the rise of waste in our oceans. Mainly, COVID related wastes such as masks and gloves, both made of materials that are not necessarily biodegradable.
Our country is already anticipating a historical record rise in evictions. So many people right now, especially our essential workers, are unable to pay their rents as perfectly covered by Hasan Minhaj. This is not a problem of rent affordability but how we’ve allowed corporate landlords to take advantage of a difficult situation to make a quick profit. This is not the first time – for those who have forgotten the 2008 recession – nor is COVID the sole reason behind it.
In a matter of weeks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were killed either by lynching or unnecessary police violence. “My gut told me he did it”? No knock warrant? Choked to death for over 8 minutes? The social contract we’ve been forced to adhere too by so many that haven’t followed through, as best put by Trevor Noah, has been broken. Better yet, it’s always been a flawed design. I think with the recent protests, those that had never experienced police brutality saw first hand what a militarized, systemically racist police force are “allowed” to do to its citizens practicing their first amendment rights.
Poverty, corporate greed, systemic racism, and the environment are long suffered issues, that were never going to survive this pandemic.
I’m not in any way shape or form undermining the human casualties of COVID. I recently lost a cousin who was just a couple years older than me to COVID. Our family can’t go near my grandfather’s long term care facility in New Jersey where he resides. My father has been dealing with isolation issues after having a thriving social life in the community.
This virus is real, and it’s hurting people. It has not gone away and yet I feel everyone is trying to “get back to normal” like the virus, and the issues exacerbated by it, have magically disappeared overnight. This bugs me to my core!
Am I speaking from a place of privilege when I say I don’t want to go “back to normal” like everyone else? Yes, I miss my extended family, friends, people but patience will get us to a better place, not the “normal” that brought upon this pandemic and horrid response to it.
I know I will most likely not be heading back to work in our offices this year, but I’m so grateful to be able to work from home. I will not be traveling this summer as planned but I still have options to do so when the time is right. My hometown of San Francisco is slowly being reopened but I’m very, very cautious while attempting to support local businesses from afar.
I’ve been using this time to read, keeping myself informed, and trying to figure out how I will be better on the other side of all of this. This is the time to build stronger bonds with our families, especially with my nephew. This is the time to learn sometime new, like my mom’s sweet baking recipes. This is the time to figure out what do I want to on the other side of this. And what I want is to be better and brighter.
Nothing will be the same, nor would I expect it to be. If this is not the time to demand change that’ll be beneficial for all as well as self-care and personal growth, when is it?
Krista Canfield, the Senior Manager at LinkedIn was on San Francisco’s 7Live yesterday with Brian Copeland and Lizzie Bermudez with a few good tips on making your profile stand out. As LinkedIn is my favorite professional networking site out there, felt it necessary to share that information with my readers.
Canfield started by discussing this year’s top over-used “buzz” words. The top five that you and I have been guilty of over-using on our profiles and resumes are:
- Extensive Experience
- Track Record
Other overused words were problem-solving, communication skills and interpersonal skills as detailed further on Digital Journal. My advice would be to really look at what your skill is rather then sugar coating it with smart sounding words. Let’s go a bit into detail of what we actually did, using simple English words. For example, what in fact have we created to be creative?
Canfield also stated that users shouldn’t simply say they have a lot of experience but actually list their experience. The more information you have posted on your profile from your resume, the more you are to stand out. Keeping it simple could be keeping you out of reach from many employers looking at your profile. I would also suggest that once you have perfected both your resume and profile, make sure to link your profile when you send out your resume. Why not have it below your name at the bottom of your cover letter?
Curious what my profile looks like? Here it is!
If you are going to have a profile, you need to make yourself approachable. LinkedIn asks asks for one small picture to add personality to your profile. When Bermudez asked what’s the worst profile picture Canfield had seen, she replied, “not having a picture at all is worse then a bad picture.” Of course, she noted, that one should have a simple, professional head shot for their profile picture. My rule of thumb is, if you’d post it on Facebook, maybe you shouldn’t use it on LinkedIn.
As I noted earlier, I too am guilty of some of these mishaps and am fixing up my LinkedIn profile as you read this! If you’d like me to look over your profile, all you have to do is ask.
Once an excerpt video of yesterday’s interview is made available, with permission I’ll be sure to post it right here!
It started with one town. Sidi Bouzid.
It started with one nation. Tunisia.
It started with one day. December 17, 2010.
Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, was an unemployed college graduate. With limited prospects for employment of any kind, he took what he had and bought a fruit cart. It was his only source of income. However, the police was not so understanding when they either fined him due to permits or requested a bribe he couldn’t afford (conflicting reports), they also humiliated him. His cart was confiscated, destroyed before his eyes and in front of his humble customers. When following procedures in making a government complaint went to no avail, ElBouazizi was not able to bare it all. Not knowing simply what to do, ElBouazizi self immolated himself in Sidi Bouzid’s public on December 17, 2010.
ElBouazizi died January 3, 2011.
Tunisia, a tightly run police state in North Africa, has had the same president for almost 25 years. Zine ElAbidine Ben Ali. Ben Ali – who’s first name ironically translates to “the best of the worshipers” – was the nation’s only second president since it’s independence from France. Like other neighboring Arab nations, it’s a given that once one obtains power, they stayed in power for life. Their family & friends reap the benefits while the people struggle to obtain simple basic needs.
After Bouazizi’s self immolation, many of the Tunisian youth asked themselves, “how much longer can they live with such humiliation? When was enough enough?”
Before long, Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks were ablaze with the young people organizing to have their voices heard. They, alongside their elder and younger generations, took to the streets chanting, striking and doing whatever it took to have their voices amplified. Despite the lack of journalistic broadcasts of their demands for their inherited rights and freedom, their voices did not go on deaf ears.
It took 29 days, clashes with police, enforced curfews and support for the world over before Ben Ali finally “understood” and fled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Today, there is an Interpol warrant out for his and his family’s arrest for courroption, theft and crimes against humanity. Protests remain to ensure that Ben Ali’s dictatorship does not continue through his circle still holding on to their government seats.
Before ElBouazizi, there was Khaled Said.
Said, a 28 year old young man of Alexandria, Egypt, was brutally killed by police in public for unknown reasons (conflicting reports have stated that it was either due to Said posting a video online of these same police offices in a corrupt deal after a drug sting or that he defended such an individual these officers were after). Eye witnesses and individuals who tried to intervene state that the police men dragged Said into a residential building lobby where they brutally beat him. Even as he begged them for mercy, the officers banged Said’s head several times against concrete steps, walls & floor of the building. A very graphic picture of Said after the incident can be found here.
Said died on June 6, 2010.
After the story spread across the nation via social media, blogs and the people’s uproar of the well known and feared police’s treatment of Egyptian citizens, authorities finally issued for an investigation of the policemen to take place. They were only charged with unlawful arrest & use of excessive force.
60 percent of Egypt’s population, like Said, are under the age of 35 and have only known one president, Hosni Mubarak. After President Anwar ElSadat’s assassination in 1981, Mubarak was sworn into office. Since then, Egypt has seen a rise in unemployment (now around 45%), extensive censorships and many living on survival mode as poverty reached the millions.
Since his swearing in 1981, Mubarak has put Egypt under an extended emergency law. Under this law persecutions, tortures, beatings, jailing without trail and/or of being taken “وراء الشمس” (“behind the sun” is what Egyptians refer to when one is arrested for unknown reasons and never seen again) was allowed; and the nation lived in fear.
After Said’s death, much of the Egyptian youth asked themselves, “how much longer can we live in such fear? When is enough enough?”
With a few unsuccessful protests, other forms of protests via the internet took place since. The story of ElBouazizi made it beyond the Tunisian borders. The young people of the Arab world watched Tunisia in amazement, mainly via social media, and took notes. (See “Thank You Tunisia” for images)
Ben Ali fled Tunisia on January 14, 2011.
Social media networks were already ablaze with young people of Egypt organizing to have their voices heard as well. A “Day of Rage” was organized to take place on Egypt’s National Police Day for them, alongside their elder and younger generations, take to the streets and do whatever it takes to have their voices as amplified as those of Tunisia’s own.
Egypt was diagnosed with the Jasmine Revolution on January 25, 2011. The rest is history being written.