Meditation Monday! A new series! Every Monday I will recommend a meditation (most likely guided meditation) that I have been enjoying.
This meditation is especially helpful when I feel all the self-doubt related to my work and creativity. Connecting back to the present moment is connecting with our creativity! There are no ideas too big or too crazy!
So Johnson & Johnson & the blood clots, how bad is it?
I first noticed the usage of the word ‘plantation’ from a UK food photographer I followed. I already found it strange and a little inconsiderate, but I thought she is from the UK so maybe there is less of a stigma.
Little did I know, the word ‘plantation’ is being widely used in the U.S food world, from whiskey to dessert to restaurant names. When I saw this podcast, I knew I need to listen to it and find out more.
The hosts put emphasize on learning why people would choose to use the world ‘plantation’ and what they want to accomplish with the word choice. It is less about forcing people to change their word choice. Hopefully curious questions would lead to some more awareness and more self education.
Almost all the white people who agreed to the interview talked about the plantation evokes warm and fuzzy feelings, the ideas of leisure, and plenty of food. This cultural image was manufactured in the 1930s in books, movies, and food advertisements when the Great Migration(a large number of Black people moved from the South to the North) happened. This marketing technique clearly sells and succeeds at selling for a long time proven by brands like ‘Aunt Jemima’ did not rebrand until very recently.
I especially loved the exchange between the host and a food historian. The host asked why he as a white male can spend 40+ years of his life not realizing that the word plantation has a negative connotation. The food historian asked where his ideas would be challenged anyways. It is not challenged in school. It is not challenged in society. If he is not particularly close to the African American community, he won’t have friends tell him otherwise about the plantation. It highlights the importance to have real history taught in school, discussed in society as well as have friends from different communities.
The show also emphasizes the importance of self-education and not relying on friends from marginalized communities to ‘hold our hands’ and teach us.
I absolutely loved the intersection of food, history, and American’s complicated past. Highly recommend!
Since most of us are going to get the COVID vaccines in the next few months, I started to wonder if the variants are going to make the vaccines less effective. Luckily scientists have been researching the same questions.
P.S: I am going to refer to the variants with their country name because I cannot remember their scientific name. I know it is not the best practice but I am conscious of it.
Vaccines are very effective against the UK and Brazil variants. They are less effective against the South African variant which is now found in 40+ countries. The good news is that vaccines can still make you less sick facing the South African variant.
In terms of what vaccinated people can do, you can definitely hug your vaccinated friends once you get the vaccination. Wearing your mask in public is still a good idea.
I cannot find to get my vaccine and I thoroughly enjoyed how this podcast makes hard science more approachable.
A quick primer on this episode: this episode is aired in 2016. I am not sure how successful the radicalization prevention program is now in Denmark. Nonthless, it still presents a different way of handling radicalization.
People naturally mirror each other’s actions. This phenomenon is called complementary behavior in psychology. Governments meet radicalization of the youth with restrictions (like taking away their passport) and punishment (capture and try people who came back from Syria). This hostility is then mirrored by the youth who already feel discriminated against and unaccepted. They might actually seek radicalization as a response to the hostility from the general society.
What two policemen in Denmark, Link, and Aarslev, used their intuition to arrive at the non-complementary behavior, offer warmth and love in the face of hostility. They welcomed the youth who were returning back from Syria back to the community. They asked the youth (who already went to Syria or who are thinking about going) for a coffee chat, then get the youth medical treatments (if the youth needed), help them to finish school, find apartments. The police department pairs the youth with mentors who faced similar discriminations growing up yet find success and belonging now. This program was very successful at preventing youth from going to Syria while the other European countries were seeing continuous traffic of radical youth leaving.
It dawned on me that it is not so hard to understand those youth. People find meanings, friendships, identities, recognitions from religions and from many other places. We are all wired to ask ‘who am I, where do I come from, where am I going, what is my purpose in life.
If we are not even meeting people’s physiological and safety needs(personal security, employment, health, property), as well as completely ignoring their needs for love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization, on top of that we show hostility, what could they possibly give back?
In other words, if we want to help people, we can help them according to Maslow’s hierarchy needs. Help them get health care, help them to get employment, help them feel seen, loved, and belong, help them to create their own fate, etc.
Quotes:”They want identity. They want recognition. The youngsters are dying to belong. They are dying to belong.”
“There are still thousands of people who are drawn to the brotherhood or the narrative or the meaning or whatever it is they’re finding in ISIS and the caliphate.”
“Arie Kruglanski, a social psychologist at the University of Maryland who studies violent extremism, states that there are strong correlations between humiliation and the search for an extremist ideology,” he says. Organizations like ISIS take advantage of people who, because of racism or religious or political discrimination, have been pushed to the margins of society.”
Partial Transcript + Additional Reporting: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/15/485900076/how-a-danish-town-helped-young-muslims-turn-away-from-isis
Full Transcript: https://www.npr.org/2016/07/15/485904654/read-the-transcript