Homeless People in America

Melinda Bilmez, Belgium

This is one of the phenomena that you can see everyday, one of the things that increase through the years, one of the things you don’t worry about when you’re walking into the street.                                                                                                                                                    Homeless people are ” Individuals without permanent housing”.  I was wondering why there are so many more homeless in America than in Europe?

headlineImage_adapt_1460_high_new_york_homeless_1439419694911

The first things to understand about this phenomena is to look at the cause of homelessness in America.                                                                                                                                                  If we look at the statistics,there were 549,928 homeless people in 2016 counting 60% of male, 40% of women with 35% with children.                                                                                Since the financial crisis in 2008,the amount of homeless people has increased. Unemployment took a large space in this period, one of the reasons why people began to be homeless. Also, the decline of social services has had an impact on homelessness. That means that if you have less help you will probably decline, that’s what happened to some of them. The cost of housing had increased in this period,but not the salaries which can explain why some families had to go to the street.                                                                            We can talk about those “children” who were out of the foster care. At this age a child is not able to take care of herself as a parent would do which can lead to homelessness. The inmates who were leaving the prison can join this theory. The integration into society after years of jail isn’t easy.

chart

 

The second thing to understand about homelessness is the consequences of this situation. First of all, they can have many health problems such as illness, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, drug dependency, death and more. Homelessness causes also personal problems for example, less self-esteem, changes in behaviour, and increases in the chances of entering into the criminal system. Homeless people are not alone, sometimes with children. These will have consequences and it will start before the birth of the child, such as health problems, low immunity and emotional problems. They won’t have the chance to go to school, to learn and being cultivated. Their social or academic developments will be behind the expected level. The chances that they will leave the homelessness situation is low and very difficult. People who have been living in the street for a long time do not reach the age of 62, or not that often.

 The last thing to understand is how you can help those people. They don’t deserve this. Nobody does, so we should help them. There are many things that you can do such as donate money or items to an association like “whamministries”. You can show your respect by saying hello or goodbye and you can be a volunteer  to your local homeless shelter. If you want to go further you can buy them some food or invite them to go eat with you ; they need moral support. It is also important to encourage people around you to hire homeless people so they can have salaries to get out of this horrible situation. In San Francisco, Atlanta and New York you can download an app to help directly the people by giving them blanket, gloves, coat.

homeless sign

In conclusion, we can notice that homelessness as I said is a very common situation in America and it continues to grow with the years. California is the state with the biggest amount of homeless people and people don’t pay attention. You have many solutions to help them; you would be happy if someone would do the same for you.

THE CHILD LABOR

THE CHILD LABOR

By Helena Kuntzer, France

We don’t have conscience that when we are shopping all our stuffs, it could have behind a terrible impact on the environment or with the way of production of those. We don’t realize that in a lot of countries workers are not counting their hours of works, are not worrying about their ages and their conditions of work and their remuneration. For a lot of raw products before the transformation by big industries and famous brands; like cacao, cotton, or some textiles, very often it’s cultivate and harvest by children. It’s for that we have to privilege products in provenance of our respective country, not too famous brands, and products results of equitable trade to try at our scale to don’t take part to those atrocities.

childlabor

What If Obi Wan DIDN’T Leave Anakin on Mustafar

By Giulio Monaco, Belgium

Something that always made me sympathize with Obi Wan was the level of pain that he must have gone through when leaving Anakin there burning to death on the lava riverbank. This is someone who was like a little brother to him who he spent almost every day with since they met and taught him everything that he knew in respect to his master’s dying wish. Now one reason I think Obi Wan aged so terribly is because I can’t even imagine the nightmare that he must have gone through while Anakin was burning limbless screaming at him in pain.

Related image

Now what if he hadn’t left Anakin on the floor to die ? What if he walked down the lava riverbank as he slips down with each step ?

 

Image result for star wars 3 battle

Looking at what Obi-Wan had done and what Anakin had turned into, how it wasn’t supposed to end this way. He grabbed him crying and telling him that he loved him, how he was his brother and that he wouldn’t leave him there. Anakin wanted to reach out and choke him, but knew he was only a fragment of the man that he used to be. Walking back into the ship with Padme and Anakin, they immediately were taken into a medical capsule and Padme to the delivery table. Yoda would come and see Anakin who just didn’t seem like a human anymore with a pain that he had never seen.

Image result for star wars 3 battle anakin suffering

At this moment Obi wan and Yoda saw the Emperor step outside of his shuttle and walk straight towards the Jedi master surrounded by his troops. The battle between the clones and the Jedi start and end quickly. With the use of the force, Yoda threw the clones in the air and pulled them together breaking all their necks. Darth Sidious ignited his spare red light saber and started the battle against Obi wan, blocking all the attempts of Sidious. Obi wan gave time to Yoda to jump and kill Darth Sidious.

Image result for star wars 3 battle yoda vs palpatine

Coming back to the ship, Padme would be next to the bed of Anakin with their two children watching the eyes of Anakin turning blue again. He was safe now. He started to talk with difficulty to apologize for everything that he done, the only thing that he wanted was to save Padme.

Image result for star wars 3 anakin padme

 

Yoda starts to have new ideas about the force, the dark and light will no more be separated. It’s when we use the two with balance that the result is the best. It’s time for the Jedi to end, a new area will start now with new rules, with less chain than before and it’s only in that way that the tragedies that occurred will never be repeated.

Image result for star wars balance into the force new order symbol the last jedi

Mass Killing in the USA

By Hugo Gilson, Belgium

On May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, Elliot Rodger (the son of Peter Rodger, a Hollywood filmmaker) decided to take his revenge on life and on women. The police described this attack as “premeditated mass murder, spree-killing, murder-suicide, drive-by shooting, stabbing and vehicular assault”.


The attacks

1        First, he stabbed three men to death in his apartment. He was in possession of two knives, a Glock 34 handgun, and two SIG Sauer P226 handguns. In the hours before the massacre, he posted on YouTube a video titled Retribution confession. Seated behind the wheel of his car, he filmed and explained, for nearly seven minutes, his hatred to the world.

He says, “You girls have never been attracted to me, I don’t know why […] I don’t know what you don’t see in me, I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentlemen. On the day of retribution, […] I will slaughter every single blonde slut I see. […] I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male (laughing). After I’ve annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I’ll take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasures while I’ve had a rotten loneliness for all these years. […] Now I will be a god upon you. […] I hate all of you. Humanity is a disgusting wretched depraved species. If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood.”

After uploading the video, Rodger e-mailed a lengthy autobiographical manuscript to approximately a dozen acquaintances and family members. The document, which he titled “My Twisted World”, was made available on the Internet and became widely known as his “manifesto”. In it, he described his childhood, family conflicts, and frustration over not being able to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women, his contempt for racial minorities and interracial couples, and his plans for what he described as “retribution”.

Afterwards, he drove to a sorority house and shot three female students outside, killing two. He drove to a nearby deli and shot to death a male student who was inside. He began to speed through Isla Vista, shooting and wounding several pedestrians and striking several others with his car. Rodger exchanged gunfire with police twice during the attack, receiving a non-fatal gunshot to the hip. The rampage ended when his car crashed into a parked vehicle and came to a stop. The police found him dead in the car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

All six murder victims were students at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). They were declared dead at the scenes of their attacks. Fourteen other people were injured; seven from gunshot wounds and seven by blunt trauma sustained when Rodger struck them with his vehicle.

     Repercussions

Several news networks, including ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and MSNBC, limited use of the “Retribution” video posted by Rodger out of fears of copycat crimes. The Fox News Channel refused to broadcast the video. Students and community members gathered at Anisq’Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista on the evening of May 24 for a candlelight memorial to remember the victims. On the following day, more than 20,000 people attended the memorial service at Harder Stadium. One year after, on the first anniversary of the attacks, hundreds of people gathered at UCSB for a candlelight vigil commemorating the six slain victims. The attacks have renewed calls for gun control and improvements in the U.S. health care system. California Senator Dianne Feinstein blamed the National Rifle Association’s on gun laws for the attack and said “shame on us” in Congress for failing to do something about it.

2

The victims

 

4

 

6

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

Autism as a Unique World

by Klaudia Lubczuk, Poland

Today’s world is full of people whose behavior is difficult for us to understand. Seldom are we drawing attention to these people who, despite having specific disabilities, are unique. One of these disabilities is autism, which is invisible to the eyes. Autism is one of the major issues affecting children nowadays. Although, do we know for sure what the condition involves? Autistic children with language and cognitive abilities is the topic which I would like to raise. This subject is close to my heart, because in the future I would like to work with autistic children, helping them with everyday reality.

DSC677021

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that can cause problems with thinking, feeling, language and the ability to relate to others. To the main symptoms of ASD we can include limited ability to initiate and sustain social contacts, deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as repetitive, stereotyped forms of activity and behavior. Cognition deficits of autistic people relate to deficits in the development of the theory of mind.

“By THE TIME I’d returned to my old school, I was so withdrawn that I had little idea of what was going on around me.  As I gradually emerged, it was once again into a world of things. I became fascinated with words and books, and making outside order out of inner chaos.”

Donna Williams, “Nobody Nowhere”

Helen Tager-Flusberg in 1995 carried out research based on detailed studies of autistic children’s narrative story-telling abilities by PhD Loveland and her colleagues. Loveland asked autistic children to tell the story that they were watching in the form of a puppet show. She found out that autistic children weren’t able to retell the story. Furthermore, some of them in this research failed to understand the events. Thus, we can speak about the lack of cultural perspective, imagination of others intentions, desires or the ways of thinking. These deficits can have a strong impact on fundamental aspects of autism, for instance, participation in social interactions.

L1002279ab1

Hinging on the foregoing research, Helen Tager-Flusberg wanted to verify autistic children narrative abilities. She asked 10 autistic and 10 developmentally typical children to narrate a story from a wordless picture book. The book was telling the story about a boy, whose lovely frog ran away at night. This is a typical task for examining the theory of mind. In narrative stories, it was difficult to identify the character’s emotions, and only 4 of the 10 children reported a solution to the character’s situation. Autistic children were using very expressive language, they were minimally narrating picture stories, not describing the main characters. In their stories there was lack of cause-effect relationships. Henceforth, we can see the deficits in understanding others intentions and mental states. The empathy level of autistic children’s is relatively low.

DSC6087blog21

Whenever we are raising the narrative abilities issue, we need to remember how big an impact it has on the theory of mind. Autistic children’s stories represent particular deficits in understanding both mental states and other’s emotions. Deficits in emphatic behaviors can be broaden by usage of strong expressive language which, widely considered, is inadequate to socially agreed standards. Furthermore, deficits in the theory of mind can bring many complications. In 1992, Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues had put forward a hypothesis that autistic children have problems with understanding other’s desires, beliefs and intentions. These elements concur to support the theory of mind which is indispensable to understanding and predicting other’s behaviors. Baron-Cohen mentioned as well that autistic people can perceive the world as chaotic or even intimidating. Not only social contacts but also attempts to understand them will end up in failure. The motivation to begin social interactions is very common for autistic children, nonetheless, the biggest barrier is misunderstanding the function of communicating, as well as their limited skills in people-to-people contacts.

In essence, autistic children have many difficulties with everyday reality. Despite having motivation to communicate with others, they cannot understand the process of communication. Perceiving the world as chaotic or even intimidating should not affect autistic people. Our duty is to make their life easier, because they see the world  in different colors than we do.

Social Anxiety

Lysiane Sublet – Switzerland

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder in which the person has an extremely fear or nervousness in social situations as speaking in front of others, being the center of attention or having a date, for example. The person is scared of being judged, criticized or looking bad. Anticipatory anxiety is also present in social anxiety. An event that is simple for most of people can be very stressing for people who suffer from this disorder. They can get nervous just because they have a phone call to make and stress about what they are going to say to their interlocutor. Another example can be when the person has to
make a presentation in public. They get nervous weeks before, sometimes months before and are like paralyzed just by thinking at this event.

Video – social anxiety disorder

How-Social-Anxiety-Feels01

What can explain social anxiety?

There is a model, which is called skills deficit model that assumes that the anxiety in social situations is caused by a lack of social skills. The result of that is the establishment of a vicious circle. Because of their inappropriate social skills, people with social anxiety are getting in aversive social situations and the experience of bad social situations will convince them a little bit more every time that they do not fit in society norms and that they are not made for social situations.

Another approach, the cognitive self-evaluation model, states that this anxiety results from the representation of the person’s inadequacies. A research proved that socially anxious people estimate their social skills as more negative that they are in reality, have also a more negative perception of themselves and evaluate the regard of others as less positive that he really are.

How-Social-Anxiety-Feels03

A third model, the classical conditioning model, assumes that social anxiety is conditioned when some neutral stimuli are matched with aversive social consequences.

For example, someone makes a class presentation and a classmate laugh during his presentation. Maybe his classmate laughed because he wasn’t listening and was talking about something funny with his neighbor, but the person who does the presentation might think that he makes fun of him because his presentation is bad or because he is bad. This person will associate presentation in public with a consequence of humiliation.

Finally, there is a fourth approach, the personality trait approach, that suggests that social anxiety is just a personality trait. Some person might have a disposition to shyness and anxiety.

How-Social-Anxiety-Feels06

 Are there any treatments to social anxiety?

Treatments involve especially psychological counseling, to find some ways to reduce the anxiety in social situations. Just taking medicine, like antidepressants, is not enough because it won’t help to reduce anxiety, it will just stabilize it and that is not the purpose of the treatment. Psychological counseling and medicines can be used together for a long-term efficiency, but at one point it is better to stop medicines, in order to be able to live without taking any pills and just be well in our skin by working on how accepting ourselves and do not be afraid by the regard of other anymore. The more important thing is to be ourselves and to enjoy it.

How-Social-Anxiety-Feels-