Blog #1

I enrolled in this course because a friend told me that she is applying to a fellowship involving mushrooms. Having grown up on a mushroom farm, it seemed like the perfect fit. It seemed like a great thing to put on a resume. Initially I applied more haphazardly with just filling out the application in engineering lecture.  I truly wasn’t expecting to continue in the application process after hitting submit. Much less be accepted. However, as I continued in the application process and learned more about the program, I became more interested in the aspects of having an opportunity to make an impact on the world. I do become conflicted saying this though because as a common selfish person, I ask, “am I wanting to make an impact on the world to truly help others? Or to help myself out.” Which in the end does it matter as long as the work I do is the same? The same results benefiting everyone will occur. It will help me when applying for future experiences by sitting prettily upon my resume. My friends and family are impressed and this betters their image of me.  This should also help make me a better civil engineer by letting me experience the world and different cultures as well as designing mushroom buildings. As long as I make sure to reflect and take away from the experience to further apply it. But in the end it boils down to answering “What was your motivation for applying?” with because my friend was applying and mushrooms related to a large part of my life. And for my prior interests? To make myself look better. It’s actually hard for me to believe it when people say otherwise. I just hear desperate yelling of “look at how I’m so great! Wow I’m just so amazing for seeming this kind and amazing! But people convincing themselves they’re kind amazing people lie to themselves thinking that they’re selfless.  All actions are for personal gain even if its indirect. “Self sacrifice” is just the price people are willing to pay for the ego boost (as previously stated by Khanjan). This may seem like too much, inappropriate, and angry but whats the point of a blog full of lies?

For a current world problem, I’m invested in respect for people of the LGBTQ+ community. (I want to make others think like me. Big surprise right?) While this issue is starting to be addressed in America, a lot of other countries are far from taking the first steps. According to the NBC News article on global LGBTQ acceptance by Julie Moreau, “80 countries (57 percent) experienced increases in LGBTQ acceptance, 46 countries (33 percent) experienced a decline and 15 countries (11 percent) experienced no change” as of 2018. ( Large roots of the problem to face are cultural ideas and religion. These are quite hard to address because the 1st world Americans can’t just swoop in with some mushroom plugs and start making a difference.  Peoples core ways of thinking (that have been cultivated and solidifying for their entire lives) have to shift. People should treat others as equals and with the same respect as others regardless of gender identification, sexual orientation, etc. To truly treat others with respect, the first step to that is to believe it and think it and begin that bloody battle with people’s beliefs. But more realistically, the real first step is to lift laws against the LGBTQ+ community and equalize people’s rights. The next step is to at least enforce fake respect (actions without the belief behind it) by sending knowledgeable experienced people around the world to start these hard conversations and be more open about the topic and encourage learning. I began that in high school by leading panels of marginalized students to engage with their peers and underclassmen about their personal experiences, how they would like to be treated and answer questions. Even if that isn’t enough to change people’s minds, its enough to start the discussion and get the ball rolling. Another aspect of opening minds is to convince people to stray from a few words in their sacred ancient books. It would be important to first convince pastors of this way of thinking for it to then to be preached that times now have changed and beliefs should follow. With equalizing laws,enacting fake respect and spreading the open conversations about acceptance, people will slowly start to really believe it. Society will begin to shift.

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