All Eyes on the NRA

All Eyes on the NRA

 

All Eyes on the NRA

     As the National Rifle Association (NRA) has grown to become the largest political force as America’s defender of the Second Amendment, its extravagance in trying to change gun control policies have also implemented fear among American citizens. With the increasing vote for gun control, numerous questions have surfaced. The most important being this: Are the intentions of the NRA socially accepted with its irrationalities? The NRA is seen at its best when using false and irrational information in their digital videos to manipulate viewers (Luo). The ethical behavior of the NRA has been widely scrutinized, with supporters arguing “gun control isn’t crime control” through propaganda and others in favor of gun control(Davidson). I argue that NRA uses unethical tactics to achieve their popularity and voice their platforms. The National Rifle Association has stood since 1871, and is an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun rights. It is constructed of five million members who strive to advance rifle marksmanship and educate citizens on firearm safety and competency. According the NRA itself, “since its inception, [the NRA] has been the premier firearms education organization in the world”(Nat’l Rifle Association). They have also published hundreds of magazines and digital videos that influence legislation and have initiated lawsuits. The NRA has been deemed one of the most feared lobbying organization in the nation’s capital since its shift in campaigning. One of the key differences between the NRA’s sedated past and its current dignity is about how they communicate about guns, gun control, and the organization itself. In Osha Davidson’s book Under Fire: The NRA and the Battle for Gun Control, he writes about the rise of the NRA from a political perspective. It is suggested that the 1977 Gun Revolt helped facilitate this shift in which they pushed to be a political force and cultivated the gun culture war. It is noted in the book that Ronald Reagan and Harlon Carter “climbed the steps to invincibility” and gained slightly over one million members (Davidson). Since then the NRA has accumulated over five million members; however, the NRA’s rhetorical overkill would come back to bite them. A primary reason the NRA is unethical is the language they choose to facilitate in. In Scott Melzer’s book Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War, he describes in what ways the NRA appeal to citizens. After the numerous changes in campaigning, recruitment videos narrated by Charlton Heston were made in which he “warned that Americans could easily lose their Second Amendment gun rights, and, if that happened, the torch of freedom would lose its flame” (Melzer). In time Heston became favored by his fellow “crusade” and shed spotlight on the religious and moral aspects of gun freedom. His ideology in which he stated, “…the European Jews feared to admit their faith. The Nazis forced them to wear yellow stars…so what color star will they pin on gun owners’ chests?” was to remind people that gun rights are a faith and should not be given over. The fact that NRA advocates are comparing the Holocaust to gun rights is undeniably offensive and threatening to religious people. The NRA’s shift in campaigning have managed to target gun right advocates who offend different cultures and still do today. NRA is notoriously known for generating support by influencing people’s perceptions even though they do not match reality. In a Law journal published by Scott Medlock NRA=No Rational Argument, he covers how the NRA has managed to become so powerful by irrational means. For example, the NRA strongly encourages the perception that individual safety coincides with gun ownership. One way they help depict this is their “Armed Citizens” section of NRA magazines where they share memoirs of them protecting themselves from crime with guns. As one could see this presents itself as one “taking control of their own destiny” but in reality, it may have not been the best decision (Medlock). The NRA also emphasizes that police cannot protect society therefore, firearms are used as an equalizer. A popular slogan by the NRA is “rapists love gun control” implying that women are more vulnerable to attacks when they are unarmed (Medlock). This is not only offensive, it is also sexist and should be unappealing to women. The NRA is exceptionally good at depicting the world as a hazardous place in these ways and many more. Perhaps the most unethical behaviorbehind the NRA are their media tactics. Currently speaking, the NRATV have released a collection of videos on the Web that have gone past the status quo of the NRA. In one video that the NRATV released, they directed it toward The Times for sharing their violent protesters in the news. The video was narrated by spokeswoman, Loesch, who expressed her solution as “to smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding, until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” (Lou) The NRA also went after The Washington Post when a comment was made after Dom Raso, a former Navy Seal, narrated a video expressing his political opinion on government as “an anarchy, led by people who hate our President and who hate the people who support him” (Lou). By repeating the same messages and arguments, the supporters begin to regurgitate themselves without a doubt. The same words are inserted into the sub consciousness of all NRA supporters. It is obvious they use their media platforms to assassinate the real news. In contrast, supporters argue that the NRA is not unethical because they take safety precautions very seriously. There has been heavier talk about whether or not teacher should be armed at school and what precautions it has on safety. In Shah Yagana’s articleNRA Aims to Arm Teachers, Personnel for School Safety, she focuses in on the NRA’s stance on safety in the school system. She reported that the NRA claims that arming teachers and other personnel is the best approach to combat gun violence in schools (Shah). The group also assessed schools all over the country for “security vulnerabilities”, best practices and technologies (Shah). The assessment of schools should be a priority to help prevent school shootings, but arming teachers isn’t the best solution. This creates a gap of authority; one that the NRA casts on its supporters. I argue this authoritative stratagem is a way for the NRA to gain support by irrational and false accusations. Although they may want to protect students, it is just another way to have a necessity for gun usage in America. NRA supporters value their commitment to national charities such as Speedway Children’s Charities. In one instance, they teamed up at the Starkey Hearing Foundation to “deliver the gift of hearing to more than 70 underserved children and adults throughout the Carolinas” (Starkey Hearing Foundation). They had NASCAR racers there to sign autographs and take pictures. However, recently after the Parkland high school shooting the SMI (Speedway Motor Inc.) is still devoted to the NRA. According to USA Today, it is untold as to why they still share a partnership, but they “have been a good long-standing partnership and plan to continue”(Hembree). From a NRA advocate’s point of view, they are helping people in need, especially children which is a positive thing. But why are they doing it? It seems like NRA is hanging on by its last string by putting on a mask society is familiar with. In summary, I argue that the National Rifle Association utilizes unethical policies to reiterate a simple message- one being that guns are harmless and a sign of freedom.The NRA clearly utilizes guns as an excuse for their outrage. This group primarily seeks to gain membership by exploiting different types of people and their cultures. Through their unacceptable jargon and manipulation, the NRA finds its way to get a handle on a way to appeal to certain types of people whether it be women, children, or mothers. They also produce fearful videos that pose threats on other groups/people that do not stand with them. With the NRA climbing to five million members, it results in a feared society. If society shows they are not fearful by continuing to speak out the NRA will be overworked.  I encourage citizens to keep scrutinizing the NRA for understanding and rebuttal. The NRA has preyed on fear and hate for several years now. As the NRA grows, I hope they can find different ways to voice their opinions.

Writers Memo

     As my final assignment for Focused Inquiry I was asked to demonstrate ethical reasoning in an argument using academic research. I chose to gear my mind toward gun control because of recent incidents where guns and its supporters have created major controversy in society. After doing surface level research, my ethical argument stood as a question that illegitimates the NRA and traces back to why the NRA has become feared. Through my research I found it easy to find articles, journals, videos, and other media platforms that criticize the NRA and do not favor their group. Although I found a vast amount of information, I thought it would be most useful to my audience if I focused on the shift in policy, how the NRA evokes fear in society through language, and their media usage to reiterate their simple message. It was harder for me to come up with a counter argument due to my morals and the Web itself because the majority of society does not favor the NRA; the only sources I found were from the NRA themselves. My goal in this essay was to put in perspective what the NRA is like and how they carry themselves for the sake of students and others who aren’t aware of such a fearful group.

America’s Gun Culture

It seems to be that Americans are obsessed with high powered weapons in today’s society. Perhaps it is attached to a degree of pride that one feels, a maximal mode of protection, or ultimately, because they can. Although there are many ethical questions that surface with gun control in mind, this essay aims to analyze whether it is in the best interest that guns be a part of mainstream American culture. To set the stage, there is a brief analysis of nearly everything done by The History Cooperative’s A Brief Introduction to Guns in American Culture. For a broader overview on gun policy in the US, Ruth Igielnik and Anna Brown from the Pew Research Center share eight culminations of America’s gun ownership in their findings from Key Takeaways on Americans’ Views on Guns and Gun Ownership. To zoom into the main focus, philosophical ideas were analyzed from Michael Kocsis’ essay Gun Ownership and Gun Control in the United States of America and Gun Control or Gun Culture?: Firearms, Violence, and Society by Peter Squires.

Dating back to the American Revolutionary War, American society have expressed an obsession over guns. There are famous paintings of generals with guns by their side and soldiers shooting in action. Later, a huge attraction toward gun use was during the era of cowboys. How has gun usage made its way into today’s American culture? According to The History Cooperative’s, the Westward Expansion has been a precursor for most of gun use today because of its “exciting yet dangerous place” and to survive they needed to have the utmost protection: guns. (History Cooperative) The intention of heading west in pursuit of new contingencies became an important symbol of the American dream, and “through film and television, this moment in American history became strongly linked with guns.” (History Cooperative) Although the Western expansion and cowboys have passed, guns have earned its status as a “protector of the American dream.” (History Cooperative)

In addition, Industrialization had an immense impact on the economy and how guns impacted the way American industries administered itself. This initial advance in manufacturing paved way to gun manufacturing. Serving as a “major sector in the US economy”, numerous studies support “the firearm industry to be worth over $30 billion, which is roughly equivalent to the national budget of Nigeria.” (History Cooperative) However, on a more uplifting note, guns have estimated over 200,000 job opportunities. (History Cooperative) As the manufacturing industries are advancing and expanding it can either be a leading leverage in government policies or a flourishing factor of the nation’s economy, which both heavily steer the cultural norms of society.

As Americans have had a deep history and connection with guns, the majority of Americans agree that gun ownership encompass the traditions and values of society. In Michael Kocsis’ philosophical essay, Gun Ownership and Gun Culture in the United States of America, he examines particular topics pertaining to gun control that do not receive enough attention. Kocsis defines ‘culture’ as the “collective way of life, those practices and institutions a people have created by processes largely of their own making” and acknowledges that gun ownership is implanted in American politics. (Kocsis, 158) He argues that gun ownership is “enshrined constitutionally based on a certain interpretation of American values of liberty and property” meaning that popular (widely accepted) ideas or practices influence the interpretation of the constitution. Although it can be argued whether they had a positive influence, many influential figures such as Daniel Boone, John Wayne, and Colonel Kurtz have helped shape these traditions. Their influences have evolved into subcultures that imply a “dangerous new evolution of guns in American culture”, a term Kocsis refers to as “gangsterism”. (Kocsis, 168) He offers important insights on how “the prevalence of fear is likely the most significant rationale for gun ownership.” and to back himself up he adds theories from a philosopher, Will Hauser, whom has determined that “guns and fear are related asymmetrically” meaning that there is an automatic persuasion for those who do not already own guns to get them out of fear. (Kocsis, 168) Therefore, from a societal aspect, guns have the ability to pose some sort of solution. In modern day society, wider issues have surfaced from the negative impacts of gun ownership. In Peter Squires book, Gun Culture or Gun Control?: Firearms, Violence, and Safety, Squires explores the different attitudes toward firearms and their control in the US. Armed violence has creeped its way from liberal politics into domestic policy. Squires mentions “firearms manufacturers liked to present their weapons as adjuncts to the democratic and civilizing process, firearms were equalizers or peacemakers” making them seem like an easy fix toward fear. (Squires) In other words, if one does not have this advantage over other citizens then they are considered a cultural taboo. He also argues that the “criminally inclined find a use for firearms just as military technologies come to be employed in the developing ‘war’ against crime” offering a mode of power and freedom. (Squires) This has been grounded by historical eras and/or figures when America was initially founded that continues to ignite sharp debates in American society. Current day gun policies have been mostly driven by political party identification; republicans being for gun ownership and democrats being for no gun ownership however, both parties support restriction on gun laws. Ruth Igielnik and Anna Brown from the Pew Research Center are recognized by their ability to look at political dilemmas through a societal lens through their publication Key Takeaways on Americans’ Views of Guns and Gun Ownership. One of their key takeaways from their national survey include that protection is the top reason for owning a gun (67%). According to Igielnik and Brown, “Majorities of gun owners who live in cities, suburbs and rural areas say protection is a major reason they own firearms. But owners who live in rural areas are significantly more likely to cite hunting as a major reason for owning a gun.” agreeing that gun ownership is a societal norm. (Igielnik and Brown) There is also a partisan dividing views on gun policy for example, “Republican gun owners are much more resistant than Democratic owners to banning assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as creating a database to track gun sales.” (Igielnik and Brown) This is only one debate that has recently surfaced due to mass shootings, school shootings, and gun crimes. As far as the gun conversation goes, there’s no way to really tell whether someone that gets their hands on a gun will use it with the ethical intent. Along with other prevalent political issues, gun control isn’t mainly focused on until someone gets shot or lives are stripped, and the aftermath causes emotions to run too high for an ethical debate over this controversy. From a historical standpoint and since the US was born, guns were raised to be a means of protection and economical boost. A cultural norm has risen that the majority of US citizens do own a gun that can either be argued as beneficial or dangerous to society. Now, battling between gun ownerships are leading political parties that steer policies on current gun laws. Many view guns as ‘an easy way out’ and much controversy still stands on gun control such as, being to own or not to own guns, and if one can, who is eligible?, and what precautions should be taken under laws, beliefs, or identities? All of these questions can be aimed at the central debate over the interest that guns be a part of mainstream American culture.   Works Cited Igielnik, Ruth, and Anna Brown. “Key Takeaways on Americans’ Views of Guns and Gun Ownership.” Pew Research Center, 22 June 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/22/key-takeaways-on-americans-views-of-guns-and-gun-ownership/.   “A Brief Introduction to Guns in American Culture.” History Cooperative, 23 Oct. 2017, historycooperative.org/brief-introduction-guns-american-culture/.   Squires, Peter. Gun Culture or Gun Control?: Firearms, Violence and Society. Routledge, 2000.     Kocsis, Michael (2015) “Gun Ownership and Gun Culture in the United States of America,” Essays in Philosophy: Vol. 16: Iss. 2, Article 2. h p://dx.doi.org/10.7710/1526-0569.1530      

My Mission

Invisible Presence A transition phase, inevitably unescapable, invisibly marks a change in status. At the time, I did not know what I was looking to change and even with a great deal of reflection I still cannot confidently say that I’ve crossed the threshold. However, I have managed to better define my journey, separating it into three parts. This is the story of my mission’s trip to NorthBay, camp grounds in the midst of Maryland, where I helped middle schoolers from all over the US grow closer to God. The month-long adventure that will stick with me forever. Rite of Separation I had just finished packing my ‘situationally prepared suitcase’ so that I’d be ready for anything. I made sure to remember my not so sweet PB+J: pen, bible, and journal. My mom was slowly packing my car up, I knew she didn’t want me to leave. I kept giving her hugs and reassuring her that I’d write her every week. Twenty minutes later I had hit the road. Liminal Phase My four-hour drive consisted of a mixture of negative thoughts, worries, and anxiety. I questioned my ability to teach kids something that I myself wasn’t fully confident in. I wouldn’t have my phone or laptop- the essentials that keep me connected to society on a regular basis. My signed commitment was the only thing keeping me from turning around. I arrived on the NorthBay Adventure Camp grounds and hesitantly parked my car. I didn’t know what I was doing here, I definitely did not fit in. People swarm me from all angles welcoming me and unloading my car. They handed me a bucket for my phone and another bucket for my car keys- no turning back now. To my surprise I lasted the first couple days and wasn’t eaten alive by the scripture, I found it to be weirdly comforting. After my first week, it felt like I was living in a world full of pureness, something foreign to me. I found fulfillment in serving kids their meals before they ran out to the club room to hear more about God, even though I was in the background I was still taking part in changing their lives. This I will never forget. Forgetting my past of parties and meaningless relations, I opened up to my leaders and what are now my life-long friends about my insecurities and doubts. The entire month they taught to love myself and begin my college life the way God intended it to be. On the last night, I walked deep into the woods to process my time there. I talked to the man upstairs about my fear of going back home and starting a new life at VCU. Although I didn’t receive any definite answers, I was comforted by his invisible presence. I fell into a deep reflection with the soft wind blowing through my hair and the water from the creek trickling between the rocks. Crossing the Threshold Coming back into a society full of pressure, societal norms, and anxiety was the most challenging part for me. Not having contact with any of my friends or family, they didn’t see the transformation I went through. I chose to go on my mission’s trip because I especially wanted to figure out my purpose in life and find God through it all right before my college years. Although I still don’t know where I stand with my faith, with two feet or one, I came to know much more about myself and choose the life I want to live now- full of genuine conversations, long-lasting relationships, and comfortably pursuing faith. If it weren’t for this period of betweeness I would not be in the small group I’m in at VCU or have the community that I longed for.  
Exploring the Netherwood Quarry

Exploring the Netherwood Quarry

Exploring the Netherwood Quarry

Date visited: November 16th, 2017

Time: 7:30-8:00PM

It is a cloudless night at the Netherwood Quarry and I am situated on a smooth rock facing the James river. It is 41 degrees Fahrenheit. My observations are feeding off the light from the highway and faintest moonlight. All around me there is an infinite amount of lifeless trees. The brown crispy leaves are barely hanging on to the trees but I find great beauty in that. As I am looking out toward the water I observe that it is gently flowing East and it sounds like trickling water from a house pipe. I notice that the rocks are in a distinct pattern spread out across the river. Most of them have a smooth round top, while a few of them have a rigid flat top. If you got far enough in the middle of the river you could hop from rock to rock. Meanwhile I can hear crickets chirping from afar. I admire the secretive serenity this place has offered me.    

Exploring the Netherwood Quarry

Date visited: December 2nd,2017

Time: 2:00-2:30PM

I could smell the fresh winter air unlike the smell of the city. On this exploration I am focused on the journey to the Netherwood Quarry. I parked in the designated parking area and walked toward the spiraling stairs to my left. It reminded me of the metro parking garage stairs from back home. As I was walking down the longest flight of steps I ran into three families, all asking me to take photos of them. It was a great spot because the scenery in the background had numerous types of trees and the train track right below. After descending the stairs I followed the train track for a few minutes. I came across an old memorial rock and saw a trail that I hopped on. I could hear trickling water getting closer and closer. I climbed up unstable stairs and saw a mini creek. The water flowed in the east direction and I hopped over a few rocks to pass. I could hear three different birds chirping: a low chirp, high pitched short chirp, and one with a long monotoned chirp. I kept along the narrow trail for about six more minutes and finally found the quarry. Looking out toward the water, I could hear the horns of car traffic to my left and the city to my right. It was still quiet and peaceful.      

Reflection

Reflection

Although I was happy before The Science of Happiness, this class has taught me how to live a balanced life. What I mean by this is that the mind and body work as one and psychological health is fundamentally linked to your physical health. There is no health without mental health, and I think many people live their lives forgetting about this major component to living a healthy life. In specific, I have learned that positive psychology is solely based off the science behind happiness and what it means to live a worthy life. In week 4’s reading Positive Psychology, it defined psychology as “not just the study of pathology, weakness, and damage; it is also the study of strength and virtue. Treatment is not just fixing what is broken; it is nurturing what is best. Psychology is not just a branch of medicine concerned with illness or health; it is much larger.” This stuck out to me because many people focus on the negative aspects of their lives (I know I did before this class) rather than the positive aspects. To go along with this, in Worthington’s lecture for week 4 he spoke to us about how to acquire virtue and options to forgiveness. He explained that our character strengths allow us to lead virtuous lives based upon our moral standards which is interestingly tied to how forgiving we are and how hard it is to forgive. In week 10 of SOH I learned about positive emotions and interventions, which mainly focused on how to feed off positive qualities. Week 10’s exercise challenged us to ask 3-5 people what they value/appreciate about us and reflect on their responses. This was one of my favorite exercises because it was so uplifting and empowering and made me feel super happy by the end. I started to give positive compliments to my friends. To rewind a bit in week 8 we focused on mindfulness, which the most effective tool I’ve taken away from this class that also ties your psychological well being. In week 8’s reading Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review, they defined mindfulness as a “receptive attention to and awareness of present events and experiences”. I think this has been my biggest take away because it not only important to my individual self, but it is essential to the workplace. This tool has allowed me to indulge in the small things to create a happier life overall. I’m glad we discussed this earlier in the course because it was definitely kept in mind throughout the semester.

Learning the science behind happiness means nothing if I don’t apply it to my daily life. I am going to commit to applying the tools and intuitions in numerous ways. I have started already by practicing random acts of kindness. For my final project we are given the task to spread awareness of what we learned over the semester into the RVA community and my group chose to set up a ‘Compliments with Color’ station at the VCU compass to spread awareness about mindfulness and positive psychology. We had set up a table where people could practice mindfulness by coloring and we gave out candies with compliments attached to them to brighten their day. We found that after they received their compliment and colored they wanted to spread their happiness by giving compliments to others in the community. However, for the future I plan to stick with the random acts of kindness and start doing mini mediation sessions. I plan to do this by downloading an app on my phone that will assist me in different mindfulness exercises to complete once a day. I believe this will decrease my stress levels and negative thoughts. To incorporate the physical well being aspect I am committed to completing 150 minutes of physical exercise throughout the week, including yoga, to improve my body and academic well being. By making these small changes in my life it will help me live a balanced life.

Sharing what I’ve learned through one post is not enough. I plan on spreading what I’ve learned verbally and through social media. I love talking about SOH with my peers, family, and friends and I find myself even happier by the end of the conversation. Beyond verbally connecting these insights with people, I plan on tweeting positive quotes and pictures to brighten up people’s day. I want to do this once a week and even include COBE in some of the tweets. I will also definitely recommend this class to others because everyone could use more happiness in their life. I am sad the science is coming to an end but excited that the happiness goes on!!!   

I chose the picture below because I think it is important to live and be fully committed to the ‘now’ which can ultimately change the future.

  

Wishing you the happiest!!!:)

          

 

Blog Post #2

Blog Post #2

In weeks 7-10 of The Science of Happiness I’ve learned that by building our awareness of the present moment (mindfulness) we are able to engage in a situation without impulsive action, offering ourselves the capability to recognize and accept our thoughts, feelings, and neurological consciousness to better appreciate and recognize ourselves. Through this, I think we self promote a better way to relate to our lives, allowing us to respond more connectedly to the world around us, which carries into the different relationships we pursue.

It was fascinating to see how much content actually relates to each other. Since we had focused on our personal strengths in class, I have applied my top strengths in seeking out those who have different strengths than I do to build relationships with to make my weaker traits stronger. Although genetics doesn’t totally decide my happiness, I have begun to realize where certain traits have adapted from and how that positively and negatively affects my relationships. After taking numerous surveys I have made connections between my overall happiness and how The Big 5 from Week 9 could specifically impacts my mood states and decisions.

In a larger sense, mindfulness has only inspired me to approach every moment with healthy curiosity, diving deep into the present experience and acknowledging my place in the world and in my community here at VCU. I am currently enrolled in a mindfulness yoga class at the Cary Street Gym which has been a huge destresser and helps train my mind to just ‘relax and be present’. Last week my LLC had a floor meeting on Stress Relief and we had the privilege of having Ms. Walsh as our guest speaker who shared personal stories in direct result to stress. We discussed efficient strategies in relieving stress in a healthy way in order to attain a happy life.  So in addition to yoga classes, I have downloaded the Headspace App which is perfect for me because I can do it wherever or whenever I feel stressed. I plan to keep participating in these activities, but I also plan on keeping an ‘emotions journal’ to keep an account of how I am feeling. I believe that by physically writing it and rereading my journal will have powerful meaning to my life and how I choose will choose to handle things.  

I selected the image below because willow trees symbolize dreams and reflection. A powerful symbolic meaning of the willow tree is its adaptability because of their ability thrive in the most crucial conditions. It also symbolizes the adjustment of life, rather than fighting it, surrendering to the formation and growth. The willow tree reminds me to surrender ultimately to my inner thoughts/feelings and acquire deeper knowledge of my neurological consciousness

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/522136150519442537

Science of Happiness Post 1

Science of Happiness Post 1

The past six weeks engaging in the ‘Science of Happiness’ have taught me that happiness is a state of well- being that encompasses living the good life. The science of happiness includes living a life with meaning and rooted satisfaction. We learned that happiness derives from genetic influences and adolescent behavior, which is really uplifting to know that you have some control over your happiness. Nature v. Nurture transitioned perfectly into following week where we cultivated the study behind what makes an individual and community thrive. Then, we discussed personal strengths which taught me the importance of not only recognizing my strengths but also utilizing them to the best of my ability, and creating relationships with others who have different strengths. In contrast, we went over depression and mood states with in ourselves that can cause us to rethink our lives in a negative outlook. With all the topics covered so far I have learned to love myself and others in a healthy, positive way.

The most interesting topic we covered so far was ‘Focusing on Strengths’ taught by Dr. Walsh. She went over the criteria in what is considered a strength which include that a strength must be universal, institutions within a society that support the strength, every parent would want their child to possess the strength, displaying a strength does not diminish others, a strength is morally valued in its own right, and it must contribute to fulfillment and to the good life. Taking the survey and looking at the VIA character strengths and virtues, I was able to identify my individual strengths that amount to the flourishing life I possess. Learning that I hone kindness, perseverance, gratitude, teamwork, and honesty was surprising but now that I know this I know what types personalities I would like to form relationships with to focus on the strengths that were lower on my list.

 

The most relatable topic the class covered was PERMA. It was fascinating to dive deeper into the five ingredients of a flourishing life which ties to the psychology of well-being. After analyzing my results of the survey, I realized I wanted to improve on the relationship aspect of my life. This pushed me to do my own research on how I could make the relationships in my life healthier and stronger. I practiced owning my own character strengths to lift up others and to being more compassionate toward others. By utilizing these simple technipes my relationships seem more meaningful which makes each of us more happy.

Picture Source:https://www.theodysseyonline.com/happiness-is-your-right-claim-it