Monday, May 08, 2006

Collective Methods of Making Social Change

A technique that I chose while raising my iisue against animal cruelty was consciousness- raising. I chose it because I felt it was teh best way to get my ideas out when starting out. I used signs, flyers and spoke to people whenever I had the chance. I felt this was effective because I think if you make the issue more of a personal thing the person or peoples, given you've gotten a group gathered, will take in the information more and be more responsive. This is because now they are relating it to themselves and their every day lives. And I feel like if you start out with something big like a media spectacle in the beginning. Its all to easy for someone to throw out a paper or flip the channel and totally miss the issue at hand. I found that being out there made me realize that fighting for this cause amongst others really came from the heart. I enjoyed every second of trying to help people realize atrocites made towards other species that are living. And though it didn't make a huge change and might've not made one at all in the long run. I also realized that I would keep fighting for such a thing in the future. And now I know what methods of consciousness-raising were most effective for myself and also believe that I can use the knowledge I have to maybe try other methods of collective action in the future if I keep doing what I've been doing for the time being.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Volunteerism

Today I volunteered at the VA Hospital on 23rd St and 1 ss. Ave. I've been volunteering there for almost a year now and have seen a lot of changes just within that year. I do enjoy the environment there and the people that I help. However, when I first started out there were alot of events going on to help the patients feel more alive. To give them something to do, to have fun. My favorite amongst them all must've been Diversity Day. Where men and women from countries all around come together and bring food and music from their cultures and share it with everyone. The patients were aloud to join in teh fstivities and even have their family there as well. But these such activities have been cut back on. Now there isn't anything of that nature being done anymore. All for the sake that the government wants the hospital to be fully outpatient so they are trying to use all their money and efforts to make this possible. Instead of putting it towards the patients and there well being. And though they may still be physically checking the patients and making sure they are well. Forcing them out by making them unhappy isn't really taking care of them. My mother has worked in the hospital for 13 years and in that time coming over to visit her and her co-workers I've watched many retire or be pushed out. Yet being through all this I realized how government really turns there back on those less fortunate which makes me want to put in the effort to help and change that. When I 'm walking through the halls of the hospital many of the patients ask for help as to where certain places in teh building are because there isn't really anyone else to help them unless they walk into a doctor's room. Which may I add, the doctors are busily conversating with themselves and joking around. Far too bust to be bothered which I think is wrong as well. I hope that things could be changed and that such professional atmospheres could be turned into friendlier ones where everyone feels welcomed and wanted. Not just some other person to bill. However, I'm only one person and one person volunteering could do only so much. And I also realized being a woman in that environment, youre not taken to seriously. But instead youre just eye candy to stare at, so your words don't even get taken into account. Which also needs changing, but thats another battle, more complicated, less likely to be fixed any time soon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

So today after I got off the bus in front of my building. I decided to go to the $.99 store across the street to pick up some things for my hair. I spent about 10 minutes staring at the same things before picking any of them. Extremely tired I started walking to the line. When I got there, only one woman was in front of me. I started growing really impatient as she took her sweet time to pay the woman behind the counter. However, as I looked closer, the woman was actually scrounging through her purse looking for any change she could get to pay. Noticing this, I quickly dug in my pocket and pulled out a dollar and gave it to her. She was reluctant at first to take it, but I assured her it was no problem and once again tried to put it in her hand. She thought about it for a few seconds, then took it. And at that point, she paid the cashier, grabbed her bag, and started walking towards the door. So as I moved forward to put my items on the counter I heard her call out "Thank you very much young lady, " from the doorway and she walked out. I didn't really think much of it at first, just paid for my things and started hurrying to get home. But as I stepped into the elevator I started thinking over the whole situation. I realized by the woman's reaction, that if I were in her position and she was in mine, I'm almost sure she wouldn't have done the same thing. Just because it isn't the norm for most people to give out money to "strangers". But I think by me showing her another side, another way, she just might do the same in the future knowing others out there do the same. In a larger aspect of it all, I guess what I'm getting at is I strongly believe that kindness is "contagious". And even if the woman herself wouldn't help another individual in the same situation out. Maybe an onlooker, like the cashier, in the store would just for seeing the act in progress.