Day 21 of 21 Day Challenge (3 Ways/Things)

3 Ways You Value Yourself

  1. I am accommodating.
  2. I am good at making stir fry(s)!
  3. I am determined. It took longer than expected, but I finally finished this challenge!

3 Ways You Added Value To Someone Else’s Life Today

  1. I salted the newly formed ice so no one slips and falls on it!
  2. I gathered up all the old housemate’s things so she will have them all in one place when she comes to pick them up.
  3. I cleared out the downstairs bedroom and moved everything that Lucas and I had in the room to the upstairs. The new roommate is now free to move into the room since it’s cleared out!

3 Things In Your Life That Make You Feel Abundant

  1. The realization that I don’t have too many semesters left of college. I’m excited and nervous to see what comes next in my life and I’ll have a lot more time, focus, energy etc when school is all done with and I have my degree!
  2. My unique skills and qualities that make me valuable all on my own! I am happy to be me – everyone else is already taken!
  3. A life that is ripe with possibilities and all of the steps Lucas and I are taking to get to where we want to be – especially in terms of financial freedom! I’m happy to know that things are going well and shifting in to their places!

Quote of the Day: “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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Day 20 of 21 Day Challenge (3 Ways/Things)

Day 20 of the 21 day challenge of “re-wiring” my brain to value myself, my life and others.

3 Ways You Value Yourself

  1. I am awesome at making food/taking care of people who are doing construction work or various jobs around the house!
  2. I am good at taking care of animals!
  3. I am efficient in regards to my current job and get things done as quickly as possible while still providing quality service.

3 Ways You Added Value To Someone Else’s Life Today

  1. I made food for Sherry and Lucas while they’ve been painting the bedrooms upstairs!
  2. I shoveled the snow in the driveway and in the front walkways so it doesn’t turn to ice and no one falls etc
  3. I fed the guinea pigs some greens and carrots and they were super happy about it since they haven’t had fresh veggies in awhile!

3 Things In Your Life That Make You Feel Abundant

  1. Fresh, spring water that’s “on tap”!
  2. A new roommate that is super awesome!
  3. The ability and the funds to paint multiple bedrooms and do various little projects around the house that make a big difference!

Quote of the Day: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

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Day 19 of 21 Day Challenge (3 Ways/Things)

Day 19 of the 21 day challenge of “re-wiring” my brain to value myself, my life and others.

3 Ways You Value Yourself

  1. Today I figured out a plan to graduate without wasting time or money, while still enjoying the classes I’ll take!
  2. I reminded myself that I can not only do an internship, but I can also do an independent research/study experience where I develop a research project detailing findings or a final exploration of a topic in the form of a paper. This makes me effectively “worry less”.
  3. I am pretty good at comforting other people when their sick or sad!

3 Ways You Added Value To Someone Else’s Life Today

  1. I accepted and read a flier that was given to me from a grassroots movement in regards to raising the wages of part-time lecturers at my college (they were also protesting about tuition increases, as well). Sometimes I don’t take the fliers and say “no” or I take them and throw them away afterwards, but I graciously took it and read it, I thought they respected and valued that.
  2. I held the door open for someone that had their hands full today (they were carrying a poster for their project).
  3. I’m taking the bus to and from work today because I would rather not interrupt someone else’s life in order to have them pick me up from my job!

3 Things In Your Life That Make You Feel Abundant

  1. My bananas that I brought that are aged perfectly to my liking and aren’t bruised at all! Which is surprising because they’ve been rubbing up against things in my backpack.
  2. Enough layers to keep me warm in the snowy and cold weather!
  3. Honestly….the lack of a housemate that was the source of a lot of drama, energy diminishing and bad smells (she smoked inside the house..which is disrespectful to everyone living in the house who doesn’t smoke and assumed it to be a “smoke-free” house. I thought this was a simple rule to follow, but I guess not?). I will be honest in that I am glad that she is not living in the space anymore and the idea that now I know better in regards to what or whom to look for in a housemate is, in and of itself a measure of abundance. I can choose my own flourishing.

Quote of the Day: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

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Day 18 of 21 Day Challenge (3 Ways/Things)

Day 18 of the 21 day challenge of “re-wiring” my brain to value myself, my life and others.

Preface: No back-dating this time..I’ll try my best to post at least one today, though, hopefully more, but with school ending I’ve been trying to catch up and get everything done so it’s been hard to do a daily challenge. Once I finish this one, I might do a weekly challenge, or “every couple of days” challenge! Or I’ll write/share when I feel so inclined!

3 Ways You Value Yourself

  1. I’m good at preparing food for myself ahead of time so I’m not hungry when I’m running around between school and work. It also allows me to spend less money overall and save, save, save!
  2. I’m getting better at showing gratitude and giving thanks to myself. I’m also getting better with affirmations and self-care.
  3. I can “defend” myself when necessary..generally speaking towards verbal confrontation/disagreements/debates, but maybe also physical? Though I haven’t really gotten into fist fights with anyone but my brother on occasion, though not so much now.

3 Ways You Added Value To Someone Else’s Life Today

  1. I was present for every presentation my classmates did today and they could feel it and I think they valued it!
  2. I handed a paper back to a classmate that she had passed out in class for reference material..and it allowed another student who didn’t get one (not enough were printed for the presentation) to be able to look at it and possibly use for her paper!
  3. I empathized/sympathized with Sherry (roommate) in regards to the feelings of “not stressing ourselves out too much”…since it only seems to set us further behind in any goals in life that we may have.

3 Things In Your Life That Make You Feel Abundant

  1. A good and healthy lunch that I made for myself!
  2. Pretty good grades from working hard!
  3. The large amount of produce we still have from the previous week’s grocery run! I need to get to cooking!

Quote of the Day: “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

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Response Essay #2 from PHIL 424W – On “Right to food, right to feed, right to be fed…” by Penny Van Esterik

Response to Penny Van Esterik’s “Right to food, right to feed, right to be fed…”

In “Right to food, right to feed, right to be fed…”, by Penny Van Esterik, certain implications can be drawn from the statements made. I will be detailing the implications that may be derived from both her central argument, as well as the written piece as a whole. From what I will speak towards, there are rather neutral implications to be drawn from the piece that could be favorable or unfavorable depending on the reader; Additionally, I am in agreement with its central statement and believe the piece to be an important link to add to the discussion of food rights and/or food politics.

Penny Van Esterik’s “Right to food, right to feed, right to be fed…” is an exploration of the interconnected nature of women and women’s rights as well as food and food rights. One of the main arguments in the piece is the claim that food security cannot be fully realized until women are put at the forefront of policy discussions in regards to food. It is thought that women’s identity and sense of self is tied to their abilities to feed their own families, as well as themselves and Esterik makes the claim that food insecurity denies women the right to feed themselves and their family members. The piece serves to highlight the fact that the interpretation of food as a human right ought to be analyzed in a more multifaceted manner, with the inclusion of a gender perspective. Esterik asks us to question how the rights to food acquisition may intersect with the rights of women and other human rights; Esterik also goes into detail in regards to the policy implications of these intersecting rights and how the integration of a gender perspective in the conversation of food rights may contribute to the view that all human rights reinforce each other, are universal and are unable to be separated from each other. Through this piece, Esterik also seeks to understand the relation between gender and food overall. The final portion of the paper speaks to the significance of the variation between the right to be fed, the right to food itself and the right to feed as an action. The right to “be fed”, meaning, that women’s nutritional needs should be met not only because they may be the meal providers for others and the traditional producers of food, but, because they are entitled to sufficient nutrition as it ought to be an individually held right. The right to food, meaning, women ought to hold the rights to the possession of food products themselves, over the rights to processes, contexts and values (such as agricultural labor,“food aid”, “food distribution” or “food banks”) that serve to create or distribute the food products. The right “to feed”, meaning, women having the right to experience and accomplish the responsibility of feeding their families and loved ones, with this source of power being lost when others seize this right to feed and when productivity is “privileged over empowerment”.

Though not explicitly stated, it could be concluded that the right to food cannot be fully recognized as a human right until intersectionality in every facet is fully considered in regards to food systems. Intersectionality, meaning, the idea in which oppressive institutions including but not limited to racism, sexism, classism and transphobia are interlinked and thus cannot be examined individually. Though Esterik specifically cites sexism and gender issues in the piece’s central argument, it seems as if she is suggesting that a complete restructuring of institutional and large-scale food systems is in order. It can be concluded that to restructure larger-scale food systems and to make the right to food a secured human right for all, those social groups and organizations that are generally marginalized ought to be included in food-based discussions. It is unrealistic to make decisions in regards to food policy for every individual person when you are distancing yourself from those that may be affected by the issue most, such as those that are in poverty or are ostracized from their respective societies. It is important to include those that generally do not have a voice at the “table” in regards to food-based discussions in order to engage in a comprehensive view of larger-scale issues, as these types of issues that have an affect on countless people are truly intersectional in nature.

It can also be concluded from the piece that the ability for a woman to be involved in food-based policy discussions is quite different from the capacity or agency of a woman to put that ability into action; The concept of agency, referring to the idea that individuals may act in an autonomous manner and make decisions on an individualized basis. In the piece, Esterik writes that in 1996, NGO groups had dedicated a specific day to discuss women in relation to food in order to “make-up” for the lack of considerations for women. Though this may be the case, the dedicated “day” was only a small step in the direction towards the inclusion of women in food policy discussions. Here, it can be said that women were “able” to be involved in the discussion, however, the structures already put in place in our current food systems may limit the agency that individuals may have to transform their abilities into actions; “Structures” may refer to those social institutions such as gender and class, that may limit or influence the opportunities that individuals may have. As an example, one may have the ability to speak up in discussions about food security or food sovereignty, but may not feel that they can actually speak up in a discussion or change anything about our current food system. This may be because in their society, a woman may not be seen as powerful or one who has much influence in regards to political decisions. It can be concluded that institutionalized sexism may limit the agency of a woman to put her ability of participating in food-based policy discussions into action.

 

 
Work Cited

Esterik, Penny. (1999). Right to food; right to feed; right to be fed. The intersection of

women’s rights and the right to food. Agriculture and Human Values. 16. 225-232.

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Response Essay #1 from PHIL 424W – On “Famine, Affluence and Morality” by Peter Singer

Response to Famine, Affluence and Morality by Peter Singer

Singer’s argument in Famine, Affluence and Morality brings about a series of objections, some of which he addresses, along with some he does not mention. I will be making the claim that there are, at least, two objections that Singer does not acknowledge in writing his argumentative essay. I will be describing Singer’s argument briefly, following this, I will detail the objections that he does not examine along with the possible responses to each. These responses will be from both my perspective and what I presume to be Singer’s perspective after analyzing his argument.

Singer’s argument can be summarized as a principle of preventing “bad” occurrences. If a government or an individual can prevent something negative from happening, without either (a) causing something equally bad to happen or (b) giving up something good enough to completely offset the “bad”, then that person or government entity ought to do so. With this claim, it is therefore bad for anyone to suffer or die from destitution, for example. Additionally, governments and people ought to help as many destitute individuals as possible, as efficiently as possible and to the fullest extent, without creating an “offsetting bad” or forgoing a “compensating good”. If governments and residents of more developed nations were to sacrifice most of the things on which they spend their resources, and instead were to direct those resources to helping as many destitute people as possible, as efficiently as possible, then that redirection would not create any offsetting negative occurrences or forgo a compensating good . As it is the case that this redirection would not create any offsetting negative occurrences or forgo a compensating good, Singer’s argument is that the governments and citizens of more developed nations ought to sacrifice many of the things on which they spend their resources on in order to help those who find themselves impoverished and without the means to live with even a minimal level of well-being. Singer believes that the most efficient way for governments and citizens of developed nations to help as many of the destitute as possible over the long term is to greatly  increase the amount they give to foreign aid and to foreign disaster relief. As this is the most efficient way to lend a helping hand, so to speak, Singer makes the claim that the governments and citizens of these more developed nations ought to significantly increase the amount that they give to foreign disaster relief efforts and foreign aid.

Although Singer addresses a fair amount of objections in his piece, I am making the claim that Singer does not acknowledge at least two objections that are crucial to provide further support with regard to his argument. The first objection is as follows: “What if the money I do send to foreign aid or disaster relief, does not get properly dispersed to those who need it most? Should we still send monetary resources, knowing they could be misdirected?” Meaning, money that is sent may end up in the hands of those that are already affluent and not those who are destitute and require it. These individuals who are in charge of non-governmental foreign aid relief organizations or even those who may be in the government sectors could claim that they are more than willing to deliver the funds or resources to those in need, yet, in actuality, intend to “pocket” that money to maintain their own sense of flourishing. It could also be the case that donated money is simply lost, to either general mismanagement or outright theft and corruption.

A possible response from Singer’s perspective in regards to the objection formed: If you have the power to help anyone, anywhere, by sacrificing less than they would gain, then you are morally obligated to provide this type of aid. If it is the case that you have tried to donate to what you perceive to be a worthy cause and the funds do not make it to where they ought to, then the moral virtue lies in the attempt to prevent negative occurrences/suffering, as the most efficient way to provide aid in the modern world is through monetary transactions to charitable organizations.

My response: Although it could be the case that the moral virtue lies in the mere attempt of donating funds, I will suggest that there is more that could be done than to simply donate funds to charitable organizations, of which, some may find those funds misdirected. One action that could be taken in the case that you are worried that funds you send will get misdirected, or if it is the case that you do not have much money of your own, is to prevent suffering in a different manner. A couple of these charitable actions include but are not limited to: volunteering your time and labor instead of money to help those in need as well as donating homemade items or used belongings. Another action that one could take would be to thoroughly research charities prior to donating money to them. As an example, there are numerous sources detailing which charities to not donate to and the reasons why the funds may get directed away from those who need it most. Knowing how a charitable organization operates and disperses funds would be crucial to recognizing if it would be worthwhile and truly helpful to send the monetary means to these organizations.

The second objection: “‘Suffering’ may not be the same for everyone, it is a subjective term. If this is the case, how do we know the ‘type’ of suffering we should direct our focus towards? How do we know who to send money to if a myriad of people claim to be suffering and need assistance/help?”

A possible response from Singer’s perspective: Suffering is caused most simply and directly by a lack of the most basic resources, as is the case, anyone who is lacking basic resources such as, clean water/air, enough food to survive, adequate shelter and so on, is in a position of suffering. If we have or are able to gain access to the most basic of these resources easily, then we ought to help those that do not live by the same means.

My response: Without delving into the validity of individual suffering, it is important to be critical of the degree of our own suffering and to ask important questions. I think it is very accurate in that there are multiple ways to suffer, but speaking purely towards physical suffering, meaning the lacking of basic resources, we must ask if we have the basic means to survive and thrive. If we have adequate shelter, food, water and so forth, then we must acknowledge that we are privileged in this way. To acknowledge privilege is, in some sense, to acknowledge that you are not suffering to the same degree that others are. If you have privilege in a certain aspect of your life, I believe it is then necessary for you to do what is in your power to help those get the privileges you have. For instance, if it is the case that you have clean water, clean air, a safe place to sleep at night, enough food to survive and so on, then it is crucial for you to help those who are suffering in the way that you are not, so that they may not suffer any longer.


Work Cited

Singer, Peter. Famine, Affluence, and Morality. Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 1,

No. 3 (Spring 1972) 229-243.

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Day 17 of 21 Day Challenge (3 Ways/Things)

Day 17 of the 21 day challenge of “re-wiring” my brain to value myself, my life and others.

3 Ways You Value Yourself

  1. I can come up with interesting paper topics to write assignments on!
  2. I know when I’ve spent “too much” time on something and therefore need a break!
  3. I have a strong sense of self even though I tend to hide this fact a lot of the time (working on it!).

3 Ways You Added Value To Someone Else’s Life Today

  1. Sat in the parking lot and talked with Lucas while we ate our breakfast. I think he liked the quality time!
  2. Deposited cash in the savings account at the bank today to replenish the savings account.
  3. In a moment I’ll be cleaning some animal cages and I think Lucas will enjoy me doing that and the guinea pigs will too!

3 Things In Your Life That Make You Feel Abundant

  1. The amount/rate at which we’re saving money. I can only imagine how much we’ll save when we’re both working full time and possibly get higher wages!
  2. A bulk jug of Dr. Bronners soap to do just about everything with (and it smells like peppermint!)!
  3. The “cash-on-hand” method of spending Lucas and I are embarking on. We only spend the money that we have in our pockets. Everything else is budgeted etc. It’s been feeling good so far!

Quote of the Day: “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot/Mary Anne Evans

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