Undefeated

TBE

We as humans are known to glorify violence and aggression as traits of a true man. In this day and age can there are not many sports viewed more “manlier” than boxing. It just so happens, that the top boxer of my era just so happens to also be my role model. Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. is a captivating figure that has dominated boxing for as long as I have been alive. His brash “in your face” attitude is often the subject of much debate, but his talent is undeniable.  He has conquered multiple different weight classes on his was to an incredible 46-0 professional record. He embodies the term “self-made”, and was able to market his himself under the brand TMT (The Money Team).

Floyd was born in a nomad generation, one that is described as being able to “find their own norms and are exposed to the world of adult dangers and anxieties at a young age. Consequently, Nomad children grow up fast and often engage in risky behavior” (Mckay). This description fits Mayweather perfectly, as he is one of the most controversial athletes of his time. He doesn’t hold his tongue for anyone and speaks his mind at every chance. His flamboyant lifestyle that includes a multitude of luxury cars, regularly attending strip clubs, and high-stakes gambling has been the subject of much media backlash. But through all the adversity, Floyd never lost sight of his goal to be one of the greatest boxers of time. The real controversy surrounding Mayweather is his overwhelming success inside the ring. All of his extracurricular antics wouldn’t be meaningful if he didn’t have the skills to back it up. What people don’t see is the countless hours he puts into the gym, the hard-work that goes into being a champion. His in-ring bravado is what really captivates me, as he never seems nervous or out of control in a fight. I have been watching all of his fights for nearly a decade, and not once can I recall him being rattled in the ring. The pressure of each bout is immense, as he has fought in 3 of the top 5 biggest Pay-Per-View fights of all time. His brash lifestyle has garnered him plenty critics, who would love nothing more than to see the arrogant boxer be humbled by a defeat. Mayweather has yet to give them that pleasure however, and he seems to shine under the lights.

What makes Floyd truly the face to the missing question mark for my generation is his independent success. Floyd was able to become the highest paid athlete not because he followed the social norms and went to college and got his degree. Mayweather is an icon for his ability to step outside the box and be successful on his own. An “early exposure to the realities of adult life give them strong survival skills and a fierce independent streak that makes them well-suited to navigate the societal Unraveling that surrounds them” is what Mckay states about nomads. Floyd channeled his anger from a difficult upbringing into fuel for his burning desire to be a success. He could of followed the path of his father and went to jail, but instead he made something of his life. What makes his story truly unique is how he used his athletic skills to create an opportunity in which his family is set for generations to come. He invested in himself and is now reaping the rewards. He owns his own clothing line, and sales everything from shoes and hats to iPhone cases. I respect Floyd Mayweather’s independence and courage to be himself no matter what anybody else thinks of him. But more importantly I admire his mindset of reaching all of his goals and being a sports icon when he could also just been a statistic in jail. In a lot of ways Floyd Mayweather embodies the ideals and traits of what It means to be truly a “manly man”.

 

Works Cited

  • “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future.” The Art of Manliness. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2014.

 

 

Fighting for Freedom

tunisia

 

A series of uprisings known as “The Arab Spring ” forever changed the political landscape in the Middle East. There are a number of factors that have led to the protests including: dictatorships, human rights violations, political corruption, economic decline, unemployment,  and extreme poverty. Surprisingly, it is the youth that has been at the forefront of the movement and letting their voices be heard. Young and unemployed, many felt that the government were neglecting the citizens issues so they decided to stand up for their rights. Even more remarkable, the revolts have sparked reform and they have gotten some of the results they were looking for. Some might say that these peaceful protests can lead to violence with such a large gathering, but with such despair people really don’t have much of a choice.

What really stands out about The Arab Spring Movement is the quickness in which the protests began. It all began when 26 year-old street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi was harassed by the corrupt police of Tunisia and they confiscated his produce because he supposedly didn’t have his license. His reaction was self-mutilation and he set himself on fire, igniting a revolution by an entire generation. It only took one action to spark an entire revolution and there are lessons to be learned from that. In order for change to occur, someone must first stand up and be a leader. This is often easier said than done as people often find it difficult to stray away from the pack and be willing to put themselves out on a limb in order to get their point across. Once one invidual takes a chance others often gain the confidence to follow,  before you know it there is a revolution in the process. This should be remembered because sometimes people feel as if there voice don’t matter or that there issues won’t be solved. The youth in the Middle East should be extremely proud of what they were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. They were able to get multiple government officials to agree to step down from their offices and finally got their point across in only three years and counting. Through the actions of the Millennials, the political atmosphere in the Middle East is forever changed.

The Arab Spring Protests have so far been a success. Tunisia, Jordan, Oman, Libya, Iraq, and numerous other countries have seen a change in ministers and government reform across the board. In these under-developed countries where democracy was once just an afterthought, these changes are a landmark. They are finally breaking away from the oppressive shackles they were born into and changing an entire culture. I have been keeping up with the Middle East since the War began, never would I have imagined that the government would actually cooperate with the citizens. The Millennial generation was able to do what those before them were unable to accomplish. This further reassures the positive stereotypes about my generation. We are brash and outspoken, unafraid to stray away from the social norm.

With people living in these poverty stricken countries, I can not but help to sympathize with their movement. I couldn’t imagine just being completely hopeless in life and struggling to making ends meat with no viable way to make a better living for myself or my family. Until problems are finally faced head on and recognized, no change will come about. If the oppressed people don’t stand up for themselves, then the powers that be will continue to take advantage of their ignorance. I was raised to always speak up for myself and stand for what I believe in. To do the right thing for myself and others even when it may seem irrational. And most importantly to be a leader and not just follow along with everybody else just because it seems like the popular thing to do. No different than any other movements such as the Civil Rights or Women’s Suffrage, problems aren’t solved until people stand up together. A revolution is no easy thing to accomplish and I greatly admire their courage.  To come from such humble beginnings, the Arab Spring Movement has achieved its intended goal and has been an overwhelming success.

 

 

 Works CitedNpr.org The Arab Spring: A Year Of Revolution

 

 

 

 

 

Blind Justice

blind justice

     The Trayvon Martin incident is one of the most captivating court-cases in recent memory. The situation cuts into the core of America’s values and caused citizens to reflect on their morals and values meticulously. Such a cold-blooded murder similar in nature to the Trayvon Martin case would be an obvious murder right? Wrong, and when the verdict came back I was highly upset. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could see the situation any differently.

While searching the internet to try and make sense of what was happening, I came across some of the various reasons some people found Trayvon guilty. Some of Trayvon’s critics pointed to his social media pages on Twitter and Facebook to say why he was guilty. His tattoos and gold teeth found on these sites could make him look like a suspicious target some argued. Others stated that he had various profanity laced tweets and was prone to violence. Or the fact that he was found with an empty marijuana bag on him so he was possibly high. I find all of these arguments highly irrelevant when a life is taken for no reason at all. Zimmerman was able to be found not guilty on the “stand your ground” laws but he was in the wrong because he pursued the issue. He was told repeatedly to stay in the car by police officers but even still he decided to pursue the matter further. Trayvon was simply protecting himself and was then murdered in cold blood by his own attacker.

Many say the case doesn’t come down to race but I would have to beg to differ. Martin was targeted for simply being an African-American youth walking down the street. Last I recall segregation was abolished in the South and blacks were allowed to walk wherever they pleased. The case really touched me because I can identify with Martin and we were born almost exactly a year apart. He was just on the phone walking to the corner store to get an Arizona and candy, while on the phone with his girl and as innocent as it may seem he was still target for violence because he “fits the description” and was wearing a hoodie. I have done the exact same thing countless of times and it just shocks me that being put in his shoes Zimmerman could have targeted me as well. Zimmerman was far out of line with his act of vigilante justice and he should have just turned around when the police told him to. I must admit that I was originally misinformed and thought he was Caucasian male before I was told of his Latino decent. This still didn’t change the fact of the way he was viewed by a jury of his peers.

What this tells me is that the racial issue is deeper than just black and white but some sort of color issue that I can’t really wrap my mind around. Whatever the case may be Trayvon Martin and his family received no form of justice out of the situation. Trayvon lost his life, a mother and father lost their son, and a brother and sister lost their sibling. The American justice system is flawed and the Martin family and countless other families have come out on the losing side. Until justice is viewed in the proper light cases will often be determined by a blind justice system. A system that seems to see color as a proper metric for justice, blind to more important issues.

Millennials!

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The article “Are Millennials the Screwed Generation” takes a deeper look in growing up in the generation I was raised in. Mr. Kotkin has plenty of data showing that overall there are some disadvantages in growing up in this time period. That being said we have many advantages growing up in the technology savvy world of the 21st century.

Kotkin argues that kids today have far more issues than the past. We have for more debt than our grandparents and college puts a strain on our finances. the fact that “employers are often replacing entry-level positions meant for graduates with people who have more experience because the pool of applicants is so much larger”. This means that often times minimum wage or low-paying jobs are help by over-qualified workers. “The unemployment rate for people between 18 and 29 is 12 percent in the U.S., nearly 50 percent above the national average. This means that us Millennials have a far tough time fairing in the economy than those before us.

Its not all bad though as we too have our advantages. We are far less likely to have kids than baby boomers and the fact that jobs aren’t so available has led to cut back in children. We are also living in a far more moderate and open-minded world and we are able to better cope with changes in the world. From gay marriages to race relations, millennials are far better equipped to deal with the challenges living in such a diverse and integrated environment. Technology wise we are also far ahead of the game and with the technology available to us today we can change the world. If I am anything, if we are anything, we are Millennials and we are ready to change the world!

 

 

 

Attending the University of Michigan

obeezy  Attending this prestigious University is an exciting experience that I’m still wrapping my mind around. I’ve always fastened myself as a deep-thinker, but now I have the perfect environment to allow my mind to grow and prosper in. I am just now leaving the city and being around so many people with different backgrounds but the same goals and interests is an amazing experience. While I’m here growing as a young adult I am also starting to better understand the world around me. There are countless topics I found to be interesting and wanted to learn more about but just had no outlet to pursue such endeavors. While here at the University of Michigan there are countless classes offered that touch on nearly any topic one could wish for. Also while at Michigan the world is still going on around me. The World Cup is taking place currently and with such a diverse community its great to see everyone coming around the television and enjoying a common interest. While up here I attend to meet as many people as possible and make connects that I thought were never possible before. This Michigan connection is just one of many perks that comes with attending a University of Michigan as there is always someone that can help you with your future endeavors. Even better, wanting to be a future orthodontist I am in the perfect situation to reach my goals as the dental school here is of very high standing. But what I noticed during my short time here at Bridge is that being a Michigan student isn’t all about academics, but also learning the social skills needed to be successful in the workplace. I have also recognized the emphasis on research here at this institution. Quantitative and Qualitative data are both used but more specifically quantitative data. It seems as if all statements or opinions have research of data to back them up. This garners great admiration from an individual such as myself because growing up I always kept a basketball almanac on my persons because I was always debating with my father’s friends over basketball. This passion for knowing and research eventually led to an extensive Wikipedia habit and I often find myself researching the oldest of topics. But without this thirst of knowledge, no new information can be attained. Being around like-minded people such as myself can only help in my learning development. But perhaps the most astonishing fact I realized is that by the time I graduate from the University of Michigan Barack Obama will no longer be president. He has been in office since I was the age of 12 and I don’t even recall life without a black president. What he has already accomplished and the work he has left to do is amazing but the impact he has left is even greater. Being the first black president ever is nothing short of amazing and a true motivator for me. He persevered through all odds and still reached his goals. He gave myself and youths around the world and is truly my inspiration that anything is possible.