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  • Vision of the Future: Heading Toward a Dystopian Society

    Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash Is it possible that we will fall into a dystopian society? Based on our current situation, we may already be in a dystopia. Does the future of our society cross your mind at times? Do you ponder whether there even is a future? Oh, and has there ever been a time when you imagined a dystopia? What would the future look like, especially with regard to our current situation? We are already experiencing distress in some areas in our society, but the thought that it could be far worse is frightening. What Is a Dystopian Society? To begin with, the term dystopia holds a much more profound meaning. Dystopia, a term derived from the Greek language, is a concept that revolves around the idea of an imaginary society, community, or world that is the antithesis of a utopia. In Greek, ' dys' means 'bad' or 'difficult', while 'utopia' refers to an ideal or perfect world. Hence, dystopia paints a vivid picture of a world that is far from perfect, where an oppressive and dehumanizing environment leads to a bleak future. A dystopian society is a world where human rights are violated, individualism is suppressed, and human dignity is trampled upon. This results in a society that is often characterized by chaos, suffering, and despair. Does it sound familiar? The Impact of Technology Technology has advanced throughout the years and continues to pave the way in our society significantly. However, the curiosity of some people if technological advancements may impact the bridge toward a dystopian society is springing up. Whether technology destroys or flattens the bridge toward dystopia is ultimately up to how society utilizes it for the good or the bad. The future is unknown and sounds daunting, but there is always a chance to alter it through our decisions and actions in the present. If we continue to ignore our current situations and let chaos prevail, then dystopia is the endgame for all of us; however, if we do go against it and start journeying in pursuit of peace, perhaps we can prevent dystopia and even succeed in utopia. Technology has a significant impact on our society, and we are highly clinging to it. Simply, nowadays, humanity is dependent on technology. We are unaware of the impact and significance it holds in shaping the future of our society. Are We Currently Living in a Dystopian Society? From the looks of it, it appears to be that we are currently living in a dystopia. But the thing is, if you think this is as bad as it gets, then I'm afraid you might be wrong. Dystopia is far worse than you expect and goes beyond the crisis and distress we face today. It circles frightening injustices, dehumanization, inequality, dangerous levels of waste, inhumane crimes, and any awful human destruction and transgression. In the present, we are not living in dystopia, but we are experiencing human problems and facing societal issues that may worsen if we let the unjustness prevail. Today may not be what we imagined as the future, but the future is now our present reality. Dystopian Novels: An Early Warning System Dystopian fiction, including a dystopian novel about technology, is crucial in enlightening and cautioning individuals about the potential dangers of existing social and political systems. This opens a new door to a dystopian novel about technology that delves into how far people are willing to go when they are frightened, especially in a world where science and technology have the potential to enable extreme actions. Anthony Candela's dystopian novel about technology, Vision Dreams, A Parable, provides a thought-provoking perspective on the nature of a society that values the well-being and humanity of its people above all else. It challenges our perceptions of what it truly means to live in a society that supports our daily happiness and dignity. Are We Ready for the Future? Now that we have gone over some points concerning dystopia, are we prepared for it to happen? Because dystopia is possible if we continue to lean on the wrong. The future of dystopia is also obscure, so we still have a chance to improve our future. It starts with you. If you find dystopian concepts interesting, we highly recommend reading the book Vision Dreams, A Parable. Grab your own copy now and click here.

  • A Regular Guy’s Guide to Loving Your Flaws and All

    Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash Loving your true self will be challenging in a society that values image, superficiality, and bravado. Still, it will often lead to greater rewards. What does it mean to be just a “regular guy”? Is it someone who doesn’t fit in the mold of societal expectations? Or is it a person who chooses to live authentically and still loves their flaws? Anyone can work towards living life as just a regular guy; however, self-acceptance is not limited to a few people only. As a regular guy, how will you embrace who you are, flaws and all, and find contentment in a world that imposes a narrow definition of success? Defying Social Expectations as A “Regular Guy”’ Expectations from other people are often the ones that weigh us down. It could be from our family, friends, peers, coworkers, etc. Even strangers now have a say on how we should live our lives, especially now that we’re all out in the open in this digital age. To tread the first step towards loving yourself, challenging these expectations is a great way to start the sprint. Moreover, it’s time to redefine our own success and how we want to feel about it once we reach that peak. Remember, the only one who can determine success and fulfillment is ourselves; no one can dictate or take that away. Another essential thing to note is that there is no universal standard of what it means to be successful or happy. Being a regular guy means taking control of your own life, embracing your uniqueness, and believing that your worth is not determined by what society made it out to be. Authenticity Over Image – Which Is Which? It’s not wrong to keep up appearances when we’re in front of other people. After all, it’s all about first impressions, ultimately affecting how we’re treated wherever we go. However, placing importance on authenticity over image can be difficult, especially with how the digital world is obsessed with image. Those not gifted in that aspect might be left out or unknowingly omitted because they don’t fit in with the rest. But true self-acceptance is rooted in being comfortable in your skin and not being afraid to show genuine interest in anything. Moreover, authenticity should not be confused with outright rudeness or unwarranted blunt behavior. When being our true selves, we must still approach others tactfully. After all, we’re regular guys trying to get through a typical day. It won’t hurt to be kind to each other and not lie to ourselves. Staying Humble and On the Ground Life will always humble us, and it’s up to us however we react. Humility plays a significant role in loving our true selves, hopefully picking up that trait. We can’t always be above our own heads, and we forget how to understand and empathize with others. Moreover, being open to growth and self-improvement are vital things that make a person humble. Not to mention that how we receive feedback or criticism tells much more about who we are and our humility. Self-awareness might also play a part, but in the end, the willingness to grow and learn from those flaws is much more than what we choose to show. Moreover, we need to be more open to vulnerability and not be seen as a weakness because it never was. We can harness this trait as a strength to remain humble when life doesn’t go our way. And regular as we are, it’s a superpower we can be proud of. We can stay soft in a world that pressures us to go hard. Embracing Who You Are, Flaws and All While this may be a regular guy’s guide to loving ourselves and embracing our flaws, doing so takes more than practice. It’s a matter of trying every day, down to the most minor things like how we look at ourselves in the mirror, how we choose to start our mornings, and any unexpected situation that may strike. Rather than perpetuating or entertaining the thought of not being enough, being kinder to ourselves is more than enough. Embracing who you are takes a lot of accepting the hideous parts of yourself unconditionally. If we ever feel like we can’t live up to our expectations. In that case, we need to remind ourselves to let go of the desire to conform to everyone else at the expense of becoming someone we’re not proud of. Moreover, we can’t give what we don’t have, so treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and forgiveness will help us connect with others better. We can even learn more about them in the book “Stand Up or Sit Out” by Anthony R. Candela. As regular guys, we can never keep up with society’s fast-paced standards and the unrealistic means to achieve them. However, embracing our flaws and being comfortable in our own skin will eventually allow us to love ourselves without inhibitions.

  • Copy of Damar Would Demur: Football Will Live On

    by Tony Candela January 10, 2023 Millions of fans, myself included, were tuned into Monday Night Football on January 2, 2023 when about 10 minutes into the first quarter, a routine pass reception ended with a routine tackle. Both players quickly got to their feet. Then, shockingly, the defender, 24-year-old Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, fell backward, hitting the ground with a thud. The remaining 21 players on the field, no doubt worrying they had just seen someone die, waved frantically to the sidelines for help. They gathered around the fallen player and in various clusters, consoling each other and praying. Medical teams from both sides converged on Mr. Hamlin. Immediately discerning that Damar was in cardiac arrest, they administered CPR and began providing respiratory assistance. Although cardiac arrest is an extremely rare occurrence on a football field, the medical teams, well-trained and well-practiced, acted with amazing quickness and probably saved Mr. Hamlin’s life. The level one trauma teams at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center have done likewise and a week later as I write, Mr. Hamlin is awake, declared “neurologically intact, off the ventilator and Facetiming with his teammates, and making the kind of recovery-progress we all hoped an extremely well-conditioned young man might make. The best-guess even a few days after the accident, is that a one in a billion blow to the heart area at the exact milli-second between cardiac nerve impulses, caused the heart to go still. Indeed, no one can recall it ever happening in professional football. There have been more instances in baseball and hockey over the years. Immediately the drumbeat resounded. “Football is a dangerous sport.” “It should cease to exist in its present form.” Reminders of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a long-standing but only recently acknowledged problem of football’s contribution to brain damage caused by repeated head trauma, continue to ring out. Several cases of death by heart failure in retired players not having reached middle age yet have also been reported. Descriptions of the sport as intrinsically destructive in its most fundamental form rose up as the clarion call for its elimination from the American scene emerged yet again from just under the surface. Comparisons to other beloved sports proved mostly unfavorable to football. Even hockey, perhaps overly stereotyped as a violent sport, pales in comparison. “You can play hockey with only minor (compared to football) body-smashing,” the pundits might say. Only boxing is more directly destructive as a sport; its only goal, even at the amateur level, is to directly inflict enough punishment to the body and head of an opponent to render the opponent either unconscious (knockout), nearly unconscious and disabled (technical knockout), or simply damaged (winner by points). Is rugby, a close relative to football, similarly destructive? After all, players with less protective padding line up and in the ensuing scrum, smash into each other a great deal. An article in Pub Med reported on a comparison of the two sports at the collegiate level over three autumn seasons. Injury-rates were reported per 1000athlete-exposures (AEs). As it turns out, rugby is far more injurious with 4.9/1000 AEs in football versus 15.2/1000 AEs in rugby, including Injuries for the shoulder, wrist/hand, and lower leg and for sprains, fractures, and contusions (4 times higher in rugby). Concussion rates were 1.0/1000 AEs in football versus 2.5/1000 AEs in rugby). Even though we don’t hear about rugby as much in the U.S. as say in the U.K., should not rugby also be in the sports-elimination conversation? The fact is that none of these sports is going to fundamentally change in the near-term. This being the case, the only thing to do until either the sports do change or more powerful protective technology emerges is to continue the drumbeat and force modification of the rules to both preserve the bodies and brains of the athletes as well as the excitement and competitiveness of the sports. These are the things everyone wants, so let’s get them. In the fog of the first few days, we received a dose of healthcare insurance news. Apparently, NFL players are not provided coverage until they have been in the League for 3 years. They are covered for five years after they stop playing. I am concerned that Damar Hamlin lies outside the window. Given the nature of his hospitalization and recovery costs, donors to his go-fund-me account probably have a similar concern. The “wokeness” drumbeat is also resounding. We are reminded of the heavily unbalanced prevalence of black players in football who willingly sacrifice their bodies in order to achieve their dream of playing football at a high level. Damar Hamlin is one such player. We have been asked to search our souls to determine whether each of us is complicit, not only in enjoying the sport despite its destructive aspect, but also at least indirectly fostering systemic racism. I will cop to the former and promise to do more soul-searching about the latter. It is a complicated issue. Black athletes are more like white athletes than we think. They play for the love of the game and hope they are successful enough to earn sufficient remuneration to lift themselves to the vaunted income levels popularized by the hype. Damar Hamlin found himself in a starting role as next man up after an injury to his teammate. In recent interviews, he stated that he was ‘living the dream’ and that he was ‘cherishing every moment’. So was Hamlin’s family. At last Monday’s game, he was spotted hugging his mother just before game time. In fact, family members were permitted to ride with him in the ambulance. If you listen to Damar’s voice when he speaks, you hear a very young man talking. He was just getting started in his professional career, not having earned a whole lot of money yet but still having started a go-fund-me account to raise a mere $2500 for Christmas presents for needy kids. Contributions topped $1 million within 24 hours of his injury. He and his family will unfortunately need a bunch of that money, but I am sure as Damar regains his senses, he will push to buy presents for the kids. If asked, I am equally sure he will demur on the question ‘should football be demolished’. There is one thing to look forward to. This year’s Pro Bowl, football’s all-star game held a week before the Super Bowl, will for the first time eliminate tackling the ball carrier. Instead, they will play Flag Football. The goal is to stop the ball carrier by pulling a colorful flag from his flag-belt, thus stopping play. Ball-kicking, running, and pass-deflection rules are similar to regular football. There are fewer players, typically eight per team) and the field is shorter and narrower than a standard football field. Punting on fourth down is permitted, but the defense is not allowed to rush the punter, but only jump straight up to attempt to block a punt. Blocking is limited for the most part to “screen blocking”; simply put, placing your body in someone’s way but no hitting. The NFL players seem excited about the upcoming Pro Bowl. The great quarterback, Paton Manning is leading the charge, so let’s see how everyone likes it after the game concludes and if any aspect of the competition sparks ideas for fundamental change to the game of football. Anthony R. Candela, Author Saying aloud what should not remain silent.

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