The Freedom of Friendship

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Picture by Pictofigo

Friendship is like the sweetness of a cold bite of vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day. Friendship is one of the most important things for me. My friends are my curtain that veils me from the world. The safety I feel when I am with my friends is, to put it in the most simple of terms, the amount of safety someone feels when they put their money in a vault to protect it from being stolen. When we are together, our friendship veils us from the rest of the world.

One example is on a Saturday morning. My friends and I decide to go to breakfast together. We all meet up by my house and decide to go to Denny’s. Once we get to Denny’s, we see that it is full, however we ignore the rest of the people and begin our wild activities as we sit together. One of them starts throwing ripped pieces of napkins at the rest of us. Another one of my friends’ starts to yell and laugh loudly. By this time a few people have noticed us and are staring. This, nonetheless doesn’t bother us as we sit together and enjoy our time together.

Another example of my feeling of security while being with my friends is when we meet together at our mosque. We hang out together. We play basketball together and make jokes. We might play for be together for two hours, but it only feels like 20 minutes.

My friends are my bodyguards when I am in trouble. They will help me and stand by my side when I need them to. I feel the same way about my friends as they do about me. I know I will be safe when I am with them.

Friendship is a very important aspect in my life. My life wouldn’t be as positive as it is today. One of the main reasons why I am why I am is because of my friends. I am forever grateful for my friends for being there for me and keeping me safe. Having the friends that I do makes it even more important to keep my friendship strong.

California

I can’t imagine a better place to live in than California.

20150311_190040  This image was taken from my neighborhood park on a regular afternoon at dusk.  Images such as these seem to occur almost daily and in fact, I have become almost impartial to sunsets.  This goes to show that I witness nature’s beauty almost every single day of the week.  Not only is Californian scenery beautiful, but the climate in Southern California is amazing.  For me, below 60 degrees is a jacket day.  I don’t mean to rub it in, but while many states across the east are packed in during a snow storm, I am sitting in my backyard soaking up the sun watching my avocados grow.  The difference between California in the “winter” (we don’t really have winter out here) and other areas of the country is astounding.   For example, I can go swim in the ocean in January while people in New York are stuck in a blizzard.

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This beautiful image was engraved into the sand by a receding bundle of kelp.  Things like this don’t happen very often in Oklahoma, do they?  Montana?  Nope.  On a nice winter day, I went running at the beach without a shirt and I managed to get a little tan whilst not freezing to death.  Try doing that in Chicago in the thick of the winter.

Anyways, back to the sunset.

neighbor sun

I hope my neighbor doesn’t mind me taking a picture of their house without asking, but it was for the sake of beauty!!!  Notice the reflection of the sunset in the house’s window.  That was the first time I had ever seen such a reflection, so I thought it was worthy of a picture.

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As the sun sets on this blog post, I remind myself how lucky I am to be living in California.  I can enjoy time at the beach virtually whenever I want, and I can watch sunsets almost every day as well.  Being a Californian will perhaps spoil me for the rest of my life if I live elsewhere, but I have to say that I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else right now.

-Chris.

What is the Relationship Between an Individual and a Community?

What is the relationship between and individual and a community? A community is a group of people who have, “A common feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” And an individual is someone who, “Is not part of a group because of their own goals or interests.” In The Scarlet Letter, the idea of and individual vs. community comes up multiple times throughout the story. Hester is seen as the individual who has to try to survive against the rest of the colonists, a community, who use her when needed, otherwise they throw her away as an outcast. For an individual to help a group, they have to think about how they can accomplish their own goals while still improving the community as a whole. History shows that it has always been hard for an individual to live a good and faithful life without becoming part of a community. In The Scarlet Letter, the community is the colonists that live with Hester. Hester is the lone individual who is secluded from society. The community only gives attention to Hester when they need her amazing sowing skills. He talent of being an amazing seamstress was used for funerals, babies, and fashion. In chapter 5 of the book, Hester’s: “Handiwork became what would now be termed the fashion. Whether from commiseration for a woman of so miserable a destiny; or from the morbid curiosity that gives a fictitious value even to common or worthless things…” The community didn’t care about her sin when they needed he talent for their benefit. But once they received what they needed, they again shunned her from their community. This shows the relationship between the community and the individual in The Scarlet Letter; there was only a one way benefit that  supported the community and never the lone individual. And the community didn’t think to care that this was they only way Hester was surviving and making money, while they all had businesses and each other as support in case something horrible happens and one of them goes broke or something. Also, the individual, Hester is never allowed to participate in a joyous occasion for the community. As Hester’s’ products and, “Skill was never called in to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride.” This is when they all remember Hester’s sin and decide to bring their society back together. Hester Prynne has no benefits as being the individual in this individual vs. community relationship.

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to a public statement directed to him by eight Alabama clergymen. The eight Alabama clergymen wrote the public statement to denounce King Jr.’s work and call it “unwise” and “untimely.” As Martin Luther King Jr. writes to these men, he is saying that for these human rights to be granted to African-American people the white people must join with the human rights activists. Something that really caught my eye in this letter was when he says that an African-American’s main: ” Stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” This specific part from the entire letter stands out to me because it takes an objective side to the whole argument of the relationship of an individual and a community than that in The Scarlet Letter. In the Letter from Birmingham Jail the one in need of help from the other is the community. The community needs the individuals who want order and peace but don’t want to stand up for justice. Martin Luther King Jr. is more frustrated with these type of people because they don’t say it, but they are basically rejecting you, your community, a your ideas. This rejection by individual support leads to a loss of supporters to join the community that needs everyone to help them. This letter shows that sometimes the community needs the support of the individuals. In “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” from Walden by Henry David Thoreau, he talks about his wish to live in the woods. As he ponders about how it would be to live alone and secluded in the woods he comes across the idea of only having individuals and no communities. He comes to t conclusion that this would not work because if everyone had their own ideas, no one would make roads and other innovations important to life. Thee would be no agreements amongst any people who wanted to innovate. Throughout all my research, I’ve figured out that there will always be one side who will attain the upper hand. However, it will not always be the same side, as I showed you in various examples. After all, a community and an individual are very closely related. A community is up of a group of INDIVIDUALS who share a certain idea or interest. Thanks for reading! -Hamza Ayub