Media: A source of Good or Evil

One of my biggest issues that plagues modern society is the large reliance on the media that we all have become accustomed to.  On a daily basis the media helps to inform the public of news that ranges from local to international issues.  The media helps to link together each corner of our globe and helps connect people around the world within seconds, but with the universal link and connection also came many consequences. To warn this post is not written to create a forum to advocate limiting or restricting free speech and the use of the media.  In fact I am not a huge fan of limiting the freedoms of individuals overall.  I am simply highlighting some of the issues that are caused by the increases reliance and constant link to media sources.

One major issue that plagues the media is the constant bias that is present within reporting.  Many people watch new stations and read articles expecting to learn facts and information on a topic.  This information may be accurate but seems to slightly lean towards a certain political belief or values.   Many people are unaware of the fact that there is a slight to obvious bias within media sources and many individuals take information found within a news source at face value.  People expect many news sources to report information without including bias or a lot of opinion, but the fact is that many news sources and reporters write and produce stories with a slight bias regardless of intentional use of their opinion. Learning true information within our media today usually means either digging to find raw facts or taking many sources and finding your own truths.

A second major issue within the media is of course stereotyping. I think in almost half of my posts I have highlighted some source of stereotyping in society.   Media especially television is known to over emphasize stereotypes.  Many media professionals state that you have only a few seconds to define a person and to make them seem personable to the audience therefore by reinforcing stereotypes regardless of negative or positive implications plays a role in film.  This causes some stigmas and untrue stereotypes to live on within a society regardless of the evolution of culture and society.

One of the last and most influential negative aspect would be the media’s unintentional harm to society.  Within the recent years there has been in increase in violent acts such as mass shootings, killing sprees, and fatal actions that end in suicide.  These actions are committed but are also accompanied by a plethora of information about the person committing these tragedies.   The media have inspired a culture that allows people to become martyrs or infamous for wrongful actions.  It gives people attention who only seeks a massive amount of attention.  We fixate on why these people committed these crimes and how society should change to understand these individuals.  They created a culture where instead of eliminating the problem we fester the wound and spread the germs like wild-fire.  We create a society that caters around figuring out the individuals.  I know this is not the intention of the media, but has become the unintentional outcome of the coverage of tragic events.  As a society we also tune into these reports, make them part of everyday conversation, and re-post or post on social media about these tragic events.

What is the fix to all these situations? There is no clear-cut solution that would not cause a pass mutilation of our individual freedoms, but it helps to simply stay informed and think before catering to the media and automatically becoming an additional person spreading the information gained through media sources.  Be vigilant and become active in the information that you choose to read and watch.  Always be aware of everything around you including media sources.  Even scrutinize my bias towards stereotyping and bias that are written within my pieces. It is a part of nature to always question the truths other people are spreading and telling.

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Quotes! Quotes!

I focus so much of my blog on ranting about something or some political topic, or I am talking about my infamous curls.   I am pretty dynamic person.  One thing that I am absolutely obsessed with is quotes. I am not sure if it stems from my interest in history or some other unexplained reasoning, but I find comfort in others words.  Many times so many things are said that has such great influence over the masses.  It helps connects us to our past. I am going to be cataloging someone of my favorite quotes. Some are pretty well-known and others are foreign to many.

Steve Jobs :  “Heres to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. Theyre not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

From the movie Ferris Bueller’s day off:  “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” 

Dr. Martin Luther King: “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

From the movie Love & Other Drugs: “Sometimes the things you want the most don’t happen and what you least expect happens. I don’t know – you meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person and your life is changed forever.”

Dr. Seuss:

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”

This is a small sample of my love for quotes.  Soon to come will be quotes that are specific for uplifting times or Disney quotes.  This is a small sample of the hundreds of quotes I have in store.

Living through a terrible Job.

I believe that everything has a purpose.  Each day, each struggle, and each joyous moment serves a purpose.  I am a person that has been taught that hard work is the key to success.  I have consistently  been employed since the age of thirteen.  My employment history has ranged from jobs such as babysitting, tutoring, and a paper route.  When I turned sixteen, I finally applied for my first real job.  To be honest my first job was practically handed to me because my mom was employed for the same company.  I started to work at a personal care facility in the dietary department.  Throughout my high school and college career, I have been working for the same company.

As time passed I have changed positions and have grown through the company.  I have advanced and have become a crucial role within the company.  To be frank, I have grown to hate my job and the drama that accompanies it.  It takes every fiber of my being to get myself to work each day.

Within the past few months, I have finally found the purpose behind the job that I loathe walking into every day.  As the days get longer and each day becomes more of a struggle due to the constant change in staff, I slowly began to find out what I want to do in my life.

In a personal care facility I work on average with eighty to ninety-five residents each day.  Within this time period, I am responsible for another person’s life.  I affect how they view the world.  I step outside of my everyday life and persona and enter into someone else’s world.  It is an experience that can never be put into worlds.  Modern society and world issues are no longer within importance, but traditional values and racism is still fully blown and active. You become intertwined into their past lives, but also their interpretation of the changing world.  You become their family.  It becomes more than can be described on paper.

Aside from being able to escape the world as I know it, my job has taught me so much more.  My job has told me that I never want to me in nursing.  The complex nature of watching people die day in and day out does not appeal to me at all.  With that said I have learned that I love working with people.  I love human interaction and taking care of people.  I have met amazing people who range from war heroes, children authors, CEOs, business owners, human rights activists, and so many more.  I have learned that I am able to accommodate a wide variety of personalities.  I also learned that I want to be able to organize and manage companies and affairs.  My strength is not bossing people around, but simply to manage people and business affairs, and keeping things running smoothly.

I have simply learned that each job does not always turn into a career, but each job will teach you a lesson about life and what your purpose in life maybe.  Each opportunity regardless if it may be at McDonald’s or Wal-mart can teach a person more than sitting at home waiting for the perfect opportunity to fall into your lap.  It does not matter if you learn the lesson that you should never be responsible for feeding a large group of people, there was a lesson to learn.  Each job you possess is one step closer to finding the perfect career.  Each small job that has no relevance to your career teaches small skills such as customer service, dealing with cranky clients, and so much more.

As I write after a long 12 hour shift, I remember my purpose each day is to work with my amazing residents.  My purpose each day is to become a stronger and well-rounded individual through labor intensive work.  Although this could never be my end all be all career, I am learning and growing each day to become the person that I want to be.  Down the road I will be able to take away so many amazing stories and opportunities that have been able to accomplish.

College Bucket List

As I am finishing up my college career, I have made so many great memories, and have so much to show the world.  My first semester of college, I decided to make a bucket list to finish before I completed college.  Most things are quite simple.  Here is part of my bucket list, and I would encourage any person currently in college or on their way to college to create your own.

  1. Do a keg stand.
  2. Stay up all night with a friend without doing any homework
  3. Join a club or organization that is out of your comfort zone or you only have a slight interest in
  4. Do something reckless
  5. Take something unimportant from every Fraternity or Sorority house
  6. Do something bold and unexpected
  7. Do something crazy to your style/hair
  8. Grab onto any chance to travel
  9. Leave the country
  10. Go to a school hosted event/attend class intoxicated
  11. Drink an alcoholic beverage in an academic building
  12. Dance on a stripper pole
  13. Dance like no one is around in public
  14. Do something you will regret the next day
  15. Attend at least one event from each sport- show some school spirit
  16. Hit on someone that you feel is “out of your league”
  17. successfully day drink
  18. complete a full power hour
  19. Take a shot without gagging
  20. throw up from drinking
  21. Skip a full day of classes and give yourself a day of rest
  22. have a drink thrown at you
  23. Call out a professor and stand your ground on your opinion
  24. have a drink with someone who has instructed your class
  25. protest something you are passionate about
  26. tell someone other than your immediate family member you love them
  27. Ace a final exam
  28. Spend a weekend sober
  29. sleep outside
  30. drink wine and beer like a champ
  31. Make a playlist with all your favorite songs from freshman year through senior
  32. Study on the quad
  33. make a ridiculous bet
  34. steal a traffic sign
  35. Drink around a bonfire
  36. Road trip
  37. win a game of beer pong or flip cup
  38. take a piece of clothing of someone random (your choice to hook up with them or not)
  39. Stay at a bar until it closes
  40. talk to 15 random strangers at a party and actually get to know each person

I have successfully completed most of my bucket list and plan to finish it by the end of my college career.  There are about ten more on my list that I have excluded because they are specific to my college.  The point is to put things on the list that you would only dare to do. Push your limits and step outside of your comfort zone.  I would rather regret embarrassing myself rather than regret not being able to do something I could have done. This is the best time period in your life, create memories and friendships that will last a life time.  Have fun and create your own list of things to complete before you leave your college institution. Don’t live wishing you would have done all of those crazy things, actually go out and do them.

Hair Advice to Tame a Curly Mess.

Within my short time on this earth, I have learned so much about my hair especially naturally curly hair.  Because it has take me my entire existence to finally embrace my natural curls and to be able to wear them with pride I decided to share some tips to others that I wish I knew like five years ago.

One of the most important tips that I acquired from a hair dresser that I went to was how often to wash my hair.  My natural curly hair is prone to become frizzy and out of control easily.  The best tip to retain moisture within your hair and sculpt is for natural curls are to only wash your hair once a week.  I was accustomed to washing my hair every day to every other day.  This truly is a life savior.  This does not mean you cannot wet your hair every day.  I wet and condition my hair daily but only wash my hair once and at the most twice a week depending on the amount of products used.  Since switching to this method my hair grows so fast and my hair is not longer dry and brittle.

Many people swear by certain products.  My advice is that there is no perfect product or groups of products.  I switched products often and most products work decently within my hair.  I range between curl creams, mousse, lotions, oils, hair pudding, treatments, and leave-in conditioners.  Honestly most things work for me.  It all depends on the time of year and what type of day I am going to have.  It depends on the humidity, outdoor or indoor, sweating or not sweating.  My best advice is to experiment and find what works best.  Personally I go for more natural products.  I use many olive oil based products that are more organic.  Usually I prefer to put a dime size of organic olive oil mixed with a lotion or curl cream that is natural.  I am just obsessed with olive oil and argon oils.  Just caution to not use a lot at all.  Small bottles of oils last me over a year usually.  I throw them out and get new ones all the time.

The only time a brush or comb should ever touch your hair is during showering.  After you shower try to illuminate using a brush or comb.   I sometimes still use these them outside of the shower, but try to limit their usage.  I only use it if I am placing my hair in a style or placing it up for the day.

Form your curls around your finger or brush or other implement to gain the desire shape you want.  Believe me if you have natural curls it will stay that way.  I make my teeny tiny curls just slight bigger by twirling a few curls together.

This is some basic advice for those who are frustrated with their natural curly hair.  These are tips I wish I would have known years ago.  There are most likely other things that I have forgotten so I may update at a later time. The most important advice I can give is to embrace your natural hair because it will make life so much easier.

Being a Slave to Time.

Every day I wish there were more time within a day.  It seems as if I have so much to do and never enough time to accomplish it.  Between work, school, writing, free time, spending time with my loved one, sleep, and the plethora of other things that I wish to do within a twenty-four hour time frame there is never enough minutes or hours.  I have gotten to the point in which I fixate on the amount of time it takes me to perform each task within the day or limit certain activities to a specific amount of time just to accomplish more within a given amount of time.

Like most Americans, I have a busy schedule that never ends.  I stress about the laundry list of items that I need to have done by the end of the week.  I have deadlines and a small amount of time to accomplish each task.  I am guilty of scheduling every second of my date including only leaving a specified amount of time to spend with the truly wonderful people within my life. Simply I have become a slave to time.

To make matters worse, I have become a slave to an idea rather than something tangible.  The reality is time does not exist, clocks exist. Time is just an agreed upon construct.  We have taken the distance of one rotation of the earth and one orbit of the sun and divided it into segments, and given each segment a label.  We have programmed our lives to live by this construct as if it is real.  Simply we have confused our shared construct with something tangible.

Thinking about the fact that time does not truly exist is mind-boggling.  It is like that moment sitting in Calc class when you find out that you can never truly go from one to two because there are in infinite amount of numbers between them (This actually did blow my mind and still does).   Realizing that time is just an agreed upon concept by humans makes me detest all the clichés about spending your time wisely and making the most of the time that you have.  This small realization has made me want to live by the popular cliché live each day like it is your last or the cliché Carpe Diem.  On second thought both of those include the existence of time.  I want to live a life that will make me proud within my old age and cherish the wonderful moments (which is technically measured a minute and a half) that will soon become memories.  Sometimes we all need to simply remember that there is more to life than having each moment of your day scheduled.  Take a break and live life because you are never guaranteed tomorrow.  Hope you have a great and inspirational day.

With Love

Kate

Security in Exchange for Freedom

The other day, I heard one of the most startling statements on the news.  A French politician was talking about the recent attack on the country.  He made a statement along the lines that France has come to regret the amount of freedom that it has placed within the hands of the citizens and that the state has failed to protect their citizens.  Later in this same news segment a political analyst stated that France is looking to enact legislation similar to the American Patriot Act.

Since the attack that occurred on September 11, 2001 there has been increase in the amount of information the government has been able to obtain without a warrant.   There has been an increase in spy activity on citizens and occupants of the United States.  There have also been extra measures taken to protect the United States from future attacks.  We are slowly diminishing our liberties and freedoms that so many revolutionary figures have fought to gain.

Why has our society moved away from freedom to gain a small amount of security?  So many of us are frightened to the point that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom to feel safe.  The reality is that no matter the implements put into place, we can never be truly safe.  Each day you have to face the world and the evils that exist within it.   There is no full proof plan that can be put into place that will protect us at all times, so why are we so willing to give up our freedom for a small sense of protection and security.  Why allow the government to infringe on the rights that so many people fought and gave their lives to protect? I am not saying that this spy ware and extra measures that has been in place has not caught many individuals with harmful intentions, but it has placed limitations on millions of citizens who have done nothing to deserve the invasion.

Hopefully people begin to realize that limiting the rights and freedoms of their citizens will not help prevent these terrible and unfortunate attacks throughout the world.  These attacks will continue, but hopefully throughout the course of unrest Freedom will prevail on top.

I would like to end with a quote by Benjamin Franklin, who summarizes the dilemma perfectly: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

*note I stayed rather vague on the topic because it is a simple rant. I have done some research on the topic although this is not my specific area of focus within political science.  My research focused on the causes for Americans to need a sense of security and the abuses that has occurred from increased protection measures.

What I Wished I Would have Known My Freshman Year

One of the best decisions that I have made along my journey called life would be attending a small liberal arts college.  When entering college, the best advice I was given was to truly live and to make memories that will last a life time.  So far college has been one of the most life altering times that I have ever experienced.  It has taught me so much about life and becoming an adult, but here are a few things that I wish I would have known before entering college. 

  1. College is really expensive.

This one might be obvious, but there were so many hidden expenses that came as a huge surprise. I wish I had saved my entire high school career instead only my senior year.

  1. Being broke is an essential part of being a college student.

Almost everyone is broke in college. It is the way of life. Living on $25 a month is common among your peers.

  1. It is a time to redefine yourself.

This is a time that you can start to explore those interest that you always wanted to do.  That new hair style, go for it.  You are starting school on an empty slate, you can be whoever you want to become.

  1. Join new clubs

Do not get stuck being that person who stays in their room shut off from the world. There is a club for everything in college. The only way to meet new people and have memories that will last a lifetime is to try new things and join clubs.  If you want to go Greek, than do it. Do not limit yourself. Do whatever you put your mind to it.

  1. Be open-minded

One that note, do not judge anything before you try it for yourself. Do not put down an organization or club before you have tried it.  This is a time for exploration.  The more open you are  to new things, the more you are able to experience.

  1. Take advantage of all the free items offered

Anything that is free is for me, should be your attitude while in college.  You will learn that if you can save a few dollars by getting a free meal than take advantage of it.  Also if the school offers anything free, nine times out of ten you have already paid for it through you tuition.  Take the free stuff.

  1. Do not let whoever you were in high school determine who you are in college.

You may have been at the top of your class in high school, but this does not make you the smartest person in college. You may have been the biggest loser, but this is a time to become a social butterfly.  you may have been someone who got by, but college is time to change this.  Whatever people thought about you throughout your high school no longer applies.  You are truly anyone that you want to be.  Again you have a clean slate; you are who you want to be.

  1. Do not allow people to judge you.

Make decisions because it is what you want to do.  Do not let anyone make you feel inferior for the decisions you make.  If you want to go and party. Do it. If you would rather stay in on weekends and watch Netflix. Do it. Do not let anyone allow persuade you that what you are doing is unacceptable.

  1. Do not judge other people.

On that same note, do not judge others who are different from you.  There are enough judgmental people in the world, and they may be judging you so be the better person and accept the differences in the world.

  1. Surround yourself with people you inspire to be.

In case you are not aware, the two people who you spend the most people with is how the entire world views you.  If you think about that for two seconds, than realize that you are a direct reflection of the people you choose to spend the most time with, so you should try to strive to be the best you can be.

  1. College is not what it seems like in the movies.

You know how you see people being young, wild, and free in the movies.  Well that is really true and it so much more. I am just kidding.  College is not all about the parties and fun times.  There are really good times and parties, but there is also a lot of studying and hard work.  I have never seen a movie be able to portray the amazing experience that college really is.

  1. Try not to procrastinate

I am the queen of procrastinate, but this is one habit that is not suitable in college because there is way too much to do, and you will regret it.

  1. All nighters are bound to happen.

I will not give you an upside to this one.  All nighters suck. There is nothing you can do to avoid it. When it happens embrace it.  Not just do you need to embrace it, but bring tons of caffeine.

  1. Grades are not the Holy Grail.

As long as you learned a ton in the class, and did the best that you could possibly do than that should be the most important aspect.  Also if you approach each class in this manner, you will most likely achieve better grades.

  1. *Warning this one is more for the ladies: Do not major in your MRS.

There is so much more than just being in a relationship. Stop looking for Mr. Right or Mrs. Right (for the guys) and focus on yourself. After you focus on yourself you will find the person that you are meant to be.

  1. Get to know Alum, and attend networking events.

The more people who you connect with the more doors you will be opening for your future.

  1. Do not schedule really early classes if you can help it.

Even if you were a morning person before, this will slightly change in college.  You will stay up late no matter what. It may be for homework purposes or just relaxing with good friends.

  1. Time management is the key to success in college.

Most people hear about college consisting of three things sleep, good grades, and a social life.  They also say that you can only fit two of these three things within the time that you have.  This is both true and false.  College actually consists have a hundred different things and if you are amazing and dedicated sleep is most likely the last thing on the priority list until you become so stressed out that you break down and decide to sleep and avoiding all twenty thousand other things that you need down.   Honesty a good night sleep for me consists of approximately three to four hours a night and a half hour nap throughout the day.

  1. Napping is your best friend.

Embrace the nap time.  You will wake up in the morning planning a good time to take a nap.  Your life begins to rotate around these heavenly moments called naps.

  1. Create a bucket list.

Try to accomplish some things that will last a life time because this may be the last time that you have a large amount of free time.

21. College food will destroy your stomach.

Until you adjust to the food, your stomach will rebel against you for the first few weeks.  You will enjoy home cooked meals after about a month of gross processed food.

22. Homesickness

You miss home terribly your first few weeks, and when you are home you will miss you second home at college.  It is a vicious cycle.

College can be one of the best times in your life, if you want it to be.  You can only get out what you are willing to put into it.   Memories are not made by staying to yourself, but rather breaking out of your shell and constantly pushing the limits.  These are just a few things that I wish I knew my freshman year.  Now I think I am going to get back to enjoying my last few semesters of college. 

What is being “too white”?

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In American society, if one has an ounce of African-American blood running through their veins, other Americans instantly consider the person “black”.  Do not get me wrong, I embrace the fact that people call me “black”, and I encourage people to realize that in fact my father is African-American and North American Indian.  “.

Although at large people only consider my African-American heritage, there is one thing the drives me insane. When someone state that I act “too white”.  People from both the African-American community and White American community have both stated this comment.  I will not argue with someone who states that I have “white” mannerisms, I dress preppy, I engage in “white” conversation, or any other “white” attribute that I seem to obtain.  I guess what I am trying to say is what makes what I am doing “white”, how am I “too white”? (besides the obviously fact that my mother is in fact white). Many educated people of color that I have had the pleasure of knowing find it highly offensive and demeaning to categorize their mannerisms as “white”.  If you look at some of the most inspirational advancements within the African-American community it was by these amazing people who seem to have a lot of  “white” mannerisms.

What this all boils down to is: when in American culture have we substituted having diction and speaking American English language as it is taught categorized as white?    Why is wearing a certain brand of clothing considered “white”?   On that same note “why are so many white people acting black?”  Why do we categorize mannerisms, personal style, and speech by race.

Our major issue in American society is not police brutality against people of color, the major issue is separating everything between what is “black” and what is “white”.  We separate and distinguish between our differences rather than coming together as a whole society to celebrate our similarities. Unfortunately our society is constantly reinforcing stereotypes and categorizing certain negative characteristics as “black” instead of listing it as it truly is.  Such as aspects that people consider “hill billy” or “country” is a negative connotation that does not necessary stem directly to one race or another.  Can we list a style as hip-hop and speech simply as “slang”?  By eliminating certain stereotypes (Not just white or black but all cultures) that cause negative view of a culture as a whole can allow American to be great nation that we pretend it to be.

Passion behind the “Pen”

Our lives are impacted by sometimes the most small and insignificant conversations and moments that seem rather coincidental at the time.  There are so many small and incidental moments in my life that has caused a shift in my entire mindset.  It is no secret that my family and upbringing was different from most people at the time.   I come from a multi-racial family that was culturally inclusive.  Growing up within an environment that is a result of multiple cultures colliding has shaped my unique outlook on life and wide cultural acceptance.

I was thinking the other day about my inspiration to blog or write in general. When looking at previous blogs most are inspired by the harsh nature and consequences of stereotyping. Not only do I blog about the most insignificant forms of stereotyping, such as stereotyping introverts and extroverts, but  I have written multiple pieces throughout my college career and researched the existence of stereotyping in many different forms that range from the Japanese internment camps within the United States during World War II and the ways in which Hollywood reinforces stereotypes within society through show and movie scripts.  Stereotyping is a large social issue that plagues society, but has also been one of the largest social issues that affects me directly on a daily basis.

When I was younger, my family lived in a smaller town that was comprised of a large white majority with a small black minority.  Twenty years ago in this neighborhood there was little to no biracial or multi-ethnic families.  To be honest, this fact never quite bothered me. I never realized that my family or I (for that matter) was different.

The first time that I realized I was different was in first grade.  Earlier that day my mom visited school to drop off treats for the class; that afternoon on the bus ride home, one of my classmates simply asked me if I was adopted.  Oddly enough at this point in my life, I had no idea.  She asked me if I ever realized that my older sister and mom skin was completely different than what mine was.  That night I asked my mom why she would not tell me who my real mommy was and why I do not look like her and Ashley (my older half sister).  Looking back on the day, I have realized that I offended my mother deeply that night (also because she told me).  After that afternoon, she spent probably about two months convincing me I was not, in fact, adopted. (Unfortunately she still needs to convince me of this sometimes because I am still the “black sheep” of the family and act completely polar than the rest of my siblings)

From this day forward, I viewed the world differently.  I never saw the world the same or uniformly.  This would be the first step in my journey towards becoming the person I am today.  It has shaped my personality, explains my confusion on how I should look and act, how I should speak, and my personal style.  When we are young, we strive to maintain the status quo, and to fit into the mold of society.  At this young age, realizing that my family was not the status pro quo was probably the most difficult part about growing up in a biracial family.

So all those who seem to wonder across my site or my writing, beware there will most likely be an undertone examining the social issues of stereotyping and racism, and urging people to open their minds to new ideas.  My past shapes why and what I write daily. Also keep in mind that children are so impressionable and the sometimes the smallest things have some of the greatest impacts on their lives without one ever realizing it.