Our society’s modern mobility started off with public transportation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Urban and intercity railways became the regular mode of transportation for the growing middle class. The twentieth century was when investments in the improvements of roads increased allowing motor buses to serve less affluent and smaller communities off of main routes. Continue reading LEARNING TO LOVE MASS TRANSIT IN A CAR OBSESSESD SOCIETY
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect. There is no financial gain involved for the individual. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served.
When is the last time you volunteered to do something? When is the last time you volunteered to do community service hours? Did you truly do it voluntarily or did you do it involuntarily to meet the service hours for your greek organization or an outstanding citation? I have a sense that most of us millennials, I know there are a lot of exceptions, are part of the group that need an outside force or motive to get us to do any sort of volunteer task. I get the sense that most of my generation does volunteering not out of the kindness of their heart, but rather out of self-interests such as meeting hour requirements for organizations or adding it to a resume to improve how people perceive them. However, I also know there are countless of examples of the opposite. These are people who do genuinely do it voluntarily and do not want any sort of personal gains. Unfortunately, this is not majority. But what if we could have these kind of people be the majority instead of the minority? What would that take? Is the only way to get people to volunteer by requiring it? Doesn’t that defeat the true nature of volunteering?
When we think about things we can do to make the world a better place, there are a limitless amount of things we can do to make a difference. A warm hello to a stranger, giving money to those in need, allowing cars to merge onto traffic, posting a positive note… these are all random acts of kindness. As we tap into our humanness more, I think small acts of kindness can go a long way in making the world a better place for everyone to live in. Think back to a time when someone did something unexpected for you and it brightened up your day. Small acts of kindness can help foster a society of better and happy people. I believe that if more people performed a small act of kindness it can cause a ripple effect the person who received an act of kindness will be a nice person for the rest of the day and they will treat people around them with more kindness than usual. Continue reading Small acts transform the world.
I have heard that various appliances, chargers, and electronics use electricity when they are plugged in even if they are “off.” For this reason I try to unplug things in my apartment when I know I will be gone for an extended period of time. The video below claims that 75% of the energy consumed by many electronic devices occurs when they are off but plugged in.
This article from the New York Times recounts the results from a study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the Department of Energy. The study confirms that electronics use extra wattage when plugged in even though they are off. There is also a link within the article to a table that displays the estimated excess wattage used by various common household electronics.
The amount of energy used by these idle appliances is very small, however when magnified by billions of people, the amount of electricity that could be saved is more than significant. I plan on making “unplugging things” part of my routine in the morning and night. We leave things plugged in because it is an inconvenience to have to plug in our lamp or toaster every time we want to use it. If everyone could make unplugging become a habit then the collective effect could greatly impact society.
In getting into a philosophical debate the other night with a friend, I realized society has no measurement or parameters for an individual’s impact on humanity. Self-identifying as a realist, he was arguing that most individual people have no effect on society or the direction our humanity takes. My argument was that every individual effects our society, and, thus humanity. My statement centers around on an individual’s effects on other people. Generally, we have no idea the impact we have on others around us because we don’t ask each other. However, what we say, what we do, and how we act can greatly change another person’s perception of the world and “their society.” From this sense, impact works through our social networks and is a ripple effect. Continue reading How Impactful is an Individual on Society?