Category Archives: Issues in Society

Learning about creating change in our society with examinations of important issues that are/may be viewed as irrelevant by government.

Living the Conditions of Genocide

genocide,60s Scoop, ptsd, mental health, living genocide, healing and welness
Healing from Genocide

One day, nestled in the forest, a child giggles and points to the birds flying by, staying close to his/her parent. This parent teaches the child how to pronounce words, naming the birds, a tree, the grass. That smile that lights up the parents face when this child repeats the words back, correctly, makes this child happy beyond words. It’s called joy. This world can truly be a wondrous place with this parent. Can you imagine experiencing such a joy and sense of freedom, security, from your own childhood years?

 
Genocide, in our minds, refers to ‘mass murder’ of a people but there are a few other terms that need explaining since they get used interchangeably but have their own separate definitions. As we know, the United Nations defines Genocide as ‘the destruction of a national ethnic, racial or religious group‘ and is considered the ultimate crime against humanity. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean complete annihilation of a group but still aims, to ‘eradicate‘ a part of Humanity.

 
Crimes against Humanity refers to systematic attacks against the civilian population regardless of whether in times of peace or war. It refers to acts against common human rights and values such as murder, extermination, forced displacement, slavery, rape, torture and other inhumane acts.

 
War Crimes, refers to criminal acts committed during armed conflicts and severe acts of Breach to the Rules of warfare. These rules are set down in the Geneva Conventions to protect the innocent civilian population, prisoners of war, sick or wounded military personnel, destruction of towns, cities, not justified by armed combatants.

 

The term crimes against humanity, is considered an ‘umbrella‘ term to encompass crimes that are not necessarily extreme as genocide but these crimes do not need to reach this point, in order to be defined and punished, by International laws.

The conditions that occur in armed conflict zones affect people who make up a society. A society is defined as, ‘a group of people who live within the same territory and share a common culture’ (Sociology, The Core). Their social structure (more-or-less recurrent and stable patterns) are disrupted and people are displaced when homes, towns, villages are destroyed.

Culture refers to ‘the social heritage of a people, learned patterns for thinking, feeling and acting that are passed from one generation to the next. It includes ‘non-material’ culture, (the abstract creations like values, beliefs, symbols, norms, customs) and the ‘material’ culture which refers to the ‘physical’ artifacts and objects’.

The armed conflict zones, even in peaceful zones,can affect society and culture especially if ‘ethnocentrism‘ (judge the behavior of other groups by the standards of one’s OWN group) is the driving force to perceive others as an object of loathing, strangeness, evil and danger. It is one of three ingredients that arise from apathy towards the acts of racism.

The urge and need, for self-preservation kicks in, and people will flee the conflict zone. They will enter a new nation seeking asylum and refuge. They will learn to add a new ‘culture‘ to their own. One barrier may be ‘language‘. It is considered one of Man’s greatest ‘symbols‘ since it is ‘a socially structured system of sound patterns with specific and arbitrary meanings’. Language is the ‘cornerstone‘ of every culture around the world and PRINCIPLE means by which human beings create culture and share it from generation to generation’.

Perspectives on reasons that conflict exists may differ, such as :

i) failure to give minorities full equality, wastes valuable human resources, generates ethnic hostilities, reduces economic production and undermines authority
ii) A study of dominant group policies has revealed that a dominant nation ‘developed six types of policies: assimilation, pluralism, legal protection of minorities, population transfer, continued subjugation, and extermination‘(George E.Simpson and J.Milton Yinger, 1972). The minorities are kept ‘in their place‘-subservient, vulnerable and exploitable.

The long term effects of conflict zones have been studied since the First World war. Many names have been applied and today, a common term is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is used to describe the psychological impact of a traumatic event for an individual.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that ‘10% of the people who experience traumatic events will have serious mental health problems and another 10% will develop behavior that will hinder their ability to function effectively‘. It is a tragic consequence of living through conflict upon any Human regardless of age.

Research has found that rehabilitation can be gained with positive new life experiences, psychological support, religious and cultural practices. If we can provide opportunity to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: physiological (water, food, air), safety and security (shelter), love and belonging (family, friends, community), self-esteem (positive new experiences, hope, joy), self-actualization (conscious of others, able to help others), rehabilitation and recovery can be attained. People accessing help are found to be resilient and find recovery. WHO and the UN continue their research for improving and providing continual help in this area.

Did you know that 2/3 of the Indigenous population of N America, were wiped out by the early colonists and pride abounds, in that extreme act? Remember the little child, so happy beyond words? Well, 1950’s to today, First Nation children have been systematically and regularly ‘apprehended‘ and removed, from their FN communities and families. Adult children of the 60’s Scoop have literally ‘lived‘ the EXACT same conditions and experiences, as the terrified refugee’s (arriving on our shores) but, in government care by the Childrens Aid Society, in their own homelands, Canada. Do you think that’s truly fair to do, upon a People? a Child?

Learning in Action

Related Reading

Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

FREE Download, UN Declaration of Human Rights

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon.

Article(C)2009 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She works as a VEA to help businesses operate more effectively.

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Claiming Community Power

democracy, empowerment of people, civil society, An Informal Cornr
Community Power

The trade of goods goes on between many nations. Everybody negotiating Trade agreements for economic activity to help support and grow business and money flow. It brings needed monies to the national coffers to spend towards needs of the nation and benefits for businesses on either side of trade agreement. Somewhere in the middle though communities are getting hurt, since the global market is replacing the local market.

Governments around the world have ‘centralized’ powers, to a select few and ignore the voices and needs, of the People. The last thing a few of today’s government officials want, is You, or the People, to be empowered. Do you ever wonder why they are so hostile and indifferent, to Indigenous peoples, women, or other minority group? Especially if reasons for outrage affects survival?

The voices of these small groups are using community power, to push the government for changes and that power is ‘shared’ between them. Joining with other ‘groups’ builds into a larger force and may continue to grow, with more people joining, until the government is greatly outnumbered. Use of police or army powers, is it to regain order or act of retaliation? Power in a nation should be held by the People, not in hands of the few government officials, in office annointing themselves, as your saviors.

One of the greatest flaws of today’s economic system is that demand for goods and services, which powers economic growth, depends on how much money people have and are able to spend. People have also become dependent upon the government, to solve their problems and needs, when in reality, they can do something themselves. The government and corporate pursuit, of centralizing control of resources, is diminishing ‘diversity’, community economies, and having every town and city, all look alike.

Shall we figure out how to start building change, starting at home? Finding individual success and prosperity can begin in our own community by working collectively and cooperatively, as a team. The big secret? Keep the money circulating in the community versus sending it out of the area. What? Purchasing goods from China, Indonesia, London, etc., sends money out of the community. It supports the governments vision, for the ‘global market’ and doesn’t help you, or your community.

The message ‘Shop Local’ should be quite familiar. Learning to build an ‘economy’ in your community must begin with taking steps, to recognize where money is ‘leaving’ the community, and can be found in ‘imports’ and our ‘banks’. Shopping for items from other nations, sends our money to them. When we put money into our savings bank account, it also goes out of circulation, from the community, used by the government for their national plans. Neither of these actions helps to stimulate an ‘economy’ in our community. We can change this with learning to ‘shop local’ and direct our banks, to invest our savings back into our own community projects through a community development committee or corporation, which also allows for accessing government grants, loans and funding.

The second step is to strengthen the levels of trade and exchange. This means, local store A buys and sells, local raw materials, hires local workers. These workers spend their earnings at another local store, B, who also buy and sell, local products, which helps this business pay their local workers. Banks can help stimulate the local economy with investments back into local community projects and businesses, providing loans, for expansion, start-up, training,etc.

A local product may cost a bit more but the effect of it’s return, back into the local market results as jobs, money circulation, an economy. One example, let’s explore the idea of producing a local jam. They would need a supplier for jars and lids. Another thought, offering a variety of berries, to expand the jam producers own product, could result in a berry farm. These businesses may require a loan to train workers, from the local community and purchase of needed equipment. A second example, using invention and creativity to stretch existing scarce resources into new wealth which hadn’t existed before. Research the history of your area, use it to develop a Heritage or Cultural site, and promote it in the tourism industry. Stimulation of a healthy economy begins as other businesses may open to provide support, other or new services, or fills a new need.

A few extra steps are needed. Success in building community spirit, will depend greatly upon the ‘sense of community’ between people, of all ages. A few solutions, create areas, activities and reasons for people to congregate and ‘bond’, interact socially, grow pride, in being part of developing a community identity, to call your own. Every area where a community exists, is different and should be adapted with it’s natural environment versus imposing an un-natural environment. Do your best to build a unique and separate community identity.

Area’s to explore in stimulating ideas for economic prosperity, in your community, can begin with developing supporting projects in agriculture, health, environment, and education, to name a few. Secondary business refers to providing manufacture type of industry and tertiary business refers to providing ‘service’ sector jobs. High costs of living can force communities to work towards examining alternative methods of providing needs for the people, such as lower housing affordability, community garden, or skills training. Learning the needs of your community can be found through research, public input, secondary research reports, surveys, open meetings. A quick look at Maslow’s Law can also help provide direction.

A community, is people working together, able to solve their own problems. A common goal can create cooperation, unity, dedication. A completed project instills pride and sense of accomplishment, empowerment and new beginnings for the community, over all. It may not be an easy road and may require a ‘facilitator’ to help provide direction, but knowing just the basics, can improve your chances of success. People really can apply power over their lives.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your thoughts and share this article. Send me an Email if you have a request on a topic of interest, a guest post or to say Hello!

Extra Reading

The Community Training & Development Centre

Useful Community Development- Urban to Rural

Community Development Corporation Manual Guide-Download

Learning in Motion  (may require Reload for Video to show)


Copyright Article (C) 2014, all Rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and advocates on social issues.

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Why find Poverty in Canada?

SantasAnti-PovertyThe economy of one’s nation depends on the decision and flow, of what types of goods and services to offer, how they are created, and who is the market. These economic problems are faced by many societies around the globe but even the ‘wealthier’ nations face poverty. We see or hear people tumbling from high salary jobs to work in minimum wage positions. So, why find Poverty in Canada?

 The exploration begins with examining government policies and business. Consumer sovereignty refers to how price movements provide signals for profiting off goods. Low or falling price goods are limited and high or rising price goods, are increased. It’s believed that the pursuit of one’s own interests will serve the interests of all. This only serves those who can afford the higher price goods and leaves a number behind, unable to purchase these same goods. An inequality and gap is created and political conservatives believe that the poor create their own plight.

Poverty is defined as ‘the condition of not having enough income to maintain a standard of living regarded as normal in a community‘ (Gage Canadian dictionary). As we know, income refers to the amount of money one receives. People exchange their labor and skills for pay which once disrupted, can bring huge changes to self and family’s over all, quality of living standards, regardless of education and skills. Take a pause and ask, who benefits with this action?

The employment policy in Canada relies on their fiscal, monetary and trade policies. When the government spends less than it receives this causes economic activity to decline. Unfortunately, lowering the national debt also becomes a main concern, that must also be resolved. Definitions of these policies are as follows:

    • Monetary policies, refers to altering the nation’s level of interest rates and money supply. Low interest rates is used to encourage business investments, economic growth and an increase in money supply makes loans easier to obtain.

    • Fiscal policies refers to how government uses their powers of taxation, spending and borrowing to stimulate or dampen the nation’s economy.

    • Trade policy, used by federal and provincial government, they promote Canadian exports with the goals of job creation and increased income.

    • Employment policy is the use of all the above policies but includes tools such as incentives in tax investments, capital gains exemptions and government grants for retraining.

The management of these policies and tools available to the government will indicate their creativity or lack of, to move or limit the nation’s economic activity. Whatever goes on at the top trickles down, so if there’s help for business owners to operate, train and prosper, jobs can get created and/or maintained.

Today, Canada ‘s government has implemented corporate tax cuts that have gone from 21% (2006) to 15% (2012) and jobs continue to be outsourced. How does this help build employment for Canadians?Well, the Conservative government states benefits will occur, about ten years later. Job growth in Canada was in reality, less, due to Canadian job growth in other nations.

Corporations are benefitting with record tax savings yet pulling the Canadian employment growth down. (Behind the Numbers, 2011 (PDF), by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives). Further funding cuts to ‘balance the budget‘ includes various social programs that helped towards building and/or improving quality living standards. This practice has monies going from the people to the government.

Poverty can be found at various levels in society. A few factors that contribute to poverty can be on those that live in remote areas with little or low job opportunities, low natural resources/agriculture potential, and politically disadvantaged groups. Unfortunately, Canada has a huge land mass with scattered communities not receiving and/or accessing equal services, compared to the larger urban cities. It’s difficult to cheer on the Canadian government participating in reducing global poverty, when Canadian citizens are living in poverty.

The holidays arrive and pass, days blur one into the other and survival is the priority of the day. While politicians sit home in security and comfort, ready for the holidays, many Canadians in poverty, are walking along, shivering in the cold, seeking their next shelter for the night. A parent stands in line at the local food bank, youths think about crime vs jail, children depending on their parents.

The experience, levels and journeys of poverty may be new for one yet a constant companion for others. Maybe, the next election will bring a new government and change the status, maybe a more Humane government will step up. For now, those in poverty today, food, shelter and safety are the priorities. How did the ancient Mayans manage to feed and house their WHOLE population (1491-New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus)? Do you help those living in poverty? Let us know!

Extra Learning

Free Cycle

Campaign 2000| End Child and Family Poverty in Canada

 Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

 PovNet – Building an Online Anti-Poverty Community

Learning in Motion

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your own observations or experiences. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by email or RSS feed.

 Article(C)2009 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology, society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

 

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