Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mindfulness and Poverty

Living in the present brings one balance and harmony to a stressful life. As we meditate to become mindful, we learn a few things to live without, a self-control and a heightened self-efficacy. We want that in a stressful life to bring back its breath and rejuvenate us to continue our tasks.

But after reading these articles about poverty (x, x) - poor people are stigmatized by the rich as if their poverty is because they are weak and have no self-control. The myth that poor people cannot restrain themselves from frivolous consumption, as in spending government subsidies on fast foods and other items. All of this thinking is NOT TRUE!

Poor people are poor because of piss poor policies and injustices done to people. Poor governance of human capital that prizes human contribution and inclusion. Irrational narcissism that oppresses people less fortunate in life than what happens to other. It's an arrogance to condemn the poor and for those of us who are religious, specifically Christian, it is one of the greatest sins we wage against God and Jesus Christ.

In fact, poor people have to live in the present because they do not trust the future and it is uncertain as well as unstable. To save a little money for a future payment for say "school" when they finally get enough money, the program is no longer there. It was the difference to eating to survive and then hoarding and hiding money to a future of empty promises. Why trust that? Which means that poverty is more a systemic and organic issue than a weakness of will.

Poor people refrain from eating poor diets, in fact they eat healthier ones. Some dumb people will ask why are poor people fat as the reference women of color, specifically Black women, and never did it occur to them that most poor people might be in starvation response. That in starvation, the stomach protrusions through an enlarged liver to drive sugar production and dwindling bones could possibly be the reason why poor people can be overweight. To correct the starvation response requires high amounts of protein in palatable diets, which unfortunately protein sources are markedly scarce in impoverished environments. Moreover, forget alternative diets, like vegan or vegetarianism. Last checked, most poor people in urban areas cannot have livestock for consumption due to health concerns, and within two generations, the agricultural lifestyle is absent for a majority of people. Farming and ranching is done by corporations that rip off the small farmer who barely makes ends meet further enhancing food desserts.

However, poor people who manage to overcome their obstacles do it at their risk of stress that impacts their bodies, with heart disease and rapid aging. It is as if they know they are poor and it makes them sick so they struggle to not be poor. What would happen if they did not know?

That cocky behavior is manifested solely by the rich. A privilege to dominate over those who can't make decisions. It is as if we live in the FICTIONAL tale of "Oliver Twist" that if we give an impoverished child a better life, then perhaps they will become better. The issue is give JUSTICE to poor people than to create a heaven for them and to see it all defiled by their inability to see the longterm. A survival mentality from day-to-day to complex to higher brain function of prognostication takes education. And our society has failed in that.

Ironically, MINDFULNESS as practiced by Tibetan Buddhist Monks is to relinquish all worldly possession into a poverty of physical attributes and purse a life of solitude and meditation into the richness of the cosmos.

In order to be MINDFUL one has to be poor in physical wealth. For a Christian we are led by the Jesus' scripture, Mark 10:21:

Looking at him, Jesus felt a love (high regard, compassion) for him, and He said to him, “You lack one thing: go and sell all your property and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”

Today to be poor, though stigmatized by society, is to be rich in a spiritual sense. That poverty, though it can cause a rough, tough exterior, criminal in some respects, also brings a compassion in the spirit higher than any monetary richness can provide. No one likes being poor if they know about it or care about practicalities which are essential, i.e. shelter... Poverty builds lack of trust in people because resources are uncertain and unstable. However, living in the present gives hope for the future that tough times are not forever, and even if they are, the future works in forces more powerful than monetary treasures on this planet. It teaches us to love one another more, compassionately for justice to serve.

Friday, September 11, 2015

WARNING TRIGGER: Natasha McKenna Video

Natasha McKenna

Natasha McKenna suffered from schizophrenia. She was not in recovery. She was never lucid. She did something that had her questioned by the law. She was in episode and went into mental health hospital for 10 days. The psychiatrist said she should be in the hospital for longer and that jail would be very bad for her. Law enforcement in Virginia disagreed and took her into custody where she went full blown psychotic episode, untreated and the facility was ill equipped to manage psychosis.

I am a research scientist with a doctorate in molecular genetics and I have bipolar which I have treated by a psychiatrist and a social worker in my health system. I have a wellness action recovery plan (WRAP) and I have a strong support network with sympathetic family and friends. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have something get that out of order for anyone to be placed in a dangerous environment such as a jail in full episode.

Did the mother KNOW her daughter would die in law enforcement's hands?

NEVER TRUST THE POLICE! NEVER TRUST LAW ENFORCEMENT! Get a lawyer and have legal representation.

What I know about schizophrenia is that the neurology is multigenetic, epigentic, environmental and a neurological mess. But I recall in my scientist days that there was this voltage gated-ion channel that misfires in the brain and has some impact on the erratic thinking, but it is also in the heart that stop a heart from beating. Stress -- like that seen in this youtube below activates it and being tasered, as Ms McKenna was can cause any voltage gated ion channel to "get stuck" open/closed for it to stop working properly to the point to stop the nerves and electrical conduction to contract. (reference)

In any case to throw out the charges from the law enforcement torturers that did an enhanced interrogation on Ms. McKenna, it makes me wonder how safe I am because I suffer from a mental health condition. Though my episodes and act outs are limited because my stress is minimized are far less than Ms. McKenna's it still worries me that that woman could be me. I am no different from her. It makes no difference other than fortune that has paved my way versus hers. Now she's dead. A lovely flower waiting to bloom with a chance snuffed out by jackbooted thugs. I don't care how they feel. Fuck them and fuck you if you disagree. Pay me to yell at me:

What to be done now? The lame Sherriff that needs to be voted out, is right, better crisis intervention. But that's still blaming the victims. Yes, more money for mental health services. But the 1% is psychotic themselves. What would make #BlackLivesMatter to these people? I don't know? It hurts and no one cares.

Well, I care. I know Ms. McKenna's mother does. A whole lot of us, do. But what else can we do to undergird this racist bigoted systemic issue? New votes won't matter. Protesting won't change. Writing, writing, writing, is not changing people. So we just have to realize that white supremacy is in play here and wait it out.