Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Creating a Better World

Welcome to ENGL 112 - and to a new term!

Since you are, as UBC students, among the most educated people in the world, you will be among the leaders of tomorrow! Leadership always means responsibility as well. After all, you are co-creating the future....

Please take a moment to think about what, in your opinion, is "wrong" with our existing world and what you would like to improve. Then design a "PERFECT" - alternative - world.  Feel free to be what might seem "unrealistic" in your vision of this perfect world. Create a vision in your mind's eye that inspires you: the vision of a world that you would like to dream into being.

Now compare our existing world with your ideal world and think about some first steps that you could take to help change our current situation to a future that is closer to your ideal vision.

Please note:
This "assignment" is meant to be fun. You can approach it in a serious or in a playful way - or a combination of both.

Whatever you do, please enjoy designing your ideal world!


  1. Life in the 21st century has led to a surplus in technological advances. At an initial glance it seems to facilitate a sharing of earth’s resources, making earth a more comfortable environment for its inhabitants. However, upon further scrutiny, it is evident that such advances have arguably yielded both positive and negative repercussions on our environment. The negative consequences can arguably be said to outweigh the positive, as they have led to seemingly drastic and irreversible changes on earth. More specifically, the excess carbon-dioxide and chemicals, produced by factory and motor-vehicle emissions, have altered our environment. This oversupply of gases, has caused an overall retention of heat in our atmosphere through the greenhouse effect. This overall retention of heat, otherwise known as global warming, has caused drastic effects on our globe and its abundance of natural resources, as well as those who rely on a predictable habitat to sustain life. If global warming continues at such a consistent pace it would likely see the extinction of numerous species in only a matter of years.
    It is crucial that we as humans, those who hold utmost power in changing the course of global warming, take action to prevent the effects from occurring in the foreseeable future. In an ideal world, world leaders would come together to discuss immediate solutions for implementing global reforms. The issue of global warming would take on greater importance. Moreover, steps would be taken by all countries to supply its citizens with alternative tools to foster sustainability in its communities. Laws put in place to counter the production of products which are not environmentally friendly would be commonplace among all countries. Those who lack financial means to meet such global goals would receive aid from countries with greater resources.
    However, minimising the effects of global warming can be performed on a smaller scale. This can be done through simply limiting factors which give off high carbon dioxide emissions. An example would be one’s home energy and transportation usage. Recycling and not needlessly throwing away unwanted items would significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emitted from having it sit in a landfill. Lastly, becoming vegetarian will indirectly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as a large portion of carbon dioxide is emitted during a cattle’s digestion process. As future world leaders, it is essential that we not wait for the course of action by present world leaders. It is our task to implement these reforms on a smaller scale, so that we can help reduce our own carbon footprint, thus limiting the overall carbon dioxide emissions on the environment, while minimising the effects of global warming.

  2. When reflecting on the problems in today’s society, the first thing that comes to mind is climate change. For a long time, climate change was seen as a theory and something that nobody really wanted to deal with. Now we understand the importance of recycling and reducing our foot prints for a better society today and for future generations. Although we have made many attempts to repair earth to a more healthy state, we cannot rely on everyone to participate in the environmental movement. In an ideal world, everyone would be responsible for their surroundings and recycling and environmentally friendly acts would be considered high priority. We would rely on electric cars and solar power energy instead of oil and gas. Everything would be sustainable and we would be able to provide a bright future for our children. Some steps that could be taken to get to this ideal world would be to spread the idea of the importance of climate change. Maybe even making the electric car the only type of car that is available. I did see an article online of someone creating solar panel roads that are able to provide enough energy for a small village while enduring harsh climates.
    Another problem that crossed my mind was world hunger. In my ideal world we would somehow be able to provide a good amount of food for every individual on the planet. There would be a system that enables everyone to a healthy local meal and no fast food. It is difficult to imagine a world with fresh healthy food and no McDonalds but I think it would be for the best in the long run. A way we may be able to do this is to make healthier foods cheaper as well as open more local shops in different areas around the world that are locally owned. It is impossible to say that we would be able to shut down all fast food chains around the globe but perhaps by choosing a healthier alternative may drive some out of business.

    Sarah Rippe

  3. In one word, equality would be something I would change about the world in which we live today because it ties in all the components which make up an idealistic world. Some people are given the opportunity to succeed more than others, primarily because of where they live. What would our world look like without third world countries and how could this be achieved? Many countries do not have the same universal rights as Canada. Thus, universal public health would greatly impact our world for the better. A world without sickness and hunger requires us to first be aware of what has gone wrong with our world in the past, speak out against the harshness of the world in which we live, and set the standards needed to achieve this goal. For example, giving to those in need through donating to food banks and donating to find a cure for certain diseases provides a starting point to bring the world together to contribute to a worthy cause. The right to education as well must be met in order for a sufficient group of professionals able to provide this care. Whether education means teaching children CPR in schools or just simply learning about the problems that people face in their daily lives, people would be better able to lead humankind towards universal health if they had these resources around the world. Ultimately, a perfect alternative world would give people the freedom to educate themselves and be able to provide the necessities of life itself.

  4. The busy lives that we live in today have lead us into finding ways to fulfill our needs quickly. Some of these fulfillments are convenient and beneficial to our full schedule, but some create more problems in long term than they seem superficially: processed foods are among the problems we have in the world today.
    Processed foods have made meal preparation time significantly shorter, if not completely gone; and to majority of people, processed foods have also stimulated our taste buds in more ways than plain vegetables have ever done. However, these end the positive remarks to processed foods. Our body are not built to digest the high amount of chemicals contained in a processed food package, plus we need different types of nutrients that are missing from them, so these factors alter our metabolic processes which in turn sabotage our health. Another negative aspect of processed foods is the amount of money we have to invest. Due to the marketing purposes processed foods companies have to spend large amount of money making the packaging to attract their customers' attention, and when we decide to buy the processed food we are the ones paying for the colorful packaging that will eventually end up in the landfill. The convenience of processed foods have also caused our generation to live a lazier life style. As this type of food is easy to access, we have become accustomed to not cooking meals regularly; however, when the occasion comes that require a properly cooked meal, we no longer have the ability nor the knowledge to do that. Thus, even though a world without processed foods may seem like the dim life back in stone age, it can actually benefit us physically, mentally, and economically.

  5. There is one thing that many negative aspects of our world have in common; poverty, famine, drought, conflict, disease, poor education and a much larger list of coinciding issues are typically found in the same regions as each other. Finding a single issue to fix doesn't solve the underlying problem, or the connected problems that will cause the region to fail every time aid is provided. Likewise, providing medical and social aid in a conflicted and/or unstable region is dangerous both for the foreign workers involved and the nationals receiving the assistance. By integrating all levels of modern technology, and all levels of future systems, the creation of highly sustainable modular response units to provide temporary medical, social, and financial aid will provide secure shelter in primarily high risk areas (conflict zones). By utilization of modern security solutions, risks associated with the modular units will be further mitigated. The modular design to these units is very key to it’s success, as safety, security and shelter for the workers must first be established, followed by temporary medical facilities and short term housing for nationals. Over time the modular design allows for a transition between a ‘triage’ fix, and a long term ‘recovery’ facility for the region. This will include private peace-keeping operations; housing, schooling, and enrichment for orphans; ongoing development of the region in the form of water supply, local schools, clinics, and nurturing the local economy. By creating a service that draws from the local resources, the region will boost themselves by providing the means for the response unit to operate over the long term. By acting as a spark, and by providing the fuel, these modular response units will be the all encompassing aid needed for the revitalization of impoverished and cyclic regions.

  6. As development and modernity become central themes in our world, valuable aspects of life are simultaneously lost. The importance of traditional beliefs, culture, and values is being forgotten, as this is often thought to stand in the way of global advancement. I believe that the conservation of such aspects of life is necessary to provide insight, diversity, happiness, and values to our global population. Traditions and culture shape and add a sense of direction and importance to our lives. Their presence adds uniqueness and interest to our world, resulting in a display of varying values and ideals that together, create an amazingly diverse place to live. As our world advances, people are becoming assimilated into one general way of living often driven by materialistic needs, technology and development. Furthermore, sacred lands and traditionally important areas are being destroyed and replaced by other structures, such as industrial buildings, shopping centers and highways. The ability of many cultures to practice their traditions and values is being limited by these factors.
    I believe that as our world continues to age, assimilation will become an increasingly bigger issue. The diverse beliefs, cultures and values of our global population will fade, and people will begin to live by a certain single ‘code’, having forgotten their individual ways of living. Languages, stories, and traditional costumes will no longer be heard and seen. As much as I think global development is key to present and future success, I believe that it should be achieved alongside the preservation of tradition and culture. The quality of life in our world would decrease substantially should these important aspects of it vanish. In order to avoid assimilation into one culture governed by a single set of beliefs, each culture should be enabled to practice their own ways of living (assuming they are positive) in their own setting. Traditional lands and structures such as churches, monasteries, and traditional-style homes and villages should be kept from demolition, and preserved as much as possible. Languages and stories should be shared as they have been for hundreds of years. Food, celebrations, and traditions should be valued in the same way that they used to. If this succeeds, the diversity and multiculturalism that is so pivotal to our world will continue to be.

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  8. Several important issues are making an ideal world seem impossible to achieve. Billions of families live in poverty in underdeveloped nations. Children struggle to survive, and they work long hours for minimal pay. Child labour is one significant problem in our world that must be addressed.
    There are currently millions of children involved in child labour in poverty stricken countries. Children sometimes start working when they are only five years old, which has a severe impact on their childhood development. They do not get the opportunity to go to school like children in wealthy countries, so they are highly uneducated. Since the children are uneducated, they do not understand their human rights, which can lead to their employers taking advantage of them. Children often take care of crops and animals on farms, or they work in hazardous environments, such as mines and plants. Working in dangerous environments has an enormous impact on them because they are more susceptible to developing life-threatening diseases. Other children work in factories and produce clothes that are sent to developed countries, such as Canada and the United States. Many clothes Canadians wear are a result of child labour. It is inhumane to take advantage of children like this.
    The entire world must unite in order to stop this issue. Companies use child labour to make their products because it is cheaper than paying educated adults in developed nations. People in wealthy countries buy products every day without considering how they are made. Consumers must start finding out where products are made before purchasing them, and they should boycott companies that use child labour. This would hopefully send a strong message to organizations, and it would cause them to change their producing methods. Child labour could also be put to an end if there were more laws forbidding the use of it. Any company that condones abusive child labour should be permanently shut down, and the owners should be punished with serious consequences. Ultimately, this would set an example for others and cause people to think twice before using child labour. This global issue could also be terminated if people were fully aware of what happens to the children at work. Developed nations should create programs that educate everyone on the significance of rescuing these children. If more people understood the effects of child labour, it would become less common, and the issue would eventually cease to exist. Future world leaders must strive to achieve a perfect world where child labour is in the past.

  9. China has been one of the fastest developing country. Even though China's economy has improved a lot and people's living standard have dramatically increased, China is losing its traditional cultural identity.

    Open TV, go online or go on the street, you will find that with the flourishing of the western cultural products such as American or British TV shows, brands, starbucks, Mcdonald's and so on. Obviously, western cultural products has largely occupied the space which used to belong to Chinese culture. By contrast, the current situation of Chinese culture has deteriorated rapidly. The traditional Chinese culture is losing its charm among Chinese people, especially the young generation of Chinese.

    People become more and more prefer to celebrate western festivals like Valentine's Day or Christmas Day, then what about the Chinese conventional festivals. The fact is that fewer and fewer people, specially young generation know the meaning beyond these festivals. They feel celebrating these festivals is formalism. They do not see the significance of these traditions. For example, Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is not only eating moon cakes. More importantly, people go back home and reunion with their family. Furthermore, numerous artifacts that full of Chinese characteristics became extinct. Because of complicated process and slow and low economic returns, young generations are not willing to inherit.

    What makes Chinese Chinese? It is cultural tradition that has been uniquely 'Chinese' for thousands of years. Many cultivated culture like ancient Egypt, Babylon and India collapsed but only China preserved its ancient culture. I firmly trust the vitality and prosperity of Chinese culture. And it is absolutely worthwhile to protect such a mysterious and fantastic ancient culture.

  10. Part 1 of 2
    How do we make the world a better place? Why should we settle on just making it a better place? Let us mold the perfect global society. The logistics behind creating the perfect society are quite simple as, on a macroscopic level, every individual has the same archetypal yearnings and dreams.
    First off, we must create a global unity so as to later forge a global society. To do this we must first dispose of despot leaders and, of course, in the process corruption.
    Despot leaders renege on global unity and operate under radical doctrines to the horror of both their citizens and the global community. Despotism is exemplified by the seemingly never ending reigns of controversially ‘democratically re-elected’ leaders such as Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Also, when highlighting despotism one can never forget to mention The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea… the peculiarly democratic little individual of the global community.
    Corruption is a universal virus which eats away at the ties which bind society. Individuals who have been placed in positions of power and fail those who elected them in favour of material or personal gains are the cinder block tied to advancement. Therefore, while ‘fixing’ corruption in other countries one must not turn a blind eye to the cancerous corruption of our home either lest we fail to remove all the blocks.
    Now, assuming we have overthrown every despot leader, weeded out corruption in every country, and even, through some miracle, brought stability to the bat-shit craziness of Somalia; where sea-faring pirates are an everyday reality. Assuming that has all been completed and relatively stable governments have been emplaced which are now led by incorruptible politicians who only have the welfare of their citizens in mind. With all those monumental steps completed there is still the little issue that some individuals will disagree with the methods we used.
    Part 1 of 2

  11. Part 2 of 2
    Recall the usage of ‘relatively stable governments’? From the point of view of some individuals we will have been the ones to corrupt their governments. We will have been the ones to leave their country in disarray. Peaceful methods to dispose of despot leaders are a relatively unheard of concept. Through processes such as a military coordinated hostile takeover and, the always enjoyable, coup d’état our forces will have been the ones to shake up a perfectly good system in their eyes.
    But, these individuals will have nothing to worry about. The newly imposed leaders forced upon them will be, as explained before; incorruptible politicians with their citizen’s best interests in mind. As a side note: this is only true as long as those best interests coincide with what we, the people going about the global overhaul, consider being correct.
    Therefore, when we institute our view of a the perfect culture and ideology we will have to turn our attention to cultures and ideologies different than our own and, raising a Texas sized middle finger to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ignore ethics and the legitimacy of other cultural backgrounds. Mass cultural assimilation will have to be performed to ensure every individual embraces the same ideology as the one our group enforces. Is this sounding close enough to the doctrine of ISIS (ISIL, IS)… the religious zealot’s terrorizing the Middle East; not to be confused with the post-metal band Isis?
    It is naïve to believe the world can live in perfect harmony. Some cultures are entirely incompatible and there will always be an individual or group who disagree with another’s ideas on a moral level.
    What we see as wrong in the world, from our backgrounds and ethical standpoints, can legitimately be absolutely acceptable in other cultures. I can sit here and write that subjugation of women is wrong (do not get me wrong, it is, period, end of story), that militaristic totalitarian governments are wrong, and we have to go about changing them. But, who am I to say someone of a radically different upbringing is fundamentally wrong? I am allowed to disagree with them on a molecular level and be disgusted to my core by what they do, just as they are of me. But, it is ethically wrong to tell them they are wrong and forcefully assimilate them to my way of thinking.
    In the end, is there a solution to achieving global unity? Yes, we find the reset button and start over. We take society back to a time when there was no strife or suffering… the only problem is when was that exactly? There is no realistic solution to many of the big problems which permeate society because although every individual is the same on a macroscopic level the differences microscopically divide us on an incomprehensible scale. There are absolutely answers to some smaller questions, but on global scale we rush towards the unknown, hanging on by the seat of our pants, and hoping to hell – or whichever deity you are aligned with – that someone will figure out the solution before we conspire to bring about our own downfall.
    Part 2 of 2

  12. Equal rights and liberty’s seem like a problem from the past but it is still vivid in our eyes and we all encounter these situations in disbelief but we can’t just forget about it the next minute. There are still minorities who are mistreated in certain places and around the world specifically because of their image, sex, ethnicity and race. Discrimination is not a one strand problem, it comes in different ways and you don’t see it until it is in front of you and you experience it firsthand. A lot of us are victims of it, especially in the western world where it is inevitable that a mosaic culture of all races and religions will be established however some people can’t accept that so they hold on to what was the norm in the past. This is the problem and we have to overcome this bump in the road so that we can move forward into acceptance and forget this archaic problem ever existed.
    Just in the past few years, there have been a number of cases of racism and bigotry in the news that have become international news, for example the “Trevor Martin case” , a young teen who was murdered because he happened to be black and wearing a hoodie at night. And more recently “Donald Sterling” the racist owner of an NBA team, a league whose majority of athletes are black and he himself doesn’t want to be associated with any black people. These are a the more known cases of the thousands that were washed under the rug and no one heard about besides the closest relatives of the victims.
    To change the world we all must be united instead of having discrepancies between each other due to race, religion and culture, because if we are not united amongst each other then how can we be united about any other issue. These are the steps that need to be taken in order for any action towards a better world that we desire for.
    This is how I vision to change the world by ending racism, discrimination and bigotry. If we all treat each other as equals in eyes of our creator who created us as equals then a great deal of problems would be wiped out from the world and it would propel the start of the new beginning for the generations to come.

  13. There are innumerable problems in our existing world; some being more palpable than others, and others requiring much more attention and care. These concerns include: world peace, hunger, poverty, environmental issues, and excessive industrial development that seem to have endless obstacles to overcome. The interconnection between the global issues make our existing world restless. At times of adversity, people come together to raise awareness and hold charitable events to help, but at some point, these problems relapse into their original state.The correlation between the growing population and these negative aspects give rise to the fact that these issues are boundless. As people grow to pine, they become more aggressive, and compete with others, severing the harmonious bonds between humans. It creates a commotion in a peaceful world. Furthermore, people put wealth and possessions before health and battle for unnecessary regions and weapons. Hunger and poverty are closely related in terms of how indigent people are incapable of acquiring a balanced diet. This is exemplified in third world countries, contrasted by the first world countries. Unfortunately, people living in a realm of luxury do not appreciate what is at their feet and waste their food, buy more food, and waste again. On another note, the rapid advances in humanity comes with the price of high demands in recreation, living space, and industrial developments. Natural green spaces are quickly dematerializing and disappearing- the diversity in a once well- balanced ecosystem that supported human evolution and wild life. With excessive industrialization and human demands to be kept up with, the future world would promptly fall into a global turmoil. These archaic issues still affect the world till this day and in order to fix these problems is needless to say, almost impossible. In my ideal world, some of these aspects should or must exist.
    In my ideal world, I would like to witness these positive aspects come to life rather being tossed aside as an “unachievable” goal.
    War should be suppressed at all times and to prevent it from happening, the production of new and old weapons should be abolished. Meetings for leaders in different countries should be set up to partake in discussions about their concerns; this may include talks about people who may pose a threat to the world and as an example, the group ISIS in Iraq.
    An interesting concept that can improve the number of people experiencing starvation and living in poverty is setting up an organization that goes door to door in a neighbourhood to collect canned- food or a penny every second month.
    To protect the environment means to protect our health and the generations to come. Having a balance in green space, industrial development and human needs may be difficult, but it is achievable as long as people keep in mind that we are taking more than what we need, hence we need to stop and rethink our actions. Vancouver’s garbage system should be recommended to other countries because evidently, it has had a positive impact in our environment.
    If people have the time and willingness to undertake these steps to secure a better future, it would guide the world one step closer not only towards my ideal vision, but improving some of the global issues that still exist.

  14. There are many battles to fight in this imperfect, Yin-Yang continuum of good, bad, and ugly. There will never be one without a balance of the other. We can never have a perfect world, but are some things we could work on which can make the world a little better. Never perfect, but better.
    I intend to become a plastic surgeon. Not exactly “the path less travelled by”, I know, but there is a battle to be fought that I am extremely passionate about. It all starts with the MSP (Medical Services Plan). For those of you who have never had the “pleasure” of dealing with this ministry, are fortunate enough not to know of their out-dated, impractical methods of evaluating medical situations and evaluating their necessity. The MSP receives money from the government to provide coverage of medical procedures for those who cannot afford them.
    The application to plastic surgery: the MSP can finance reconstructive surgery. This can be reconstruction due to deformity or events later in life. Naturally, the government cannot pay for everyone to have surgery for whatever they like. It is reasonable to state cosmetic procedures are not going to be covered by the government. Now define a cosmetic procedure.
    To me, a cosmetic procedure is optional and holistically based off of aesthetic desire. A medical procedure is necessary and therefore everything else. This would include anything that holds a person back physically or psychologically. Our world is becoming a more accepting place, but it is no secret there is prejudice towards physical differences. I am not talking about having a nose that does not look like Kim Kardashian’s, or breasts the size of Heidi Montag’s.
    For a few case examples: a woman is born with extreme asymmetry. MSP decides the corrections are cosmetic and unnecessary. Another woman crushes her jaw and looses seven teeth. MSP decides the corrections are cosmetic and unnecessary. One example close to my heart is a woman, whose stroke affected the muscle in her face leaving the left side, including her eye and mouth, lame. MSP decides the corrections are cosmetic and unnecessary.
    The parameters surrounding and defining what is a “medical” surgery versus a “cosmetic” one need to be re-evaluated and extended because they do not work for certain situations. Either the parameters should be expanded to outline various situations or understand there are exceptions and unique cases that should be evaluated differently. I plan on becoming a plastic surgeon to gain the influence and credibility to make a change. Meanwhile I can perform reconstructive surgery out of charity. We can’t eliminate prejudice, but that doesn’t mean people have to feel limited by a deformity.

  15. It would be selfish to only look upon certain aspects of our world today and say that they need change. The world we have created up to this day is a twisted, naive world that only we are to blame. We are the reason for global warming across the map, the reason for less wildlife and rain forest available, the burning of fossil fuels, war, I could continue to list for hours. What we don't take into account is that WE have created this mass destruction which means we are the only ones who can put the pieces back together. There are numerous types of games and acts that people go through to help promote a change. I'd like to think of them more as phases than anything else. Who else remembers Kony 2012? Personally, that was the biggest scam that possibly ever rose from YouTube to convince us to donate money to a sudden unknown cause. People were certainly on board with this, because, well, people are naive. I remember watching that hour long video on YouTube, shedding a tear or two in denial of the destruction of our world. The limits that people go to destroy what life is all about is endless. But how long did this fad actually promote change? After maybe a month all the hype died down and no one even dared say the word Kony. So what happened? People lost interest because they expect to see sudden change, and when they don't, they assume their contributions to such a large matter are irrelevant. Well, friends, that is so incredibly wrong on many different levels. Change is a movement, and by that, it is gradual. You can't put you two cents in, and step away from the matter expecting to see your contributions change the world for eternity. Changing the world is maybe superficial to say, because in reality we all know that our world will never be perfect, and in fact wouldn't be life as we know it if things were perfect. We have crests and troughs in the timeline of our life, and that's what makes life worth living. We live for our highs and lows, and of course, we love the highs but we would not appreciate what we do if we were never at a loss. What we need to understand, however, is that there are certain aspects of our world that can be changed, yet we don't bother take our selfish time to help. Does anyone remember Haiti, and the economic destruction that occurred there in maybe... 2009? That was such a large movement, because it was the center of focus for a certain number of months after it happened. Famous artists even collaborated to come together to raise awareness, and potentially help for those at loss in Haiti. In one verse, Drake quotes "if you weren't involved before, its never too late to start. You probably think it's too far to even have to care. Well take a look at where you lived, what if it happened there? You know the urge to make a change lies within and we can be the reason that they see their flag rise again" This quote to me speaks volumes, in so many ways. We are a family, we help each other in times of need, and we are a building block of support to others when life gets them down. I close this blog by saying that what we have created as a world is inevitable. And although it is nice to think that maybe we could find peace in this world, or find peace within each other to create a picture perfect world. But who really wants that? I'm not sure that I do.

  16. In our current world there have been amazing technological advances that have both helped and hindered us to becoming a sustainable and accelerating society. Our advancement in technology has both advanced and declined us as a society.
    With the vast growth of social media we have been giving an opportunity to put ourselves out there but it has also regressed us in communication in face to face situations. We have very little contact with people outside ones “bubble”. Yes, you can follow random peoples blogs, twitter, Instagram etc. When we converse on social media it is a different language, it is different form of communication. We are losing our ability to have a face to face conversation with people. I see more and more people walking down the street, riding transit, and out an about with their friends that are one there phones more than talking to each other. A lot of the time I see friends sitting beside each other on their phones and not saying a word to each other for extended periods of time. Technology is great and a fantastic advancement; however, I feel that most of society uses this technology in the wrong way. It is great to stay connected to the latest news, articles, music, etc., but this has come at a cost. This cost, in my opinion, is far too detrimental to our growth as a society to be considered as advancement.
    If I could create a world it would be a world similar to the current world we live in today. We would have mostly the same technological advances in science, society, and our environment. The only difference would be the fact that people would use social media as a tool to communicate with others but in a way that was beneficial for society. No cyber bullying, when one is out in public they are not constantly on their phones. My perfect world is where technology and a face to face social environment can coincide, where people are not being drowned by the force of major corporations to buy the latest and greatest to keep up with the latest phones, tablets, and social media updates. I imagine a world with individualism without the expense of being left behind in a cloud of technological dust.
    I know my ideal world will never take place in the present or the future, but I will strive to contribute my knowledge and life experience to make this a better place than the current day. I am not saying that our current day to day life is horrible by any means, however I do not agree with all of society’s decisions.

  17. Part 1:
    The world we live in consists of both gracious, and selfish people. It can be a scary place, but more so it can also be a lively, and happy community depending on how you initiate things. The way we shape our lives, the way we want our lives to turn out greatly depends on the environment we live in. Being able to see a change, I believe we must be the change. We are living in a great place; it is a chance for us to live life to the fullest by changing the world in every possible, so make it a memorable place to live in. My parents have raised me to be independent and to always to make decisions based on my reasoning’s and no one else’s. Therefore, overtime I have agreed with my parent’s knowledge in making my own choices in life, I have also acknowledged the fact that “you should be the change you wish to see in the world”. The insanity in some people living in this world can be cruel to see sometimes. The slightest change such as opening the door for someone, not littering, or even smiling at someone goes a long way. It is not big changes that always reflect upon the greatness of people, or the community, I consider the slightest actions are the ones that conquer and change the world in a much larger way. Have you ever held a door for someone you have never seen before? And then you wonder why they leave with a smirk on their face? Its because you have touched the sentimental side of them, you have proposed them with much affection and care, showing that there are nice people in the world, there is hope to get the best out of the worst kinds of people. Furthermore, we are not able to change how people think, or the way they act. So, changes, which can be accomplished easily, are doing things such as starting clubs for the wealth of others, being kind, being a good listener, donating, volunteering and much more. Staying united, and treating everyone equally is a drastic issue within the world. Being able to conquer problems together such as the Haiti Earthquake that occurred in 2010 was a prime example, a prime test for us to see if we were helping others out when they were in need. Putting others before us sometimes can be a great thing, if you have something to give remember to “give” and not always “take”. Putting our wants, before our needs can lead to many conflicts, it can cause a struggle for us to be able to recognize between good/bad decisions further in life, when dealing with serious situations such as this. Furthermore, this can also lead to the controversy of helping out in the community, bringing peace but not actually wanting to do it. We can always donate money, and not actually do anything ourselves but do we really know where the money goes? Going to third world countries such as Ecuador building houses for the children, going to the shelter and preparing foods are the real kinds of ways to creating a better world, because you are acting like a leader, showing you want a change, and possibly even proposing the idea in others minds to become like you. You want to be someone that people look up to and say “I want to be him/her”, you want to be a change that opens others eyes and shows them the true world of living in this world. Rather more, nothing in this world is technically wrong, there is always a purpose, a reason behind everything.

  18. Part 2:A person may make a bad decision(s); go through a struggle because they may thinks it’s for the best for them in the long run. Moreover, what really is world peace? We can’t create a perfect world, but we truly can make wiser choices in better world. Trying to make changes in the world are always worthy, it may seem like it makes no effect to anything or anyone but when it really is, thus do not ever give up. Be a ruler, a dictator, a true leader to yourself and carry on with what you started because you started it in the first place because you felt it was the right thing to do; don’t ever doubt yourself. For example, Global Warming, we all understand this cannot be prevented, but it surely can be helped be reduced with the amount of pollution and litter that we construct in this world. So, my point is that just because we may not see the change instantly, don’t stop doing it. If others are putting their best efforts into this, do not be the outsider who does not care and will do whatever they want, when they want; work together. Overall, any possible way, even a simple gesture can change the person, a community, and conceivably even the world. Sharing, doing, conserving, and giving are perhaps the greatest ways to see change, and feel good about yourself, by feeling like a leader because you can create a change, a better world. And, when reflecting upon problems with the world, think about how you are the problem for yourself, overcome any fear that may give you uncertainty, or ambiguity, so you are able to be the leader you imagine yourself to be, the change you want to see. Don’t be the person who doesn’t want to deal with anything, don’t rely on others, be the person who wants to take a step and bring along many others into eliminating problems in the world such as hunger, violence, terrorism, cruelty and make it the peaceful world we want to live in happily, with no destruction or interrogation. Additionally, don’t forget who you are, how you were raised, you are who you are now because of your simple past. Don’t let the society’s gossip and controversy take over you, or technology. Although these are great ways to get connected with the world, there is a certain limit, I don’t agree with some changes in the world such as technology practically being used for everything, everywhere. Technology is a great way to stay in touch with others, and make instant changes, but it can cause differences between many things and that is what causes isolation, hence one thing leading to another. Change is something that can be caught on quite fast; I see it as a game. Just like how a new trend arises in the world, change will also be like this. So don’t hesitate to start, and be the first one to create a change. And, although it may take time it is definitely worth it in the end. There are no shortcuts to this, starting from point zero will take you to infinity. There are countless ways to change the world, as there are numerous problems in the world, and undermining decisions can be made cause of this. As time passes, new generations are arising, new problems are generating, so don’t waste time.

  19. If I could change one thing on Earth, it would be to create alternative methods of fueling cars, industries, homes, etc. Sources of energy that do not create pollution and contribute to global warming would be the one thing I would strive to reduce/get rid of. Global warming and its effects in habitat destruction has become more prominent in the news over the last 15-20 years. The glaciers are melting at a significant rate, which raises water levels. This in turn leads to hotter weather and dramatic changes in the climate. Animals that only thrive in cold temperatures like the polar bears are slowly becoming endangered and possibly in the long run, extinct. Soil erosion is wiping out the homes of forest critters and animals. Not to mention our agriculture industry as well, which will indefinitely be affected by it. Acid rain pelting over our buildings, landmarks, food, and people is surely not good for us either. Deformities in our babies are striking signs that it it affecting us in the worst way possible. We have only this one planet to call home. It is up to us, as responsible citizens of the world, to make changes to protect our Earth (which, by the way, has been trying to accommodate all the negative actions we have been putting it through since the beginning of time). We must not only think of the present and how something can benefit us. Ideally, we we'd want our future generations to grow up in a world filled of warm sunshine on their skin, clean air to breathe, crisp green grass to skip through, and refreshing lakes/rivers to swim in. Preserve the natural beauty that is Earth.

  20. I have a dream that every one in this world can have a big smile with beautiful teeth. When I was young, I lived near a Dental clinic that I could see many people with dental problems. Most of them were at the same age with me, they often cried in the clinic because they did not care about their teeth and that was why the dentists extracted their teeth. Some of them were adults, they had very difficult teeth problems that they had to come to clinic every week. However, at that time, I did not think I will work in dental area. It was not until last year, my mom had a really serious dental problem and she could not eat any hard things, it was every brutal. She went to see her dentists every 2 weeks, but still, it was not solved. Every time when I eat with my mom, I want to do something for her, and that is why I am in Dental Hygiene program. Now I am not a dentist, but maybe after 10 years, I will be and I will do more things for my mom.

    This summer after I got into Dental Hygiene program, I started to concern the teeth problem in third world. I noticed that the highest oral cancer rate in the world was in Africa. In Africa, they have very poor oral health services, they do not have many dentists and dental hygienist. Also, the water there is not very clean. It is understandable that people in Africa don’t even have enough food to live, don’t even mention dental health. Meanwhile, they are very few people willing to go to Africa to help to contribute dental health because of the poor living condition there. As a result, dental health services in Africa didn’t have a big progress these years.

    Every time when I look at the pictures about the teeth of African children I feel so sad that they don’t have good health care as we do. That’s why I decide to volunteer in Africa in the third year of University. I hope that every children in Africa can have a good dental health care, although I know that’s not possible if only me think of like that. However, if most people in this world especially the in developed country try their best to help them, I believe that they will have a good dental health care in the future.

  21. People across the world experience upsetting things every day and a common response to these experiences is anger. Anger directed towards the person upsetting you, anger towards yourself, anger towards those that aren't involved. This anger, however, does anything but help the already complicated situation. Much of the time, anger leads to outbursts, to so called "crimes of passion", to thoughtless action. These then lead to much bigger problems than anything that could have come from whatever upset you in the first place. A key piece in diffusing situations and in gaining closure on upsetting events is to rid yourself of this anger and to act with compassion and forgiveness. In my ideal world, everyone would act in this similar vein. People would respond to upset by showing compassion, or even just complacency, towards the things causing them discomfort. Then through this they can face the problems in front of them and move past the anger and begin to fix the problems caused by the upsetting event. In the world right now, not enough people act in ways such as this. Much of the conflict in the world is caused by constant knee-jerk reactions and impulse. I believe that should I begin to live by a similar mantra, I can influence others to do the same, who can in turn change others, and so on. Thereby changing the way people react to challenge and helping people to move past their anger.

  22. Wow, lots of excellent comments! I hope everybody will read what you wrote here! Well done!

  23. We now tend to spend less time with family and friends, instead, we spend hours with our smart phones refreshing social networks. Thus the communication and interaction between people will reduce, and it's getting harder for people understand each other if they have no ideas what other people have in their mind.

    As the technology advances, we seem to spend more time on the Internet. I'm not saying that Internet is a bad thing here, it definitely makes our life more convenient. It shrinks the distance between people as we can contact friends or family within a short time even if they live on the other side of the Earth. Moreover, it gives us access to a considerable amount of information in many fields. However, there are also some downsides, we can be addicted to the virtual world, which may lead to tragedies. There are players who kill people in reality just like they kill enemies in the game. What's more, extreme examples are that some Facebook users kill themselves because their followers think they look fat or ugly. Individualism, seems to be exaggerated in the virtual world. To find a solution to this problem, I think a system that can measure the personality of an Internet user is necessary, we could use it to check the condition of a user, and if the system's analysis indicates someone may have potential trend to commit a crime, the system will then limit the Internet access of this user. In the meantime, data of this user will be sent to the nearest police station so that policemen can keep an eye on this guy. Some people may argue that this system leaves us no privacy but it's a feasible method to prevent crime.

  24. When I think about what is wrong with the world, naturally, there are lots of ideas that run through my mind. But the large idea of money and power stand out the most to me. Its pretty well impossible for there to be an ideal world, but there is always a place to start.
    When I think of an ideal world, I imagine the famous theme; taking from the rich and giving to the poor. For example, these big companies that run countries and make billions of dollars a year would make huge differences by just donating small amounts to third world countries or even poor areas in their own countries. By donating, they could be funding vaccines, shelters, providing meals, clean water and clothes; which in the end saves lives. Unfortunately, helping others is the least of their concerns. Most of these wealthy business owners are blinded by their greed for money and do not think about how they could contribute to making the world a better place. But these big corporate companies are not the only sources of large income in our world. Famous people today may not have as much money, but they have just as much power, maybe even more. Celebrities can be very influential. In fact, there are many respected celebrities today that do use their power for good, by raising awareness and donating their earnings to those whom need it more than they do.
    I think this theme would definitely be a good start to creating an ideal world. Money may cause problems in our world, but it can also definitely fix them.

  25. If I have the power to change the world, I would like to change the society and the environment in Nicaragua, which is the second poorest country in the world. Nicaragua is a place that seems like it had just ended a war, it has nothing. In Nicaragua, the society is not well developed, there are less food and shelters, people get ill everyday due to the contaminated drinking water, there is increased HIV/AIDS incidence in women, and over 500,000 children are not fully educated. It is completely a different world compared to the modern city where we are living now. I acknowledge this country since I have taken a mission trip to Nicaragua during this summer for about ten days with the people and my pastor from the youth group of my church. I played with the kids, taught them Bible stories and English, cooked meals for them, and did some construction work. However, as a student who is studying in the program of Dental Hygienist in UBC, I want to create a better society in Nicaragua by providing dental care to those unhealthy people, and especially the children. The most adorable children in Nicaragua are who restore my confidence, and motivate me to reach my degree. My vision is to be a dental hygienist, or if I continue my education, perhaps a dentist, to contribute treatments and oral care to the people who live in Nicaragua. Since I know those people are suffering pain and diseases, I am enthusiastic to aim and support them with all my effort and abilities. Although I do not have the ability to achieve my goal right away, I am planning to create a better world in Nicaragua step by step. Right now, despite the fact that I don’t have an enormous amount of money, all I can do is donate some money every month for clean drinking water to the citizens in Nicaragua. After two years, during the summer, I decide to go to Nicaragua again with my mission trip team members and build an elementary and secondary school for the children to attend, in order to obtain a completed education. After my education in dentistry, I will voluntarily provide well treatments and dental oral care to the people in Nicaragua. Therefore, I hope I really can create a better and improving world in Nicaragua.

  26. I think that corruption in high officials and the government in China needs to be solved. There are extremely wealthy people living in China but lets not forget that there are a huge amount of people living in poverty. There has been an improvement in living standards for many but there is still a very long way to go. The reason that so many people still live in poverty is because of selfish and heartless government officials who take from the poor and only benefit themselves. The poverty wouldn't exist if the wealth was distributed fairly and everybody was given the same opportunities. When I traveled back to China on a vacation to visit my relatives, I discovered that their living standards were very poor and I could not imagine myself living like that. It made me feel very fortunate to be able to live in Canada where we have so many benefits and opportunities that they do not have. Seeing the unfortunate circumstances they lived in made me angry, I was angry that the government would be so selfish. Wealthy corporations get what they want and benefit off of the poor because government officials benefit from it as well and allow it to happen. We need a place with more righteousness and equality.

  27. We currently live in a world where society has such a large impact on individuals, people often give it a negative image. If I could change one thing in the world, it would be to eliminate racism and negative judgement on peoples differences. It is the 21st century, the time where people expect to be more willing and open to new ideas. However, this is not the case because on a daily basis people are constantly being judged and discriminated against for reasons such as race, appearance, and lifestyle. When asked about controversial topics such as sexuality, people often mention how all should be treated equally yet there is still so much hate around the LGBT community. Furthermore, racism is still an ongoing problem in our world today. For many years, different cultures and ethnicities have fought for their rights but there is still discrimination depending on the colour of your skin. Although we have come along way, I strongly believe as a whole we are capable of treating one another equally but I also understand that this is a lot to ask from everyone. I could only hope for more people to understand that we all are human and have our differences so why not accept everyone for their differences?
    My ideal world would consist of equality and freedom for all, it would have much less hate and judgement on the differences amongst people. As well as more open minded individuals and less violence.

  28. Hey everyone,

    Since in this blog we are talking about creating a better world, I would like to take this opportunity to point out some of the educational problems we face at UBC. If I could create a better world, I would probably attempt to change the education systems at universities, especially for science students. I am not entirely sure about other faculties but because I am a science student, I have been aware of the problems faced by most science students. For most students, a science degree does not really help them in the real world. A science degree does not earn someone a solid job. Science students often waste 4 years of their life studying just to be able to apply for their program of interest, which they will have to put another four years or more of their life towards. I think many colleges are actually more beneficial in terms of finding student jobs after four years or less. I know many science graduates from UBC that are regretting their decision of post-secondary education. Most of them end up not using their degree and even applying for other undergraduate programs if their GPAs are not high enough for programs which are after graduation programs..If universities required science students to only have maybe a year or two of post secondary education before applying for programs such as dentistry and medicine, it would be very beneficial. Students could take those years to search for their interests. Students would stop studying 4 or 5 years just to get into their programs. It is obvious that schools do this because they want more mature students, but it would make more sense if they accepted students at younger ages and kept them in the program longer to fully train them. I think this will be easier on both universities and students because universities will have enough time to make sure their students are getting the proper training and instruction while students are able to engage themselves in learning more about their future jobs rather than just wasting their life taking undergraduate courses, which is probably never going to help them after they graduate. I think this could possibly take us closer to a better world, at least in terms of education.