The Struggle to Perservere

By Trystyn Bensfield

You Can Do It... Oncoming an Obstacle

To quote Frank A. Clark, "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." No matter what kind of obstacle you have to overcome at any point in your life, you can overcome it if you think it through and have a plan. Obstacles come in all types, big, little, physical, social, and emotional. Your perception of that obstacle can influence how you handle it. Achieving a goal or an obstacle is never easy or we all would do it without difficulty or complaint.

One method to overcoming an obstacle is to follow these steps:

1. Embrace self awareness

2. Use time to your advantage

3. Commit to focused discipline

4. Engage your own creativity

Setting goals both big and small are an important step when overcoming an obstacle. Some questions and tips to ask yourself or someone else can help to unlock hidden answers to the problems:

1. Question the Problem

2. Question the origin of the problem

3. Identify the details

4. Determine the consequences

5. Take Control.

6. Identify the positives

7. Gain Perspective

8. Expand your options

This entire process can be very overwhelming, especially when the challenge has a timeline and is very unfamiliar to one. It is alright to invite others to get their unbiased opinion or simply, a different outlook. One can step back emotionally, gain necessary resources and support, acquire a different perspective, seek guidance, and adjust priorities. Is is also rare to overcome an obstacle unless you are able to figure it out. One must ask, What went wrong? There are many things one can do to get back on track if you are unable to overcome an obstacle.

1. List options

2. Ask Questions

3. Think Critically

4. Take small steps

5.Learn from mistakes

6. Keep things simple

7. Cultivate self belief and confidence

8. Cultivate an active mindset

9. Don't dwell on the negatives

10. Don't look for sympathy

11. Don't quit

Obstacles are small tests in life, preparing us for our life ahead. We must view them as small or large stepping stones rather than a negative problem. Think things through. Baby steps, Use your resources. And Good Luck.

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Ebony and Ivory: The Trials and Tribulations of Poaching

For years, poaching has been a major tug of war to save animal populations all over the world. Animals of all kinds such as Elephants, Rhinos, Wolves, and Tigers have been affected. Over time, many different laws have been put into place to protect these animals, but it is not just the animal populations are affected. The effects of poaching include factors such as human safety, over and under production of animal and plant populations, and land and crop loss. Tusks, horns, teeth, bones, skin, and organs are things that animals are poached for. The effect of poaching is a decreased population to the point of extinction. The laws protecting these animals have helped to replenish those numbers in some areas. The cause of poaching the North American Grey Wolf, affected the elk population in Yellowstone National Park. The population grew into such a large number with no natural predators, the the Aspen tree nearly became extinct due to the number of elk that ate them. The poaching laws helped to balance the ecosystem so that the Aspen tree population is now recovering. The elephant range extends outside the protected areas, but with the increasing human populations, the farming lands are being increased and are creating many off limit areas for the elephants to roam. This is causing elephants and humans to come into close contact with each other. With these two areas crossing over, crops are lost, villages are damaged, people get trampled, and, in turn, the "problem" elephants are shot by the game guards. The elephant population is affected by this as the human population moves into their range, causing habitat loss and degradation. Elephants and other animals continue to struggle for survival on a daily basis.

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Polio - It's History

Polio, a disease which left millions of people paralyzed, was a huge problem in the first half of the twentieth century. Even though it is likely that polio affected people since Egyptian times, it reached epidemic proportions in the early to mid twentieth century.

Polio, caused by three types of viruses and spread by body fluids, was especially a problem during the summer months. While most people recovered from polio, many were left with permanent paralysis. Many died, and many of the victims were children.

When the numbers of polio cases reached huge, huge numbers in the 1940s and 1950s, scientists went to work on a vaccine to try and eliminate this disease. Dr. Jonas Salk was the first to invent a vaccine that was successful in slowing the spread of polio. Between 1955 and 1957, Millions of children were vaccinated. As a result, only 5,600 cases of polo were reported in the U.S. in 1957.

In 1962, Dr. Albert Sabin's oral polio vaccine replaced the Salk vaccine. It was easier to administer and, most importantly, it lasted longer. In 1964, only 121 cases of polio were reported in the U.S. Since then, it can be said that in the U.S. and worldwide, thanks to the mass numbers of immunization, polio has just about been eliminated. Polio is history.

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Achieving Civil Rights Peacefully

Mohandas K. Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. both believed in civil rights: Gandhi for people in India and Martin Luther King Jr, fir African - Americans, especially in the South. While born at different times in very different places, both believed these rights could be achieved through peaceful protesting or civil disobedience.

Though their goals were similar, their backgrounds were very different. Gandhi, born in India, was educated in London, England and became a Lawyer, Dr, King became a minister. When Gandhi's law practice in India did not go as planned, he became a legal adviser with a law firm in South Africa. It was during his twenty years in South Africa that he began "teaching the policy of passive resistance" because Indian immigrants were denied civil liberties and political liberties. After WWI, Gandhi became an international symbol to free India from British Rule. India did get freedom from Britain in 1947.

It was Dr. King who dramatized the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. This boycott made him famous and the public learned his feelings on the teachings of Gandhi. In the summer of 1963, Dr. King led the march on washington. Because of his involvement in this march, he won the Nobel peace prize in 1964.

A year after India became independent from Great Britain, Gandhi was assassinated. He was 79 years old. Dr. King was also assassinated. He died April 5, 1968. He was 39. While Gandhi lived to see India become Independent, the struggle for civil rights for everyone in america continues today.

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Manatee: Sea Cow

The manatee is a large, slow aquatic mammal which is found along tropical and subtropical Atlantic Coasts and associated inland waters. Manatees are grey, black, and brown in color. There are three species of manatee, and the all have stout, tapered bodies, ending in a flat, rounded tail used for forward propulsion. They have no back limbs, and their front limbs are modified into flippers. The 3 species of manatee are the Florida, the West Indian, and the Amazonian. Florida Manatees grow to about 3 meters. West Indian manatees are the same size, while amazonian manatees are slightly smaller. Manatees bodies are designed for eating aquatic plants. Since aquatic plants are low in energy value and protein, Manatees much eat large amounts to satisfy their dietary requirements. Manatees constantly grow new teeth to counter abrasion from sand. Mammals like manatees can stay underwater for twenty minutes. They replenish about 70% of the air in their lungs. To compare, human's replenish about 10%. Manatees have low metabolic rates which make their long fasting periods possible. The size of the Manatee brain is small, but the proportion to higher functions is comparable to that of primates.

Manatees are active all the time and can sleep at the water's surface. Up to twenty males can surround one female during mating season. Some other groups may form in other areas as well. Manatees communicate by sound, mainly with their calves. They also engage in tactile contact by using hair across their body and muzzle. The live a long time and reproduce slowly. They live close to sixty years. Manatees have no natural predators, with humans being their greatest threat. Collisions with boats and crushing into canal gates are a major cause of death.

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