For a change

These days, when you read or hear about someone being murdered, what happens? What happens when you hear that someone had an accident, and that person did not make it out alive? This is what happens. Outwardly, we are like, “poor person”. But what we are really thinking is, “I am glad that it was not me”. It is sad how cold-hearted we can be. How, on most cases, we have no real pity, just our wellbeing in mind. In this world, we have grown so used to violence causing death, that our ability to feel pity and compassion towards others is fading, or if we feel pity, it is only for ourselves.
It is painful to see how low we have fallen. We were once a compassionate race, supporting our brothers in their grief, helping them to carry the burden of death on our shoulders. We where one, morning together for the loss of a brother or sister. Just look at us now, without pity for others; just selfishly, for ourselves. I remember that day, when I learned that a pilot was flying in the middle of a storm, in Guatemala, and he crashed in a volcano. Of course, he didn’t make it out alive, and I actually had met that man. Sure, not for long, but I met him all the same, and did I feel anything when I learned about his death? I wish I could say otherwise, but I only felt relief knowing that it wasn’t me. I also met a man who also was a pilot, and he piloted stunt planes. In one of his shows, he miscalculated a stunt, and his plane went down, and he died. I did not know him much, but still. When my father told me that he had died, I was like “I am so sorry for his family, and for him,” but again, I only felt relief that it was not me. It is a shame, because this false pity is second nature. I mean, I new those two men who died, and I only felt relief that it was not me, for God’s sake! I should have felt sorry, and sad, since they where my brothers, in a sense, and yet, the only emotion in my heart was relief to know that it was not me who had perished. This false pity is second nature to all of us. When we say that we are sorry for the loss of someone, we only do it because it is the right thing to do, and not because we feel the pain and loss or that we actually feel compassion towards the person who died, or his family. This false pity is the reason for why there is so much violence. When someone murders someone else, he has no pity. He is only thinking “I will kill him, and so what? Who cares if he dies anyway?’’ We just do not care anymore, we do not care if someone dies from an accident or from a murder, and we do not care to know why or how did it happen, or who did it. Why do you think that some decades back, there was not as much violence as there is now? Back then, people still had the ability to feel pity and compassion towards others.
In this world, we have grown so used to violence causing death, that our ability to feel pity and compassion towards others is fading, or if we feel pity, it is only for ourselves. No matter how much it costs us, we must learn to feel pity and compassion towards others once again. This false pity must end. The only ones being tricked by feeling this false pity, is ourselves, no-one else. If our ability to feel pity; I mean real pity; fades, nothing will be left. We will only be shells of what we ones were. We will loose our humanity, or what ever of it we have left. Our ability to feel pity and compassion towards others is what makes us human. Why do you think that God forgives us when we sinn, if we ask for his forgiveness? It is because of pity, he knows that we have a tendency to sin, and so he forgives us. We must let go of the lie that we have lived, this false pity, we must learn to feel real pity, as it was before, as others have before us. We must learn to feel pity ones again. We must do it for us. We must do it because it is the only way forward. We must do it for a change.

Voiceover, the best screenreader for visually impaired

These days, technology is so advanced that, finally, we visually impaired are on equal footing with all others when it comes to computers and phones, thanks to the screenreader technology. Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired people to read the text that is displayed on the computer or phone screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. A screen reader is the interface between the computer’s or phone’s operating system, its applications, and the user. There are many phones and computers out there, and many screen readers to choose from. However, when it is time for a blind person to choose a new computer or phone, which do they choose? Well, for many people, what makes the final decision is that this phone has this, and this one does not, or that this computer has this, and this one does not. Sure, most people make the final decision based on what the phone or computer has, compared to others. For instance, many people choose Android because of the specks or because the software is more customizable. Many people choose Apple for its simple software across both Mac and iOS platforms. Many people choose Windows because its operative system is more open, not so restricted like the Macs operative system. However, we visually impaired do not care that one device’s software is more customizable, or that one has better specks, or that one has a simple software, or that the software is more open, and that one is more restrictive. Sure, that can partially influence our final decision but at the end of the day, what makes the decision for us, is which is more accessible. Android, Windows, and Apple have screenreader technology for their devices. For Android phones, there is Google Talkback. For Windows, well, there are several options, but the most prominent and most advanced is Jaws. For Apple the screenreader is called Voiceover, which is universal across all of Apple’s devices. However, among so many options, which to choose? Voiceover is the best screenreader because it does not have any additional cost, it is universal for all Apple devices, and you do not have to rely on others to help you install the program, giving you more independence. 

 The screenreader used by Android phones is Google Talkback, or Talkback for short. Talkback is very similar to Voiceover, since it has almost the same gestures, and it is operated quite in the same way as Voiceover. However, the problem with Talkback is that it can not be used on the go like Voiceover. I mean, if you want to enable Voiceover on a new iPhone, just connect it to a Mac, and configure the accessibility from there. However, in Android if you want to use the phone with Talkback, you have to ask a sighted person to download Talkback from the playstore, and set it up. Also, if your blind, the Android phones have no way to totally turn off the screen. Sure, you can set the brightness to zero, but that doesn’t turn off the display, and if you have no sight, why would you need to see the screen? It only wastes more battery (Androidcentral.com). 
 Windows has many options for screen readers, such as NVDA, and others, but the one used the most is Jaws. However, again, you have to ask a sighted person to install the demo version, and once installed, it can only be used for forty minutes, and then you have to restart the computer to use it again( https://www.bcab.org.uk/content/jaws-screen-reader). ( This forces you to buy the full version, which costs 1,295 dollars( http://sales.freedomscientific.com/Category/11_1/JAWS%C2%AE_Screen_Reader.aspx). Apart from that high cost, you have to buy a maintenance fee, if you don’t want to pay for the upgrades, which costs from 150 to 200 dollars. The maintenance fee costs 342 dollars, and as if this wasn’t enough, the fee only lasts for the next two upgrades, and then you have to buy it again, or pay for the upgrades(www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=Jaws-Professional-Software-Maintenance-Agreement contents). 
 Voiceover or VO for short is the screenreader use for all Apple devices, both IOS and Mac. In both cases, enabling VO on both an IOS device or Mac is easily done, and a blind person needs no help. For instance, from a Mac, nothing has to be done. Just press command f5, and VO will turn on. Also, since VO is universal for both Mac and IOS devices, if the Mac has a built-in trackpad, which most do, except for the iMac or Mac mini, and if you already are familiar with the IOS gestures; learning how to use a Mac with the trackpad is easily enough, since most of the gestures are the same, apart from some miner differences, but they are easily adjusted to. Also, if you don’t need to see the screen, the Mac also has a screen curtain, to turn the display black, the same as in IOS devices. Also, in IOS devices, for a blind person, typing using the normal on screen keyboard is a pain, and extremely slow. However, if you know braille, an option can be set so that instead of having to use the normal keyboard, you can type in braille. Personally, I find this much faster, but that is because I have been typing in braille for my whole life(macworld.com). 
 Voiceover is the best screenreader because it doesn’t have any additional cost, it is universal for all Apple’s devices, and you do not have to rely on others to help you install the program, giving you more independence. 

For most blind people, being completely independent is a big issue, myself included. I’m not saying that asking for help is bad, but both Android and Windows don’t allow a blind person to use the device on their own, at least not until the screenreader has been installed. Most blind people use Apple devices instead of Android or Windows, though a small percentage still do. Why? Most blind people use Apple devices because of the simplicity and familiarity between both Mac and IOS, making it easy to learn from scratch, if you are familiar with one of the two. Voiceover is the best screenreader for blind people, because it is more simple, and it is easy to use, and it is universal across all Apple devices, so that one can always count that no matter what device is being used, everything will be the same, it just needs setting up. 

  Some people say that Jaws is better, since it has been around for much more time than Voiceover. While this is true, older does not necessarily mean better. I mean, Voiceover has been around since about 2007, and Jaws has been around for about two decades, however, Voiceover is much more advanced, and easier to use, why do you think that most people in the blind community use Apple devices instead of Windows or Android? They are more advanced, in accessibility, that is why. Also, some people can’t afford a Mac computer, so they buy Windows, which is not as expensive, and while this is true, a Apple computer costs from 1,500 to 2000 dollars, and look at the price of Jaws, 1,295 dollars, not to mention the additional cost of the upgrades and the maintenance fee,which if you do the math, which costs 342 dollars plus the price of the upgrades or the maintenance fee again, after it expires. You would end up expending about 2000 dollars or more, I mean, just buy a Mac, and do not worry about those problems. I mean, just be patient, save a few more dollars, and you can get a Mac. 

   These days, technology is so advanced that, finally, we visually impaired are on equal footing with all others when it comes to computers and phones, thanks to the screenreader technology. Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired people to read the text that is displayed on the computer or phone screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. A screen reader is the interface between the computer’s or phone’s operating system, its applications, and the user. There are many phones and computers out there, and many screen readers to choose from. However, when it is time for a blind person to choose a new computer or phone, which do they choose? Well, for many people, what makes the final decision is that this phone has this, and this one does not, or that this computer has this, and this one does not. Sure, most people make the final decision based on what the phone or computer has, compared to others. For instance, many people choose Android because of the specks or because the software is more customizable. Many people choose Apple for its simple software across both Mac and iOS platforms. Many people choose Windows because its operative system is more open, not so restricted like the Macs operative system. However, we visually impaired do not care that one device’s software is more customizable, or that one has better specks, or that one has a simple software, or that the software is more open, and that one is more restrictive. Sure, that can partially influence our final decision but at the end of the day, what makes the decision for us, is which is more accessible. Android, Windows, and Apple have screenreader technology for their devices. For Android phones, there is Google Talkback. For Windows, well, there are several options, but the most prominent and most advanced is Jaws. For Apple the screenreader is called Voiceover, which is universal across all of Apple’s devices. However, among so many options, which to choose? Voiceover is the best screenreader because it does not have any additional cost, it is universal for all Apple devices, and you do not have to rely on others to help you install the program, giving you more independence. 
 The screenreader used by Android phones is Google Talkback, or Talkback for short. Talkback is very similar to Voiceover, since it has almost the same gestures, and it is operated quite in the same way as Voiceover. However, the problem with Talkback is that it can not be used on the go like Voiceover. I mean, if you want to enable Voiceover on a new iPhone, just connect it to a Mac, and configure the accessibility from there. However, in Android if you want to use the phone with Talkback, you have to ask a sighted person to download Talkback from the playstore, and set it up. Also, if your blind, the Android phones have no way to totally turn off the screen. Sure, you can set the brightness to zero, but that doesn’t turn off the display, and if you have no sight, why would you need to see the screen? It only wastes more battery (Androidcentral.com). 
 Windows has many options for screen readers, such as NVDA, and others, but the one used the most is Jaws. However, again, you have to ask a sighted person to install the demo version, and once installed, it can only be used for forty minutes, and then you have to restart the computer to use it again( https://www.bcab.org.uk/content/jaws-screen-reader). ( This forces you to buy the full version, which costs 1,295 dollars( http://sales.freedomscientific.com/Category/11_1/JAWS%C2%AE_Screen_Reader.aspx). Apart from that high cost, you have to buy a maintenance fee, if you don’t want to pay for the upgrades, which costs from 150 to 200 dollars. The maintenance fee costs 342 dollars, and as if this wasn’t enough, the fee only lasts for the next two upgrades, and then you have to buy it again, or pay for the upgrades(www.sightandsound.co.uk/shop/products.php?product=Jaws-Professional-Software-Maintenance-Agreement contents). 
 Voiceover or VO for short is the screenreader use for all Apple devices, both IOS and Mac. In both cases, enabling VO on both an IOS device or Mac is easily done, and a blind person needs no help. For instance, from a Mac, nothing has to be done. Just press command f5, and VO will turn on. Also, since VO is universal for both Mac and IOS devices, if the Mac has a built-in trackpad, which most do, except for the iMac or Mac mini, and if you already are familiar with the IOS gestures; learning how to use a Mac with the trackpad is easily enough, since most of the gestures are the same, apart from some miner differences, but they are easily adjusted to. Also, if you don’t need to see the screen, the Mac also has a screen curtain, to turn the display black, the same as in IOS devices. Also, in IOS devices, for a blind person, typing using the normal on screen keyboard is a pain, and extremely slow. However, if you know braille, an option can be set so that instead of having to use the normal keyboard, you can type in braille. Personally, I find this much faster, but that is because I have been typing in braille for my whole life(macworld.com). 
 Voiceover is the best screenreader because it doesn’t have any additional cost, it is universal for all Apple’s devices, and you do not have to rely on others to help you install the program, giving you more independence. 

For most blind people, being completely independent is a big issue, myself included. I’m not saying that asking for help is bad, but both Android and Windows don’t allow a blind person to use the device on their own, at least not until the screenreader has been installed. Most blind people use Apple devices instead of Android or Windows, though a small percentage still do. Why? Most blind people use Apple devices because of the simplicity and familiarity between both Mac and IOS, making it easy to learn from scratch, if you are familiar with one of the two. Voiceover is the best screenreader for blind people, because it is more simple, and it is easy to use, and it is universal across all Apple devices, so that one can always count that no matter what device is being used, everything will be the same, it just needs setting up. 

  Some people say that Jaws is better, since it has been around for much more time than Voiceover. While this is true, older does not necessarily mean better. I mean, Voiceover has been around since about 2007, and Jaws has been around for about two decades, however, Voiceover is much more advanced, and easier to use, why do you think that most people in the blind community use Apple devices instead of Windows or Android? They are more advanced, in accessibility, that is why. Also, some people can’t afford a Mac computer, so they buy Windows, which is not as expensive, and while this is true, a Apple computer costs from 1,500 to 2000 dollars, and look at the price of Jaws, 1,295 dollars, not to mention the additional cost of the upgrades and the maintenance fee,which if you do the math, which costs 342 dollars plus the price of the upgrades or the maintenance fee again, after it expires. You would end up expending about 2000 dollars or more, I mean, just buy a Mac, and do not worry about those problems. I mean, just be patient, save a few more dollars, and you can get a Mac. 

We are all equal, we are all brothers

No one is perfect in this world. But then, why? Why, all the stereotypes? Why have we decided that who we are is based on labels? These days, most people judge others because of how they look, for there skin color, and other important for nothing things, and all because of labels? Ask yourself, what have we become? Have we, indeed, fallen so low? Have we become so cold, as to not care about anything, save our own skin? Are we, then, nothing more than judges in a court, pronouncing sentence on those whom we hate or dislike or are afraid of? Labels do not make someone; they only make you feel less than what you truly are; human.

Today, all our surroundings; our society; even us; we all have labels, that supposedly, make us fit in; that make us part of society, but no! Most people here, in this world, judge others because of their labels, such as you are blind, black, white, thin, fat etc, and why? These labels force us to become something we are not. Look at blind people, just of that, label, its very normal for sighted folk to underestimate us and what we can, when those are lies, brought on by the label we carry. Don’t get me wrong, there are some sighted folk who see blind people as equals, who encourage us that we are no different than they, and its true, just because our eyes are closed, doesn’t mean that we are less; some of us only think that because of the label we carry, and how people treat them, or behave around them. If theres something I hate? To have people look at me differently, to have them look at me with different eyes than they do others, or even worse, with pity for my blindness. I, do, not, like, it. Tell me, what, do we blind people have differently than you sighted people? nothing! Yes, our eyes are closed, but we still have feelings, we are still people; we, are, human, same as everyone else; and its just how you see us, what makes the difference. I know some sighted people who don’t care one bit that I am blind, they see me as an equal, and treat me as such, with no exceptions; and that is how it should be.


Why do we treat people differently because of their labels, when these are just things that we are borne with, things that this cursed society has forced on us, without even giving us a choice? Well, I say this, I refuse to be looked differently because of my blindness, I refuse to wear this, label; this good for nothing description of what I should be in society, when it, is, all, a lie; when thats not who i am! So let those who want to judge me, let those people who want to view me as a stereotype, let them judge my label, for thats the only thing they are judging, the false image that this society has forced on me, and not me as a person, which is at what they should be looking at, because that is what matters, the person on the inside, not the label they carry outside, but most people do not see it.


Labels do not make someone; they only make you feel less than what you truly are; human. If we must focus on something, let us focus on the person behind the label. Let people see through your label, and into the person that is behind it. Do not let labels make you, for labels are nothing but false images of a person, forced on them by this cursed society. So let your eyes open, and let yourself see the truth; we are all equal; we are all brothers; we, are, all, human.

A matter of pride

The deaths caused by unnecessary wars and violence weigh heavily on our conscience , though this remains unspoken among us. It is said that pride is a sin, but the truth is far from that. In our world everything is a matter of pride. The countless corpses buried in graves cry out for justice for the atrocities committed against them. And why all those deaths? The answer is simple enough, though lots of people don’t see it; it is all because of pride. For, when one’s pride is at stake, what won’t you do to prevent injury to your pride? As long as this matter of pride exists and keeps causing senseless wars and violence, and the there will never be true peace. Pride is a murderer, an irrational force that can’t be controlled. For, as pride can create, it can just as easily destroy. Pride can make you do great things, and also terrible ones. All the companies competing against each other to make better and better stuff for people, occurs because of pride. 

What about all those people murdered every day, and in wars? Our damn pride is causing this. Pride is a destroyer of men. Pride causes us to go to war against each other for no reason other than something as stupid as jealousy, or hatred. What is your first reaction when someone hits you? In most cases, you strike back, and why? Your pride won’t go down without a fight, so to speak. You just cant reason or talk it out, because of pride. Or, when you’re with friends and, someone insults you, you insult them back, because you don’t want to be looked as weak in front of your friends, instead of just shrugging off the insults. 
 Have you ever wondered what exactly caused World War II? The real reason is pride. After Germany was defeated in World War I, they wanted to prove that they could still fight and get revenge for being defeated in World War I. Our pride killed sixty million people just during that one war, and how many people get killed because of our pride each day? 
 As long as this matter of pride exists and keeps causing senseless wars and violence, there will never be true peace. 

 Many people in this world want this senseless violence to end, for there to be no more wars. How can this be achieved until we let go of our pride? Well, it cannot be achieved as long as we have this vengeful pride in our hearts. Many people say that they want peace, but do they really? We must let go of our pride. We must stop all the violence. We must end this matter of pride.

The heart of sorrow

Bruce Lee once said, “Time, Family, God. Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” We have made lots of mistakes during our lives, and things that we regrette. Mistakes are always forgiven, but it is not only just saying, “I’m sorry.” No. It is much more. 
 God gave us life for a reason. And along the way of this life, we make countless mistakes, that can be forgiven. But forgiveness is not only just saying that you are sorry. Since God made this world, we have always sinned, in one way or another. This grave mistakes against God of course can be forgiven, but as I mentioned earlier, forgiveness is much more than just saying sorry. Forgiveness is when you really feel sorry, when the guilt of what you have done crushes you, when you beg for mercy; when your soul cryes out loud to be forgiven. Their are people who think that God has left them, that he is no longer looking for them; however, we are the ones who have distanced ourselves from him. When people have sinned, they feel lonely; they feel as if God where not searching for them any more. And that is because, to forgive someone, is to look at them again. When you ask God for forgiveness, in trooth, you are asking, “look at me again”. When people ignore someone, it’s as if you where saying to that person, “you don’t exist”. However, when they ask you for forgiveness, and you forgive the one who’s being ignored, it’s as if you where looking at them again. It is the same with God, when we ask for his forgiveness. When God forgives someone, that person feels as if his faith had been restored, he feels a reason to live again, he feels peace. I am saying this, because I had that experience several years back. When I lost my faith, I felt no reason to live, that life was pointless, that I was lost, with no one to guide my way. When I finally gave up hope, and I asked for forgiveness from the Lord, I felt an immeasurable sense of peace. I knew then, that somewhere, up in Heaven, there was a God who loved me, who cared for me and everybody else in this universe. Because God loves us all. God is our savior; our salvation. 
 Bruce Lee once said, “Time, Family, God. Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” We must always keep in our hearts that God loves us, that he wont give up on us, but we must not give up on him as well. There are people who feel lonely, and that there’s no reason for them to live, but that is because they have lost their faith. Deep within each one of us, there is a part of us that knows that God loves us, that if we need to be forgiven, that he will forgive us, and look at us again. Deep within us, there is a heart of sorrow.