Monday, May 17, 2010

Buddhist Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama Visits Indiana, By Sharon Powell, 2010

Photograph by: Sharon Powell, 2010

Buddhist’s and spiritual followers gathered in Consecos Field House, Indianapolis, IN to hear the 14th Dalai Lama temporal leader share a message of compassion and commitment. Tenzin Gyatso, the Tibetan spiritual and political leader shared passions of humanistic quality practiced by the Buddhist faith in an effort society strive to make a difference in today’s troubled world. The Nobel Prize winner’s soft-spoken voice and gentle nature captured the emotional attitude shared by the audience. Messages for expressing love from the heart and spiritual commitment were discussed, vowing a pathway for leading a happy and healthy lifestyle could be found, generating harmony throughout the world.

His holiness stressed the emotional and physical value found with inner peace and happiness in life, claiming we are all connected one to the other and should work to improve others lives. The Dalai Lama expressed the value of facing challenges with wisdom and compassion while providing resources for achieving such trait.

Buddhist religion believes strongly in the humanistic and spiritual needs of the people. Buddhist followers stress that spiritual nutrition for the mind is a means for generating respect, compassion, and faith throughout the world. His holiness believes by avoiding the negative powers of greed, jealousy, and abuses of power humanity would find inner peace. Other topics stressed family life, suggesting families should come together in times of crises in an effort to guide today's youth into the future. The Dalai Lama stress humanity should avoid the destructive powers of anger and hate encompassing today's world and work toward removing barriers hindering emotional growth.

Buddhist religion was founded in India during 500 BC, and is largely practiced throughout much of China and East Asia. Buddhidst beliefs focus on wisdom and meditation benefiting the mind and body. Buddhist followers seek knowledge in an effort for avoiding anxiety and stress in today’s busy world. Statistics report there are between 230 to 500 million practicing Buddhist, making the religion the fourth largest spiritual denomination practiced today. Many Buddhists followers enjoy the meditative state and incorporate it into their lives, recommending the benefits of meditation are therapeutic means for reducing the crippling affects of stress involved with everyday life.

Buddhist also believe that “Karma” or “Mantra” “is the law of cause and effect” and the divine makeup of the universe. Karma derives from the body, speech, and mind of the person, springing from mental intent. The nature of mantra knowledge gave way to spiritual interpretations and translations of the human will or desire, and noted as being a form of action.

Universities located in Indiana house cultural centers and programs sponsoring educational instruction focusing on the inner faith initiatives of Buddhism. For more information regarding the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Centers, go to or


3.) Dalai Lama, Conseco Field House, Indianapolis, IN, May 14, 2010, Sharon Powell

Jason Adlean, Life inside his Music, by Sharon Powell, 2010

The powerful sound of Jason Aldean’s southern rock music soar to the top of the charts while music lovers around the world experience the “heart felt” realities involved with country music and storytelling. Coupled with the Macon, Georgia’s down-home boy attitude and his rippling full-bodied vocal ability, Aldean compliments the lyrical talents of singer songwriter, Neil Thrasher and the five-piece band who accompany him on tour. According to producer and publicists Michael Knox, Jason is an entertainer, who works the crowd as if they were performing at the local pub. The bands down-home southern style may be the crème-de-la-crème to “Aldeans Army,” who has sold more than two million copies of their first two albums. Racking up numerous gold and platinum awards, their titles have topped the charts for more than six consecutive weeks during 2005, 2007 and again in 2009.

Although the thirty-three year old musician co-authors some of the band’s music, much of their success is provided by singer, songwriter Neil Thrasher who dominates the scene with a strong sense of what American life is like for the working class. Coupled with his prolific background in music and talent for composition, Thrasher maintains a competitive edge within the industry and has written for many of the country’s top musical talents, including Kenny Chesney, Montgomery Gentry, Hank Williams Jr. and Carrie Underwood, to name a few.

Thrasher is one of the top contenders within the business possessing the ability to bring life to the written word by moving them off the page and into the hearts of country music lovers around the world.

Aldean is not a novice when it comes to understanding what it takes to survive in the music business, and has overcome both the financial and emotional barriers, which for years had plagued his musical career. Along with the support of family and friends, his assiduous drive and love for music has made him what he is today. Aldean takes control of the audience, while launching them onto a “roller-coaster” ride through an unforgettable memory of love, anger and the loneliness of every-day life. To the world of country music, Aldean’s career has just begun, and he will continue to be one of music’s legendary greats.

Another of Aldean’s successes came more than fifteen years ago, and has been an important part of his career. His wife and mother of two children all share the up and downsides involved with publicity and countless hours of emotional support, needed when living the dream. Although Aldean spends much of his time recording his next hit, he also finds time away from the hectic lifestyle to enjoy an afternoon of fishing, or four wheeling, and Baseball with lifetime friends.

Aldean was raised in southern Georgia, and attended one of Macon’s private schools within the area. As a student of Windsor Academy, Aldean played sports, fulfilling the position of defensive “First Baseman” for the Windsor Knights baseball team. According to the coach, Aldean played quite well when not having to contend with his math lessons. Members of the school’s faculty have made it priority to assure Jason’s academic roots are kept rocking within the school’s historical archives and celebrate with the graduate as often as possible.

Together, Aldean and the band have won numerous awards for their talents, including Top New Male Vocalist in 2006 by the Academy of Country Music. Other awards were given for single pop country titles, including, Why, Amarillo Sky, Big Green Tractor and The Truth, where all have topped the charts at number one, classifying, Jason Aldean as a household favorite with country music fans from around the world…..S.Powell, 2010


Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Right to be Assumed Innocent, By Sharon Powell

Becoming a teen-ager can be filled with a life full of “C’s.” Challenges, change, conflict, creativity, and choice, anticipate the arrival of new kids on the block. Facing the challenges of peer pressure and family life are always stressful for most young people. It is sometimes difficult for the teenager to decide what the best choice in life should be when faced with opposition. Other areas of concern are the biological transitions, and changes occurring within the body during pre-adolescent years. Mixed emotions can sometimes cause you to engage in certain activities before you are emotionally prepared to deal with the recourse of your actions. Teen pregnancy and conflict quite often occur when struggling with adolescence, and may cause stress among family members and friends.

Many teens are asked to make important life-changing decisions, and quite often result in choosing the wrong pathway in life. Inexperience involved with everyday life, and the desire for obtaining money and friends causes some teens to create additional problems for themselves. Searching for an easy way out of oppressive situations may not always be the best solution.

The fight against juvenile delinquency, prostitution, and gang warfare among America’s youth are continuous battles for local law enforcement and child protective services. Criminals preying upon the lives of juveniles are difficult for local law enforcement to pin-down and prosecute, simply due to much of the victims economical support is provided by mere scumbags and buccaneers practicing the art of scrutiny. Social tyrants feed upon the lives of unsuspecting women and children, supplying them with money and material wealth.

Many of these issues are challenges contemporary youths face on a daily basis. Many young people within society suffer severe poverty, or come from broken homes, single parent households, and homelessness. Some individuals search for a better way, hoping to improve the economical degradation crippling future stability. Quite often, these individuals seek aid from mere strangers, and may fall victim to those providing a superficial means of support.

Many of those choosing to take part in the criminal’s charade are unsuspecting teens whose social interactions are mere pathways to self-destruction. These cycles tend to occur gradually over-time, and may develop into social stigma’s and subcultures of violence. Once the adolescent patterns his or her life surrounded by un-healthy conditions, the lifestyle becomes difficult to escape.

Lack of proper judgment and foresight most often create unavoidable circumstance for the adolescent. Many individuals carry these traits far into their adult lives, passing them on from one generation to the next. What does this cycle of life say for the future of humanity? Are America’s social structures escalating into large populations of poverty-stricken families and hopelessness? Or is corporate America so powerful they are allowed to ignore the needs of their employees while families are being forced into financial ruin.

According to Frank Schmalleger, author of Criminal Justice Today, although violent crimes by juveniles is decreasing, there are still 1.6 million juveniles arrested annually in America, while the number of those held in public facilities has increased sharply. The numbers speak for themselves and are alarming when the disadvantaged youth of America become frustrated with life, and seek comfort from society’s drug dealers, gang-bangers, pimps, and criminals. Are those offenders caught within the juvenile justice system victims of neglect, or merely undisciplined, and abused youth? Perhaps the reality of the so-called “status offenders” is the Juvenile’s way of crying out against the challenges involved with peer pressure and maturing.

The influence of neighborhood conditions weigh heavily on adolescent development and can sometimes become controversial issues where diplomacy is the best option for law enforcement officials. Poverty, and neglect have negative impacts on society and quite often require police to exercise diplomacy when the opposition of defending the innocence of youth, or arresting the juvenile offenders in order to up-hold the law becomes an issue. It is sometimes difficult to determine what is best for the youth when their lives are filled with unhealthy living conditions and the stressors involved with peer pressure and family life.

The gradual restructuring of America’s workforce and wages are currently being threatened by abuses of power and greed. All of the mentioned developments are controversial issues your generation will someday face. Growing teens are preparing themselves for interacting within the adult world in order to effectively deal with difficult issues on their own. Improving the quality of life will someday be your responsibility. You may even be asked to help make a difference in the lives of others who need to escape the recourse of crime and personal failure.

Some individuals possess the desire to make a difference within their life, but may fail to understand the resources for achieving their dreams. The best advice given comes from those who sought higher education as a means to improve their lives, verses engaging in criminal activity. Many individuals depend upon goal setting and moral virtue as a means for improvement, and seek to fill their lives with happiness and healthy choices. If you need someone to talk with about difficult issues, contacting your school’s Guidance office is a great place to start…...S. Powell, 2010

1.) Criminal Justice Today, Frank Schmalleger, Ph.D, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2009.
2.) Adolescence, Laurence Steinberg, Temple University, Mcgraw Hill Companies, New York, NY, 2008.
3.) Child Development, John W. Santrock, Eleventh Edition, McGraw Hill companies, 2007