Cultural Cancer


Most of us can list off the seven deadly sins; pride, greed, lust, malicious envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth, but how many of us are aware of their presence in our own lives and culture?


This sin is often correlated with vanity and it is very often misconstrued and hidden in our culture. I am probably the only twenty three year old without a Snapchat and I have grown out of the selfie phase (thank God). The concept of constantly showing off what we look like or what we are doing in comparison to others always seemed futile and vain to me. To be honest, I think our youth has way too much time on their hands and when we spend a good amount of time worrying about what we wear, our makeup, our haircut, etc. then we are feeding that egocentric attitude. All of these things are barriers we place between God and ourselves because in many ways it causes us to be narrow minded and forget the glory of God creating us. He values our minds, thoughts, and actions. He sees right through the Mac and Versace to what is at our core. Beauty may symbolize positive traits in our culture but God is not of this world and judges us on our souls, not our styles. If you judge others based on how they look or are constantly insecure about how you look then you are feeding into pride. If you think body enhancements or spending excessive amounts of money on your looks is justifiable then you have lost sight of the precious natural beauty of yourself. Our generation has forgotten to “fear God”. This does not mean to be scared of Him and tip toe through life hoping not to disappoint Him. This means we must constantly knock ourselves down off our towers of superiority that we create and remember to be in awe of God and the grandeur of His creations.


St. Thomas Aquinas refers to greed as “a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, inasmuch as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.” Oh how human we are. We are blinded by what we can touch and see and we so quickly forget these things are of no value in comparison to the riches of Heaven. Our culture and media constantly fills our minds with what we need. We need new clothes, new furniture, a new car, a bigger house, more electronics, and so on and so on. The devil loves material things because we place too much value on them thus creating more barriers between us and our Lord. They cause us anxiety because of money and trying to compete with other people’s lifestyles. Our society screams that money and possessions make us important and add value to our life. God whispers again and again that we need not worry about these things but instead we must stay unattached to worldly items and be prepared to give them away. There is quite a bit of scripture on this and basically God wants us to remember that what we have is nothing in comparison to what we give and how much we love others. The beautiful thing about love is that it costs absolutely nothing to give it to others. It is also important to pay attention to what you spend your money on and if possible readjust and contribute money to things that do not directly benefit you in a material way.


This sin results from feeding into desires and wants in an unhealthy manner. Lust is a commonly accepted part of our culture. We are taught to embrace it as a natural and healthy desire to be acted upon. It may be natural to desire a person or possessions but it is an absolute lie that we should have it for the mere fact it entices us. I was very blessed to have been raised by a father that always treated my mother with utmost respect as both a mother to his children and as a wife. My dad obviously loves my mother very much but he never had to comment on her appearance for us to witness that love. Many men find it acceptable to comment openly on women’s looks, watch porn, and exploit the bodies of women with sexual stereotypes. This leads to people becoming overly obsessed with how they look to please others and feel worthy of want( commonly mistaken for love). So our culture may say that lust is a natural desire to be acted upon but what a scary concept that is. It may be natural for someone to get angry but that does not mean we condone them acting upon that anger to hurt others. My dad always stresses the importance of couth which is basically having manners, being aware of what you say and how you act, and refining from acting or saying inappropriate things. It may seem trivial but what you allow yourself to say or think makes an impact on those around you and the world. Being able to control lust and refine it is essential to living a life that pleases God and allows your soul to stay nourished.


Wanting what others have whether it be material possessions, jobs, relationships, etc. is natural but again God calls us to avoid it. Being envious is frivolous and lessens the value we place on the blessings we have in our own lives. Envy is a stronger form of jealousy in that we want what we are envious of. People that act upon envy usually act upon greed and lust as well. They think they need more in their life and if it means taking it from someone else then so be it. It is dangerous because it pulls our attention away from what God has given to us and disconnects us from respecting and loving others. We should strive for a grateful heart and take time to reflect on what we have. I have always struggled with “being happy” for others who are better off. When something good happens to someone else I have the tendency to ask why not me? Again this is prideful and blinds me from seeing that when someone has a positive event in their life we are able to witness God revealing his work through blessings. It is an honor and a privilege if we can look beyond ourselves and our own wants.


This is an epidemic in our generation because we no longer place value on things that back in the day were treasured. Food and material possessions have become indispensable to us. No one wants to learn to fix something when they can go out and buy it brand new. One third of America’s food goes to waste which is due to several factors but it especially has to do with the mindset of our generation that we have no fear of running out. My grandma used to make sure every part of a meal was not wasted. She gave stale bread to the birds and always gave us meals in small portions to avoid waste. With the abundance of convenience stores, fast food places, and large chain grocery stores we have endless options. We are going to be picky because we have the option to be picky. We buy too much, eat too much, and overindulge in almost everything because we have the ability and no immediate consequences. Democrats always stress the environmental issues and  I find this interesting because most of these problems are man made problems originating from a progressive and self centered culture. Environmental problems are the least of our problems when we consider how gluttonous we are with overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual addictions, and promoting birth control and abortion instead of abstinence and the sacredness of our bodies. It is a mindset and it is taught to our children and it will not change while we allow them to overindulge and be weak to their bodily tempations.


This is a dangerous sin because many times we find a way to justify feeling hateful, vengeful, or impatient. My grandma used to tell me on a daily basis that patience is a virtue. I once said that to a coworker who was annoyed with a customer and she laughed and said patience is a waste of time. I genuinely feel that the cancer of culture is rooted in self righteousness. It is very easily felt and is falsely empowering which makes it appealing. It spreads into our lives and makes us weak. It creates a self loathing in ourselves that we are unaware of and that we transfer on to others. Wrath, vengeance, and impatience trickle from the wound of pride. We hold ourselves above others and tell ourselves that we are more important. These feelings are not from God. He wants us to be humble, understanding, and patient because not only is it right but it is what we expect from others. Humble yourself to take hatred our of your heart and truly forgive others and yourself for all acts and thoughts rooted in hatred.


Another glorified sin in our culture is laziness. Doing the bare minimum to get by is seen as smart and appealing. I work in a convenience store and let me tell you the amount of people that cannot make themselves walk a few extra steps to throw away trash is staggering but these acts are to be expected in a self righteous society. It is so good for our souls to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We tell ourselves lies like “we deserve to be lazy because…”, and those ideas can only be attributed to the devil. God reminds us again and again that working hard, serving others, and putting less importance on ourselves is key in reaching Heaven. There is a reason that working a tough job at a humbling wage can be rewarding. God wants us to realize that the things that do not come easy are the most fulfilling. Going out of our way to be efficient and have a strong work ethic is essential to appreciating life and the abundance of blessings it supplies. Choosing the easy path leads you to gain nothing. Taking the rough path will make you stronger and will help you bear fruits of patience, humility, appreciation, love, selflessness, etc.

It is disheartening how apparent these vices are in many leaders of our nation but that is why it is essential that we do not give in to the world. These sins and lifestyle choices can not only be overcome but they can be replaced with the fulfilling virtues that God intended us to have. With chastity, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness, charity, and humility we can heal our culture, our families, and our relationships with one another and with God. To stop the cultural cancer of sins from growing we must acknowledge their presence, remove them, and remedy our souls through the preservation of our faith.




The Soul Purpose


The beauty of creativity expressed through artistic outlets is that no matter what it may be, it can connect the souls of all people. Whether you grew up in a small town in Kansas or a bustling metropolitan area in New York, you can share a universal connectedness through art.

As humans we have the amazing ability to use our souls and minds to contribute unique personal gifts to the world through our work. You do not have to be a prestigious lawyer, professor, or politician to have a stance on what is happening in the world. That is the beauty of countries like America, where everyone has a voice, even if it may not be as easily heard as it is by others of higher positions.

You may feel that you merely agree with the masses and that there is nothing left to contribute or that there are others who do a better job at voicing your shared opinions. That is absolutely untrue. No one has the same exact mindset or perspectives as you. That is something to remember and treasure. You cannot act, cook, sing, dance, draw, write, paint, or play any sports? It does not matter.

Our society pressures us to be these super humans that not only have a variety of passions but are extremely good at them. Think for a moment about what makes you get up every morning, those are your passions. They fuel you to go out and live and contribute to the world no matter what madness surrounds you. I do not care if it means going to work every day at Wal-Mart, an office, or the Mall of America. It is an act of courage to live and to live honestly.

A good example of this is Humans of New York, a photography project started by a man named Brandon, which has accumulated over 17 million followers on Facebook over the last few years. He photographs people on the streets of NYC and also in other countries that he travels to. They discuss everything from what circumstances they have had to overcome in life to what brings beauty to their life. He interviews people of all ages, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. No point of view is altered to fit an agenda. People by the millions have been drawn to these pictures and stories because of their authenticity. The diversity of people is remarkable and yet no matter how opposite we may seem to be, we can relate on an emotional level to every story.

Someone once told me that they did not like that subjects like poetry and philosophy have a multitude of meanings. It may be impossible to know what the author truly meant or intended to mean so what is the point in trying to find an unreachable truth? The fact that every person can infer a line of poetry differently is an essential beauty of art. Forget the “school” idea that there is a right answer. The right answer is the one that naturally occurs. When you listen to a song and the haunting lyrics makes the hair on your arms raise. When you walk through a gallery and “feel” a piece of art speak to you. Something that the artist drew, wrote, painted, created, or said, connected to your soul. This is a feeling that cannot be manufactured or fabricated. It is an authentic association between humans that may never meet or even know of each other’s identity.

So I would argue that the ambiguity and unending depth of art is precisely the point. How a film or piece of literature speaks to you on an individual level is all that matters. Of course it is intriguing to analyze what the artist’s intentions were and sometimes we are able to read or hear about what inspired the artists. I would argue though that many times, the creator doesn’t always know the intent but rather expresses it into the world because they merely need to. Our creations are born from inspiration in our souls. To share who we are and how we get through life.

If you ever feel inadequate please take the time to reflect that there is no level of perfection that exists. There may be the one our society creates or one that we have unconsciously created in our minds but there is no universal truth for how to feel or express oneself. Be brave and courageous and watch how people connect with you. It makes life so much sweeter and reminds us that we are all humans.

Take joy in the moments when art makes you weep or sick to your stomach. When it makes you laugh or remember fragments of memories long forgotten. When it makes you dream wildly or enlightens you to be bold. Use your minds and bodies because they are gifts but never forget what makes you human and irreplaceable is your soul. It inevitably ties us back to our Creator.


The End Is the Beginning

Can you imagine discovering the empty tomb of Jesus? We would like to think that we would know that Jesus had overcome death on the third day but realistically our reaction would more likely be similar to Mary Magdalene’s.

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciples whom Jesus loved, and told them, ‘They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him'” John 20:1-2 NAB.

Her first thought was that someone had broken in and taken His precious body and she was overcome with grief. She returned and wept outside of the tomb until Jesus appeared to her and said, “Stop holding on to me , for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Jn 20:17. He reminds her that He has not yet ascended to Heaven and that the death of his human body is not to be mourned. For once our body takes its last breath our life does not end but instead it finally begins.

Humans cling to life on earth because it is all we have known and we are comfortable with what we know. It is important to remember that some of God’s greatest gifts are presented to us when we are in moments that force us out of our comfort zone. We should be grateful for these moments because they allow us to grow continuously throughout life. The greatest moment of honor and test of spiritual trust is at death. It is inevitable for us all. Death should not be feared but instead it should be viewed as a gift from God.

Christians have a responsibility to teach their children and loved ones that death should be a celebration. As precious as our life on earth is, it is not all that we are given. If we live this life according to His truth then we will be welcomed into Heaven in accordance with God’s plan. It is a day He looks forward to. The day when the children He created return to Him. We all feel unworthy a times and it is easy to fear the end our lives because we will be judged accordingly. Let go of your fear and shame for they are not from Him. Live your life according to hope, love, faith and trust. God is merciful.

Live every day on this wonderful planet with purpose and bask in the immensity of all He is. There are some things that we will never understand but those mysteries of faith lead us to trust in He who is all knowing. Death opens the door of those mysteries and leads us to be with the Holy Spirit. Start today by looking forward to the beginning of our eternal life and how it overcomes the ending of our human life.


The Golden Arches Rule

This last Thursday I had an unexpected but personally enlightening moment in a McDonald’s drive thru of all places. I had gone all day without caffeine which is not easy for me because I work at a convenience store and I am allowed free drinks. This has attributed to my coffee addiction but some weeks I earnestly try to limit my caffeine intake. So on this day I went through my work day and college classes only drinking water and by 5:00pm I had the dreaded “dragging” moment. I was in rush hour traffic with a headache and a few hours of studying still ahead of me. I knew I needed a boost to keep me from napping and messing up my sleep schedule so I stopped at McD’s for a drink.

After I ordered, I waited for the person in the other drive thru line to go ahead of me since they had finished ordering first. Apparently, me keeping a respectful distance was interfering with the middle aged man behind me getting to order so he decided to scream out the window, “OH MY GOD, GOOOOO!”. It actually startled me and I couldn’t believe he was THAT angry about me not moving forward a few feet so that he could order a few seconds sooner.

I immediately had the urge to react and started to lean out the window to respond. As I turned and looked at him he gave me a disdainful glare and started ordering. That made me shut my mouth. I would say honestly that I am a sensitive person but since working in multiple customer service jobs, my skin has grown thicker over the years. This moment not only embarrassed me and hurt my feelings but it invoked anger and means of retaliation. After he finished ordering I looked in the rearview mirror and started to mumble. Then I stopped myself and took a moment to readjust my thoughts.

I remembered the times that I had been impatient or rude to friends, family, and even strangers. The instances that really stayed with me over time were the ones where the person responded with patience and understanding. I recognize that I have bratty moments and that I attempt to justify them by being caused by stress or people’s incompetence but ultimately it is never justifiable. So I took this time to be understanding towards this man who is also in rush hour, probably just got off work, is hungry and wants to be home, just like myself. It does not excuse his rude actions but it allowed me to relate.

I realize these are small moments that seem insignificant but these little actions exemplify who we are and what we stand for. I have pro-life, pro-conservative political party, and scriptural bumper stickers on my car so I recognize that I represent conservative Christians in these circumstances. If all this man is going to know about me is that I am Christian conservative then I better show him what I stand for. So I made eye contact, smiled, and pulled up to the window to pay.

It took awhile to pay because it was a new employee and I wanted to pay for the man’s meal too. The employee had to find a coworker to help him adjust for a “double card” transaction. I could see the man becoming more impatient behind me as he pulled within inches of my bumper. Just as he started saying things out the window again, I got my receipt and drink and drove off. He may not care that I bought his meal, which is fine. It’s more about the choices I make and the fact that I have to live with those decisions.

It is so easy to take those moments and let the devil win and respond with rudeness justified by self righteousness. God calls on us in those moments to be aware of what we are allowing into our souls. Are we prone to playing the victim in those instances and saying, “well they instigated it so they deserve an equal retaliation”? If so, then we are allowing pride and other sins to eat away at us.

To be honest, I was more irritated with myself in that moment. I claim to be a Christian and I am in constant need of God’s forgiveness and yet I think I am too good to be understanding and forgiving towards others. This is something I witness on a daily basis working in customer service. I see people that are bitter and rude because of a chain reaction of inconsiderate moments with others.

If our society is going to change, if our culture is going to change, we have to start recognizing our identity in the problem. Be understanding, be humble, be patient, be forgiving, and be positive. It is not the easy choice but it is absolutely the right choice. Jesus choosing to die on the cross for our sins is an astounding sacrifice and act of love. It is a love that is almost unrecognizable and incomprehensible for human beings. The right choice is quite often not the easy choice.

If we are worthy of His love and forgiveness then we must do everything possible to love and forgive others. Like my granny Dode always told us, “We are on this earth to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him”. Let us remember to be servants of God and show others the fruits of his love through our actions and way of life.


Good Friday

Today I could not help but notice a certain joyfulness in my heart. Not only because it is the start of the weekend but because today is the recognition of the sacrifice Jesus made because He loves me. I am unworthy and yet He became human, endured abuse and torment, and suffered willingly in order to save my soul and the souls of all mankind. That love should make me overjoyed to be alive and serve Him every single day. I should always make room for that gratefulness and willingness to sacrifice for a Father that did all He humanly could to show us we are loved.

It has always been intriguing to me that most atheists, agnostics, or people that believe but do not profess, celebrate Easter. My ex boyfriend was atheist, my boss is an atheist, and I have several coworkers who admit that faith is not an important part of their life. Yet they all celebrate Easter, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, Halloween (derived from All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day), and so on. This is not to say those people are bad but it saddens me that they miss out on the history of these celebrations. These days are reminders of what God and His followers have done for us.

Every time that someone said “Happy Easter” today it was equivalent to me hearing them say “Glory to God” or “He is Risen”. We should be screaming it from the rooftops today and this weekend in celebration that life has meaning because God has washed away our iniquities. It reminds us that we can choose to either live a mundane repetitive life until we reach our feared and despairing death or we can live a life of purpose knowing it is all worth it because our creator loves and forgives us. We can live and die joyfully knowing we will reunite with God eternally if we live out our faith honestly and passionately.

“He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will” Mt 26, 39. What a powerful and brutally honest moment in Scripture. This moment of agony prior to his arrest in the garden symbolizes that Jesus was a man of flesh and blood who was physically and emotionally distressed about what He knew was to come. He was subject to the devil as well who was trying with all His might to prevent Him from saving our souls. His own disciples would not even stay awake with Him and yet He persevered with God’s plan.

He also says in that same reading of Matthew that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus related to the human weaknesses and witnessed them among even his closest followers. Some of the men that revered Him and loved him deeply ended up betraying and denying Him. Those men chose to do that but He still allowed them to seek forgiveness if they were sincere because He is an amazing and just God. We work so hard to impress others when in reality we should be doing everything we can to make Jesus proud. It is only his view of us that matters and He loves us but we must know Him, love Him, and serve Him in return.

So let today, Good Friday, be a reminder that everyday is precious and we must make every moment worthy of glorifying God because he gave up His life for us to live. Every day we have a chance to live out that love and faith with His guidance and care. Let us be aware of all we have been given and allow ourselves to live selflessly so as to please our Savior Jesus Christ. Happy Easter weekend and God Bless!

The Silver Lining of Conservative Politics

The last year has been an emotional ride for those involved in politics, especially for true conservatives who have watched the Republican party cave in on itself these last few months. Now that is not to say that the conservative movement or what it stands for is disintegrating because it cannot uphold itself. Conservatism embodies people with morally upstanding principles and beliefs but a party is only as good as the people in it. With an embarrassingly long list of imposters in Republican party who have lost sight of integrity, the party has fallen to the misconstruing of truth.

I have watched Republicans focus most of their energy on the negative aspects of other candidates, their political past, their personal lives, and so on. This happens amongst the Democrats as well but it is nothing compared to the long slew of GOP candidates this year that were willing to pull each other under to stay afloat. When did it become a common ideology that these campaigns should be solely based on running the other candidates into the ground at any cost in order to make oneself more appealing for the most powerful position in America?  Realistically I get that it is never going to be just policy debates because the “who” behind the stances is an important part of the job. You can say whatever you want while running but what you have done and are currently doing is what speaks volumes, or it should anyways.

So do not be surprised when I say I will not vote for Donald Trump even though I am a Republican. It’s like dressing Hillary up in a Chinese manufactured suit and a toupee, slapping the label Republican on her, and expecting me to follow lead in aimlessly supporting her. It just will not happen and I will tell you why. I vote based on one thing and one thing alone. Morals. If you claim to be a conservative but are wishy washy on the life of babies in the womb, you will not get my vote. If you claim to be a man of God but show no humility or integrity in your daily life, I will not vote for you. I know that no one is perfect but if you are going to run as a conservative you better have your morals in line because from that you will base your policies and how you approach every issue you face in the highest position of this country that we hold so dear.

I refuse to reiterate what we have all seen on a crazy loop from the media over the last few months. I almost want to change Trump to “He Who Must Not Be Named”. He even makes Voldemort look appealing. In the end we will be dealt a candidate and I have a feeling he will not embody the morals and principles I value so much in conservatism. So what is the silver lining for conservatives you ask? This year has been one of showing true colors. I have witnessed an upsetting amount of “journalists”, “Christians”, and other political activists who claim to be conservatives, misrepresent what we believe and what we stand for. The powerful winds of our culture made them bend and oh how easy it was. It is disgusting and upsetting but I am in some ways glad it happened so that I could find the voices of true Christians and conservatives who are not scared to stick to their values and oppose those they had respect and trust for at one time.

I have been inspired by the underdogs, those who refuse to let the vast majority make them fearful or crush their passion on issues that are of the greatest importance to conservatives. Issues like stopping abortion, protecting our country and our Allies, reducing the debt, and inspiring everyday people like me to defy all odds and create businesses, jobs, and make our economy great again with our own hands and by busting our backs.

Thank you to those who have stayed true to their moral beliefs, especially those who made their voice heard amongst the false representation of our core political views. There is always a silver lining and I believe God is calling us to shine amongst this ignorance, confusion, and madness.

Procrastinating My Purpose

We all have those moments in which we have the opportunity to speak up, help someone, or defend something and yet we do nothing or remain silent. Those moments eat away at us because how we feel and expressing that is vital to living an honest and healthy life. Those moments matter and to let them slip away can redefine who we are. Of course this happens slowly over time but take it from someone who has stayed quiet too many times, it adds up.

I am only twenty three years old and I have prided myself as being a listener. The one who humbles myself to acknowledge your truth and redefine my truth to fit yours so as not to disagree or offend. Humbling yourself to hear others is important, but it is equally important to be heard. I lived through my middle school and high school years silent and waiting for my time to shine. I was waiting for college to be the time I made my voice heard and expressed who I really was. Those years of silence made it that much more difficult and left me quiet throughout college as well. I have taken breaks from school and I am currently in my last few semesters but I still have never allowed myself to be passionate outwardly in a culture of vastly changing principles.

So what finally reignited that passion in me? Well my faith and love for God has been there all along. He is the reason I am here. He gave me my passion and the ability to write. To continue to deny my love for writing and God would be the ultimate disservice. I may not be a great writer but I am reminded that God loves every single person He created. To Him, my writing is as lovely and important as anyone else’s. I love the idea that our emotions and our reactions to the world around us can transform from thought to words to ideas.

This world tells us that God is no longer needed, no longer necessary, and no longer popular. We are told, “be yourself” and then people who are fake are the ones being worshipped by the media and leaders. We are told, “you are enough” but “wait, you need to change that”. We are told that to survive in this world you put yourself before everyone else because you cannot rely on others. We are told that love is disguised as jealousy, manipulation, and sexual freedom. These are the lies that the devil so easily lays out for us to fall into.

These are the lies that prey on our selfish comforts in the world. If we want to hate someone and it feels good we let it take root in our hearts because we can justify it. If we want to sleep with as many people as we want because sex feels great and empowering then we will because that is justified. This world compliments and encourages selfishness and yet we are one of the most hurt and confused societies to have ever lived. We took God out of the equation and settled for the quick fixes of the world.

These quick fixes will never sustain or satisfy our souls. They will never allow us to reach the potential God instilled in us from the moment He planned our existence. With God in the equation, all things are possible. All things have hope and a prosperous future. With God we see that true love is free will, patience, humility, sacrifice and mercy. This beautiful tangle of pain and joy we call life is worth it because it is merely a small portion of a worldly existence that leads to hope in everlasting life with Him. Whether you believe or not, take a hard look at the culture around us. Is this shallow existence and mere coincidence really what life is or can you obtain so much depth if you allow yourself.

Allow yourself to experience heartache and suffering so that you can truly grasp real enduring love and acceptance when it comes your way. He is always there, always waiting, always ready for you. Ask and you will receive. Do not fear anymore. Do not judge what you have not allowed yourself understand. Take it day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath. Search wholeheartedly for truth. He is eternal and you are not an accident. You have a purpose on Earth but better yet you have a role in eternity with your Creator.

As a college student, I understand wholly the persuasion of procrastination. But it is time to recognize your potential and let it be what defines you in a world of blurring principles and lost people.