2020

Black Lives DO Matter

I am white. I have never faced any prejudice over my skin colour. I do have problems, but none of them relate to me being the race that I am. I have watched the news, watched as people around the world erupt into protest.

On the 25th May, just a matter of days ago, a deli owner in Minneapolis (Minnesota, US) phoned the police after they suspected a customer had tried to use a fake $20 to pay for some cigarettes. The man was George Floyd. Police arrived and the way they restrained and treated him, lead to his death. George Floyd was unarmed. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a police officer held his knee against George’s throat, and continued to do so even after George lost consciousness. It is awful.

How many people must die so horrifically?

James Corden asked ‘how can black people dismantle a system they didn’t create’? And it’s true. So white people shouldn’t be silent. We should educate those around us, and speak out. It is not enough to be simply not racist any more, we must stand as anti-racist. We must use our voice, use our privilege in a way that helps our neighbours, our friends, our colleagues, our families.

Retweet and repost true accounts on social media. Read articles from black writers, listen to their voices. Understand our own history, understand that a lot of this comes back to colonialism. Learn the history that the schools conveniently missed out. Understand where the privilege of being white came from, and understand the damage it does. Understand the anger, and demand change.

Click here for resources

2019

May Challenge: Stars

The world of celebrity seems to have become massive business. Everywhere you look there are updates on people from the latest reality TV show. It masquerades as ’real news’, frequently reaching the headlines of daily news broadcasts and papers.

I think it serves as a distraction. The world feels like it is getting more violent and that we should be scared. Global warming, nuclear weapons and political nightmares, can really affect a person’s well-being. The news has become something that runs constant, we get information on social media and there are constant updates on TV and radio too. Sometimes it feels that every time you look at your phone or TV, you are reminded that the world is falling apart, and there is very little we can do about it.

So, I can see why celebrity culture has become more popular. It’s easier to focus on the ins and outs of the Kardashian clan, than the continuing fallout over Brexit. It’s easier to plot on who a certain Youtuber is dating, than plot on how you are going to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s all distraction.

But this area of distraction is worth millions to the right people. And it feels so obtainable, something that anyone can do. You no longer need a particular talent, just the right personality. The worlds of podcasts, YouTube and Instagram, making fame almost in reach for millions. People want to make videos for a living, something that wasn’t even a thing when I was a kid. It’s great, that people are yearning to be creative, but that’s not why a lot of people do it. They want the red carpet events, the campaign parties and the top-of-the-range cars.

The thing is, celebrities make what they do look easy. It’s not. People like to think that life would be easier without their standard normal job. The work you do, would still be there, but you couldn’t just clock out and forget everything. You would have to work almost 24/7. And that would be super hard. I said earlier that people can find the news can effect their well-being. Well, that will all still be there too.

Life is hard. Maybe a little distraction can be a good thing.

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This post is part of a May prompt which is explained here, feel free to join in or pick one or two topics, to get your own creativity flowing. 

2018, Uncategorized

If It’s Real, Then I Don’t Want To Know

Life is full of ups and downs. And it is strange, because whether you decieve a particular moment as either ‘up’ or ‘down’ comes from what is going on inside your own head. If you are having a bad day, very little will overcome that feeling, and you will focus on the bad stuff. However, if you are in a good mood, you pick the more positive things, and can swipe the negative to the side.

I think it is very strange that our belief on what is going on in the world, is based on our own perception, which is based on our own emotions. I obviously am not in any way a psychologist, but I sometimes think about that stuff. It obviously is something that happens when I am feeling a little reflective and more positive. When I am down, I tend to feel like that everything is collapsing on top of me, so I don’t really tend to think about anything else.

Sometimes, thinking about anything is a bit hard, to be honest. Which is why it is so easy to lose yourself in a book, movie or TV series. It can feel better to live through a fictional life, than living your own. That is something that is really sad, but it is true. These fictional worlds become a way of coping, even escaping from your own life for a short time. And, that respite, may be all a person needs to get back on form.

2017, music

Heavy

There isn’t very much to say today. In the last half hour or so I learnt the news that Chester Bennington, from Linkin Park, killed himself. I rarely get super upset over famous people dying, but this seems to hit home really hard.

Linkin Park were a bit like Blink 182, where they opened a door to other music. I have memories of having my personal CD player in my school bag with Hybrid Theory in it. Complaining that it jumped when I tried to walk anywhere. I bought every album by Linkin Park. Throughout their 7 studio albums, the band became chameleons, doing the music that made them happy. A big part of the music I now listen to, and the kind of person I am comes from Linkin Park. Chester was a hero to millions around the world, but that doesn’t stop mental health problems.

If you feel alone, or just a bit lost, please speak to someone. I write this blog as a way to get my issues out of my head, but I have also relied on others. I find it hard speaking to friends, so services came into mind. There is always someone willing to listen, you are not alone.

Service that helped me was the Samaritans.

UK & Ireland: The Samaritans call free on 116 123

(If anyone reading this has services which helped them in their country, please comment below and I’ll add to this post.)

2017, Life, news, ramblings

Guilty of feeling bad

Right now, it feels like every time you read the paper or watch a news broadcast, something else horrible is happening in the world. Innocent people are dying every day. And it is awful.

It can be difficult to relate to. I,for example, feel unbelievably guilty. I have my fair share of physical and mental health issues, and a lot of times it is hard to even hard to get dressed, never mind do something productive. But I watch the news, see the suffering of others who are much worse off than me. It starts the internal berating of myself, where I feel inadequate that I seem to have a lot, but I can’t deal. People have it worse. Someone said that at work today, to me. I didn’t offer a reply, but in my head, it reinforced the belief I was building up about myself.

It doesn’t make for a happy life. It makes every day feel like it’s double the length. My anxiety flares because i feel so guilty and unworthy, it causes my stomach to become unsettled so that every meal I eat, ends up in the sewerage system. It stops me from sleeping, I feel that if I can’t appreciate and enjoy my life, then maybe I shouldn’t wake up in the morning.

But, when in a calmer state, I realise everything I do is completely irrelevant to whatever disaster is in the news. Now, that sounds awful. But bear with me. My anxiety comes in different flavours. Sometimes my brain makes me feel unimportant, and sometimes it makes me feel responsible for EVERYTHING. So, the days where I feel hopeless, I try to break tasks down, like if I don’t process this task, a customer won’t get their refund. It is a small thing, but makes me feel I have a purpose.

When I am a bit more calm, like I am now, I can be logical. I can think of a way round my issues. But when anxiety hits, logic is furthest from my mind. I have donated to charities for the Manchester attack, the Grenfell Tower fire, and many others. Sometimes, feeling like I tried to give something helps calm my anxiety. But if you are struggling with current affairs and are feeling guilty or just questioning your place in the world, sometimes the best thing to do is to not constantly watch the news. I watch half an hour a day, and that’s it.

Don’t allow your mental health to bully you into feeling guilty for something you have nothing to do with. Which is hard, I know. You can also try to speak (or ramble online, like I do) about what you are feeling. If you are having a hard time health-wise, nothing should be-little what you are going through. And if someone tries to, ignore them. Look after yourself and those close to you.

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If you need mental health help visit The Samaritans

Donate to the Grenfell Tower fire fund, this situation is still ongoing, and the death toll is expected to rise. red cross appeal

2017

It’s A Very, Very Mad World

The world is a wide and varied place. It is filled with people, trying to make things better for their fellow man. However, there is also a lot of utter bastards to counter the good. Sometimes, it feels like all we see is the bad.

Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed in the tragedies that unfold every day around the world. Innocent people dying in the cruelest ways. School buses blown up in Syria, a music concert in the UK, hospitals in Indonesia, lone women in India, gay people in Chechnya… The list is endless. Most of this hatred is brought on by a sense of entitlement and an intolerance of others. And it is horrible. What is a normal person to do? How are we supposed to feel when others act so horrifically?

I don’t think there is an answer. A lot of the time all we can do is watch the news reports and read articles online. You may sign a petition, or donate to a foundation just to help. To get a sense you are doing something. Anything.

You may be unable to do anything about events in any of the headlines you will read today, tomorrow or any day to come. The world feels cold and dark. But, you can try and take that darkness away. Even just for those around you. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Introduce yourself to your next door neighbour, or invite a lonely neighbour round for tea. Go visit relatives. Use social media to send good wishes to those who you might not talk to very much. Smile at the person who serves you your morning coffee.

As clawing as negativity can be, positivity is contagious. I know not everything will be sunshine and rainbows, but a lot of people are emotionally struggling in life. It shouldn’t take tragedy to bring people together, but it also doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Terrorism is something which wants to tear people apart. To split society into fractions, fractions that disagree and fight amongst themselves.

Let’s not let that happen. Let’s share love and togetherness instead of hate and intolerance. ❤️

Uncategorized

Lost In It All

Just looking at the Internet today, not searching for anything in particular, just looking. Something that I don’t do very often. I am good at commenting on everything, and putting in my two cents on whatever is going on. 

Sometimes, I think we get too much information thrown at us, mostly by the Internet. It gets a bit hard to process it all. It is also hard to distinguish what is important, particularly on social media. Twitter and Facebook have a habit of promoting the useless twaddle that fills up the gossip sites. If you like that kind of thing, it’s okay, nothing wrong with it. But how can you tell what’s important when the going-ones in I’m A Celebrity is given more promotion than the story about Parliment voting to bomb Syria? 

It just gets a bit overwhelming at times. Like information overload. The press has always had the finger pointed at it for over-hyping one story, to mask over another one. A way of attempting to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. And that made a lot of people bored with the press, and turn to sides like Twitter and Reddit for more direct news. But when companies can pay for an allocated number of retweets, how honest is what we actually see? 

That’s what I sometimes think about, and to be honest it freaks me out sometimes. There are so many different ways to get information these days, and a lot of the time, every take is slightly different. So what has been added for effect. Is that ‘first hand source’ really telling a true story. You never know. 

As good as the Internet is for finding out information about the world we live in, sometimes I think it would be easier if all the web was used for was Netflix.