thoughts

power to the people

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In the Shakespeare play Pericles, after one fisherman marvel’s at how the fish live in the sea, another fisherman responds; ‘Why, as mean do a-land — the great ones eat up the little ones’.

It is a sad reality that land’s small fish – the local businesses, small organisations, and common members of society – tend to be swallowed up by our big fish – the large corporations, the filthy rich, or the people feeling entitled to their discriminatory ideals. It’s as though the capitalist world we live in today has shaped out to be some sort fight for survival, the rich just wanting to get richer, the powerful wanting more power, and those with nothing finding any means to assure themselves they are better than something else.

It is easy to accept this reality, to effortlessly slip intobig-fish-little-fish the
patterns and expectations of a world created by the powerful. But when we look back into our not so distant history, doors begin to appear in the corner we were once chased into by this big fish-small fish mindset. The key to these doors: Unity. For arguments sake, let’s say that in the ocean a big fish generally eats about 100 small fish in a day. If one of those small fish constantly managed to get way before being eaten, the big fish probably wouldn’t notice, nor would it care. However, if all 100 of the small fish united and constantly found a way to escape being eaten, the big fish would’t survive. The point here is that society’s big fish need us, maybe even more than we need them; The rich rely on the poor to gain or uphold their wealth, the powerful rely on the weak in order to remain dominant, democratic leaders rely on public opinion in order to continue leading, and people without power or dominance cheat themselves into a feeling of importance, relying on their ability to degrade (consciously or subconsciously) those with less status.

The unification of women in the 19th century helped to grant women the vote. Women came together and spoke up for what they  believed in, so rather than just being a nice thing for men to look at, they were finally seen as people with enough intelligence and importance to vote alongside men. Women (and men) are still using the power of numbers today, over 3.3million people in the US alone marching to fight for the unresolved issues women still face.

The Orange Revolution is another example of ordinary people sparking change and dominating the big fish. In the months following the corrupt 2004 presidential election revealed Yanukovych as president, hundreds of thousands of people protested in favour of Yushchenko. This resulted in the recounting of votes and the revelation that Yanukovych had actually lost to Yushchenko 44% to 52%.

Among others examples are the protests against USA’s involvement with the Vietnam War, the Black Civil Rights Movement, the Salt March in India, Apartheid in South Africa, and the Chinese protests in Tiananmen Square in favour of democracy. If these huge social and political barriers can be broken, there is no excuse for people like you and I to take a stand against the big fish and fight for what we want – whether it be on a small or big scale.

As Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘there is power in unity and there is power in numbers.’ Sure, some the worlds biggest social and political changes in history were lead by individuals such as MLK, but no change has ever arisen without a strong number of individuals uniting as one. We have the power to change the world, which is pretty fucking cool. All it takes is unity, ambition, and a strong objective. Power to the people, Amandla Awethu.

🙂

 

 

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thoughts

2016 in reflection

I’m definitely not someone who, at the beginning of a new year, enjoys over analysing my life and overly appreciating what the previous year has brought me. But, when hearing people over the last few days placing 2016 in a category (whether it be a good or bad one), I realised that after a shitty 2015, 2016 will definitely be slipped into the category of one of the sickest years so far.

I hit so many milestones in 2016. The biggest one for me would probably be going vegetarian in April and then becoming vegan 6 months later. This was something that I wanted to do for so long, but always found excuses to do so. After finding out the revolutionary benefits veganism had on our deteriorating enironment, I looked into it further and the ethical argument was equally as strong, not to mention the significant health benefits (if you actually eat healthy vegan food hah). This is seriously one of the best decisions I have ever made and I’ll never go back!

Aside from that, other memorable moments were getting 3rd in NZ for the u18 quad at Maadi Cup, getting my learners and my restricted, going to a mock UN security council meeting, my house getting renovated, going to YLead, playing in the school orchestra (although not very well), joining enviro group and amnesty international, finally figuring out how to study for exams, getting a job, finishing englishh and maths forever, and making a blog!

I’m proud of these physical things I have done, but what I am most proud of how I have changed mentally. Even though I still think most to this stuff is super cringe, over the last year I have definitely become more appreciative of the world and everything that comes with it – including myself. I feel as though I have finally started becoming comfortable without feeling the need to compare myself to everyone else, which just causes you to desire what you don’t or can’t have. If you think that you need to be like everyone else in order to be liked, then you are wrong. I thought this for soooo many years without realising that what makes people likeable is not the things that make them fit into a crowd, but the little quirks that make them different and themselves.

2016 was the year that I decided to, for the most part, just stop caring about what people thought about me. If they don’t like me for who I am then they don’t like me, and I told myself that I would just have to become acceptive of that – there will be reasons we don’t connect, and I wasn’t going to make an effort to change myself in order to change this truth. In doing this, I have had more energy to meet new people and become closer with friends that I actually enjoy the company of and who (I hope) enjoy the company of me.

Everyone takes the piss out of the saying ‘new year, new me,’ myself included, because it is awful. However, reflecting back, 2016 didn’t bring a ‘new me’ per se, but definitely a new way that I saw myself – making me more me than I have felt in a long time.

2016 was mint, and all the good to come out of it definitely outweighed the bad. I’m totally ready for 2017, and lets hope the years to follow just keep getting better.

happy new year xo

 

 

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thoughts

compassion is the answer!!!!

Our world is in a serious state of compassionate deficiency – affecting people, animals and the environment. But apparently the consequences don’t matter, because they aren’t affecting you. Our world is stuck in the mindset that if we have neither seen nor eaten a strawberry in our life, that strawberries therefore must not exist (despite the clear evidence that they in fact do).
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Many people argue that they are compassionate beings, that they are aware of and empathise with the feelings of other living things. However, this is where empathy and compassion are different. To be compassionate, these empathetic feelings going on inside your head must coincide with the feeling to do something about it – there is no use, for example, feeling empathetic towards someone who is about to get hit by a car, then not actually taking any action to warn them about it.

I think our lack of compassion is driven less so by hate and more so by plain indifference – and I am definitely guilty of this. When hearing facts such as 795 million people don’t have enough food to live a normal life, or that our worlds land ice is decreasing by 281 gigatonnes every year, initially I am concerned. But within hours, if not minutes, these facts have been disregarded and I have entered a sense of indifference. When I take some time to revisit and process issues such as these, I am disappointed in myself for not having the startling truths on my mind 24/7, and for going about my day worrying about stupid problems such as my phone battery draining every time I use snapchat.

However, I do not believe we are instinctively indifferent about our worlds biggest issues, but that we are struggling to process the connection between the statistical numbers and their reality. 795 million people is the same as the whole population of New Zealand being multiplied by about 172 and then left hungry (Fun Fact: 70% of US’s grain is being fed to farmed animals, which is enough to feed 800 million people 🙂 ). 1 gigatonne of ice is equal to 1 billion tonnes – that means 281 billion tonnes of land ice is melting per year. This statistic is clear evidence that our world temperatures are rising, yet many still believe global warming is a hoax because they live in a country that hasn’t been outwardly affected by it yet, or because it just so happens to be a chilly day in their neck of the woods. Our lack of connection to numbers is driving our indifference, which is driving our overall lack of compassion to the world around us. I can’t help wonder if the media is partially to blame for this? Because I know for sure there was no trouble connecting numbers with their reality after the Paris attacks in 2015. If concern for issues were being more highly publicised, concern would be normalised by the public because the public always has, and always will, mimic the media.
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In my opinion, indifference is worse than hate – and our current worlds incapability to process situations that don’t affect us directly will eventually bring us to our doom. Although it is really important to be aware of the consequences brought on by our indifference and lack of compassion, in order to make a change we must draw our thoughts away from what we lack and focus on what we want. We attract what we think about, so if we focus on what is written below we will begin to attract more compassion within ourselves and eventually around us, whereas if we continue to focus about our growing indifference and absence of compassion, we will only be attracting more.

We want to be surrounded by compassiona8a5b4298e64562e19d12109cf8195cb because it will
reduce judgement towards those in our community
We want to be surrounded by compassion because there will be more equity for minority groups
We want to be surrounded by compassion because families struggling to make ends meet in our own country could have a brighter future.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because animals will no longer be bred and raised with their sole purpose being to satisfy the greed of people.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because Syrian children could grow up the risk of being bombed.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because future generations need a safe planet just as much as we do.
We want to be surrounded by compassion because it is the beginning of the answer.

comp_ex_engBy no means am I compassionate to everything/everyone one I come across – there is so much I need to improve on. Like virtually everyone, I find myself being super judgemental at times, but about two or three years ago when I was visiting Wellington I picked up this card while in a coffee shop. I can’t say it changed my life because I always forget I have it haha, but whenever I do read it, it plays on my mind for ages, and really changes the way I view things.

I am challenging both myself and anyone reading this to carry out this exercise whenever they remember. Take first step into making this world a more compassionate one!! 🙂 🙂

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I made a blog

I’m not someone who’s ideas can flow out right out of their mouth and sound awesome, so I have never really been one to go around expressing my opinions to everyone I meet. This is why I love writing, because you can take your time and you’re seeds of ideas just tend to grow as you write. (Also you don’t sound like an annoying preacher lol)

I’ve been wanting to make a blog for probably the past year but have always been put off by the judgement served to those who have, and also out of fear that I would run out of things to write about. However, due to my favourite inspirational quote still being YOLO, I’ve just decided to go for it and see how it goes 🙂

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