Inevitable Truths Are Often The Hardest

bd2f4f8ccbada3d2d9e1575722dd1b2b

 

Growing old is something which has been on my mind as of late. I have always been one of the youngest in my family, but I am now at university and I am legally an adult which is something that has taken me somewhat by surprise and I would like to ask someone when this happened!
But this means that the older generations of my family are also growing older (and wiser) and so sadly family numbers are slowly depleting.

I assume I am like a lot of people when I say that the prospect of aging isn’t something which I am excited about.

But why?

I have never liked the prospect of growing up or growing old. When I was three years old I remember telling my Dad that I wanted to stay three for ever, and when I turned ten I remember being sad because my age would never be single figures again. Now that I am older however I have begun to just accept the fact that growing old is one of the only things in life you can guarantee on happening to everyone, no matter who you are or where you are from. Ironically, as I have grown up I have become less fearful of becoming older. However, is that only because I am supposedly in “the best years of my life” and I am not yet at the age in which body parts and functions usually go down hill?

Perhaps as I mature I will begin to fear old age again? Who knows.

But why do so many people fear old age? Fear of old age is definately something which is embedded into the culture in which I live, but I couldn’t tell you why I was so fearful of growing up or growing old at such a young age!

Which this leads me to the question –  is this fear innate or culturally constructed?

It wouldn’t be nonsensical for gerascophobia (fear of growing old) to be an innate fear. In evolutionary terms old age equates to loss of fertility and the ability to fight, as well as the ability to look after one’s self which would ultimately lead to death.
On the other hand, if this were true I would think the whole human race to be absolutely ridiculous. Worrying about an inevitable truth of life seems like a complete waste of time, surely an innate phobia of a venimous spider or tiger would be more useful.

Perhaps modern day humans are fearful of old age because whole lives are spent working, working, working, then you blink and retirement has hit you in the face, meaning that all the things their younger selves had once lusted to do are no longer possible. Maybe. That’s one of my fears anyway.

If this was the case it would mean that gerascophobia is a culturally constructed phenomenon, but I believe that having the right attitude can completely reverse a situation around. Old age needn’t be something to be sombre about, instead it should be seen as a privilege.

6cce971e2d22067bf5614c79a9041393

Growing old is a privilege and I think we forget that ages that were once considered ancient are now expected. There are still countries where  the life expectancy is 45 (Sierra Leone), whereas for us living in wealthier countries this is barley considered “middle aged”.

I think perspectives need to be changed.
In many non-western cultures old age is celebrated, not ignored. The old aren’t hidden away in homes and made to feel useless and unimportant. They are respected heads of households and with each year they grow older (the celebrations become bigger) and respect grows. Here is a link describing how various other cultures treat their elderly:
Being someone from a younger generation, I believe we should listen to the elderly. They are role models, and for the most part extremely good ones (better than any celebrity). I would much rather take advice from my 91 year old grandfather, who has witnessed almost 100 years of change and development than an ignorant politician any day.

I would hope that by the time that I am considered old (if I ever get there) that this negative attitude toward the elderly has changed. I would hate to be thought of as useless and ‘in the way’ (I know many people do not feel this way toward their own parents/grandparents/random old people in the street – I am targeting the people who do). I would much rather be respected and valued, and I am sure you feel the same.
So why not start being a role model for the generations behind you? Teach them how to look after and admire the elderly so they do the same and so their grandchildren so the same as well.

Perhaps if this happens people will no longer fear growing old and instead look forward to old age as a time in their lives when they can appreciate the life they have lived and do what they want (even though you should have been doing that the whole way along).

02ff9ae4c3338c51f84a28b2130ab989
P.S. Age gracefully – don’t try to hold onto youth via plastic surgery/dressing like a 17 year old/tasteless make-up or hair…. it will make you look desperate and silly.
Advertisements

At Glastonbury Festival Alone

So I have just returned from the crazy, alternative, accepting, and extremely muddy place on Earth called Glastonbury Festival. I had a brilliant time, I saw many of my favourite artists, did crazy things and made friends with total strangers.

The only thing is, I did quite a lot of this alone.

That is not because I didn’t have a group of people to go with, because I did. However, most of these people were vague acquaintances rather than good friends. Fortunately I had a similar taste in music to some of them so I didn’t see any music acts alone. But otherwise I spent a lot of time looking round the festival on my own because they preferred to sit in their tents whereas I wanted to explore.

You may or may not know this but there is a plethora of things to do, see, eat, watch or buy at Glastonbury and I have no regrets going round myself and I do not understand my friends logic when they said they would rather stay at camp. I watched some brilliant comedy acts and musicians, I got a massage and my face was artistically covered in glitter, I also saw a man walking a fish and a marching band of kazoo’s. No one remarked at the fact that I was alone and I felt safe at all times, even at night when I wanted to go out and my friends didn’t (so I found a small tent with sofas in it, watched a couple of acts and took part in a competition where you could win a slinky/stick on moustaches/a giant bubble blower/plastic dog poo). The whole thing was ridiculous, absolutely absurd and amazing.

I would also like to add that I managed to get a decent suntan and experience a thunder storm within 48 hours while at the festival. Do not let the weather stop you from doing what you want to do. The mud really didn’t bother me and in my opinion it wasn’t as bad as other people said it would be. On the other hand, there was quite  a bit of mud and I can see how others may be bothered by it – especially city dwellers and those not used to the country – but from what I could see people didn’t care and just got on with what they were doing (do bring wellies though).

Of course I think I would have had a better time if I had gone to the festival with closer friends but that said, if you are ever fortunate to go to Glastonbury Festival do not be afraid to go off and do your own thing. The festival is huge and there is sooo much to do, do NOT waste your time doing things you don’t want to do (that goes for anything in life). Do not worry about loosing your friends as you will more than likely have a phone and be contactable (my phone ran out of battery while I was wondering around alone but I still found my friends… in the end). There is nothing wrong with being independent. I did things alone. I still had an amazing time. I would happily go back in a heat beat.

(I also know that groups of people exist who have bought their tickets individually and meet up with each other on the way/at the festival if they had no one else to go with. There are websites like this one http://www.meetup.com/The-UK-Festivals-Meetup-Group/events/165455192/ or forums on websites such as eFestivals where you could find people to go with or share lifts. Do bare in mind there is some risk in doing this though).

 

Until next time Worthy Farm.

Questions….

Here are some questions that occasionally pass through my head.
Some people may know the answers to a few of them but others may not know the answers to any. I thought they were fairly important questions that people tend to overlook, forget or not even question at all.

Why is eleven not called ‘onety one’?
Why is a unicorn not called a unihorn?
Is the green I see the same as the green you see?
What causes differences in senses of humour?
Why do people have different tastes in music or fashion?
Does novelty matter?
When was the last time you said thank you?
When was the last time you did something kind for a stranger?

Did you not know that you are more than good enough?
Why do you forget that intelligence can be measured in more than one way?

Is it worse to fail at something you try or never try it in the first place?

Why do people think that feminists cannot be feminine?

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time?
How many hours a week do you spend using social media/watching television/both?
Do you know how you can create more time?

Why do people care more about the economy than the planet? When we only have one planet and money (whether digital or physical) can be created at the click of a button.

Why does discrimination still exist when we know it is wrong?

What is beauty?

Is there a divine being?

When does consciousness begin?
How do we imagine?

What is freedom?
Are you free?

I think asking questions is a very important thing to do and I believe that people no longer ask enough questions, instead just accept facts and orders given to them by more ‘powerful’ people, whether it be a teacher or Prime Minister.
I don’t think people should be afraid to ask questions. Questions lead to understanding, and understanding leads to progress. Furthermore if the answers to the questions don’t lead to understanding more questions will be asked (which is good), or cracks and faults may begin to show which could expose lies and more lies.

Whatever the circumstance, questions are good, you will always learn and grow from them and you know you must never stop learning or growing.

Another Global Revolution

So I’m going to state the obvious here…. we’re currently part of a technological revolution. This to my knowledge is the most recent revolution of it’s kind since the agricultural and industrial revolutions, as it impacts the whole of humanity. It is revolutions of this kind that have aided humanity in becoming so developed and “successful” (if that is what you want to call our gradual domination of Earth). In this entry I am not going to speculate what the next revolution may be (although that is something which claims my imagination). Instead I am going to discuss matters concerned with the current revolution which is occurring this very second,that you and I are a part of and living through.

The choice is ours

The choice is ours

I have very mixed feelings about whether our current technological revolution is having a positive or negative impact on us, and annoyingly I am someone who tends to take forever to make a decision. On the one hand it is marvellous. We are able to travel to the other side of the planet in a day, something that would’ve taken months and months to do only a few hundred years ago. We can communicate globally with ridiculous amounts of ease, we are saving more lives and enhancing our quality of life to very high standards. The arts have benefitted, science has benefitted, businesses have benefitted, gaming and music industries have benefitted, schools have benefitted, the majority of people if not all have been able to enjoy the benefits of this technological revolution in one way or another.   But Have we really benefitted? What about long term consequences? And have you thought about how this may impact upon the planet?   These questions are pretty vital because I think we can agree there is no going back to the way life used to be. (That rhymes!) In my opinion, technology in all respects is going or has already gone too far. I am going to begin with the classic example of social media. The world of social media (for me) is a toxic one, obsessed with image and looks, and obsessed with portraying a perfect life on the web instead of actually living. It is creating and transforming generations of people into fake, mindless, materialistic zombies.  It saddens and angers me when I see people who would prefer to spend time in front of a screen and exercise their thumbs rather than actually doing an activity, learning a skill or meet up with friends. I just view it as a total waste of a life if that is what someone primarily does with their time, especially as everyone has so much potential. Plus other people on social media sites really don’t care that much about what you’re doing or what you think, they care more about themselves and their image. In this video which I’ve left the link for below, skip to 2.03 and there is an example of the extent to which social media has claimed the minds of the younger generations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlWaBPFowRY  SoulPancake is a brilliant YouTube channel crammed with positive messages, this is just a particular snippet which demonstrates perfectly what I am trying to get across. As does this video which went viral recently… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY   Right again Albert!   Next I am going to approach science, in particular Biology. Now, I have an interest in Biology as I nearly ended up studying it at university, so I can see how research has resulted in genetic engineering, stem cell research and growing organs etc. etc.,  it is down to plain old curiosity. But I think it is becoming dangerous and excessive, and we all know that curiosity killed the cat. In my opinion, as soon as you start to meddle with nature you have gone too far, and we have gone far too far. Manipulating an organisms genes for whatever reason or creating clones is just not supposed to happen. Otherwise it would happen without human interference, and there is no way to be sure that it will have long term positive consequences. Imperfections in the genome arise to keep populations under control. Don’t get me wrong, it is great that lives are being saved, made better and we are all living longer but that is half the reason for why we face the problems we, as a species and as a planet face.   Which leads me onto my third point, the planet and technology’s impact upon it.

Life can be so much simpler

Life can be so much simpler

We are all very well informed about the planets condition, but I fear that people do not take it seriously enough. This technology revolution has the ability to save us and Earth, but equally so it has the power to eradicate it. It can do this as people are becoming too dependent upon technology. You may not think about it, but every bit of technology we use from cars, to iPads, to hearing aids, even to the food we eat uses vast amounts of energy and materials which, despite current efforts are largely derived from coal, oil and gas. Just think about the phone or laptop you are currently using…. think about the effort and energy it took to make the plastic (made from oil), the amount power it took to extract the tiny bits of metal for the electrical circuits, the fuel required to transport it to shops and to you, not to mention the packaging. Now you maybe skeptic and thinking I’m taking this too far, but multiply that by 6.8 billion (the estimated number of phones on the planet).

There's an estimated 6.8 billion phones on this planet.   This isn't even 1000

That’s a lot of resources

This technology explosion has lead to a rise in life expectancy and a decrease in mortality rates, causing the population to soar. This is, in my opinion the heart of all our problems – population size. Because face it, even if we were having this technology revolution but with only 3 billion instead of 7 billion people on the planet, we’d be in no where near as much trouble. Although I’m 100% sure my issues with science and social media would still exist. However do not interpret this entry as me being a hater of technology, as I’m not and technology plays as much of a role in my life as the next person. I’m just very very very concerned.           (Also I do see the irony in me posting this on the web)

I Can Get You to Climb Everest in Flip-Flops and Fancy Dress

I Can Get You to Climb Everest in Flip-Flops and Fancy Dress

Don't quit, do it

Don’t quit, do it

Dreams, goals, aspirations, desires, objectives, ambitions … whatever you want to call them. I have them, in fact I have many. We all do and to some extent they define who we are.

But what if these things that define us aren’t “accepted” by our family or social circles?

I once told my Mum that I wanted to make a difference in the world, to make it a better place and she told me that very few people do that, implying that I wasn’t capable of doing such a thing and that hurt. Aren’t your parents, out of everyone supposed to believe in you and support you in everything you do or dream of doing?

In a subsequent conversation I had with her I realised why she had said what she did. It appeared to me that while she was growing up, dreams and ambitions outside of “the norm” weren’t permitted. You were just told to make your way in life.

Now, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate this. I know this because I have grown up in a very conventional family (who I love) but I cannot tolerate there conventional ambitions. Another one of my dreams is that I want to study Drama at university (which isn’t unconventional I know) but coming from a family of doctors, lawyers, dentists, vets, architects, engineers, astrophysicists, pilots, opticians, high ranking army personal and extremely talented sportsmen (yes that is my family), you can see that wanting to study Drama wouldn’t go down too well. Even though they say they want me to be happy I know they all think I’m crazy.

So what to do?

Well, I’m a firm believer in if you want something badly enough, you will get it!

If the prospect of not achieving your goals, dreams or desires fills you with sadness and depression then don’t give up on it. Whatever you do, do not give up. No one said it’d be easy, you’ve heard the saying the best things in life are free… well the best things in life also have to be chased after. But the feelings of accomplishment and joy you will feel once you have achieved will be totally worth it… and free! 🙂

Ignore the nonbelievers and keep going, and if people don’t believe in you, keep going. Prove them wrong! It just shows that you’ve got more guts and will power than the rest of them. If you ever feel low on motivation though, come to me. I will give you enough motivation, guts and will power to climb Mt Everest wearing nothing but flip-flops and fancy dress!

So follow your dreams because the pain you may currently be feeling is short term and is nothing compared to the long term, lifetime of pain you will feel if you give up, especially if you give up without trying.

So do it. Do it for me. Do it to prove the nonbelievers wrong. Do it for the experiences.
Do it for yourself.

GOOD LUCK 🙂

snow-mountain-wallpapers-140

Feminism Rewind?

Not exactly an light hearted topic it has to be said, but something I feel has to be said nonetheless.The other day I was talking with a friend and we landed upon this topic of conversation. Everything she said I found blindingly obvious… but only once she had said it. The point she made was that, the modern ‘lad culture’ currently imposed upon society has caused the feminist movement to totally backtrack.

Think about it. You only have to look at clothes stores, adverts or music videos to see evidence. There is no denying that equality of the genders is far far away. It is true that a lot of progress has been made since feminism began, but even  within the more sophisticated parts of society equality is a long way off. Generally speaking though I don’t think women are helping themselves either, especially those of the current teenage/early twenties generation who are totally immersed in ‘lad culture’.

Mass media has a huge influence on everyone and the music industry is one of the largest influences upon ‘lad culture’. If you flick onto one of the music channels on television, I can pretty much guarantee that you will see women being objectified in less than a minute, by male rappers and “singers” who appear to have ego’s far far far larger than can do anyone any good at all. But even female singers happily objectify themselves, making the behaviours displayed even more acceptable to the easily mouldable minds of the younger generations. Sadly this even includes role models such as Beyoncé. Beyoncé however states that within her explicit music video’s she is expressing sexuality, which is something we all have and should be proud of and free to express. While I feel that this is a valid point and I do agree with what she says, I feel that there are boundaries which are continually and far too casually crossed.

Many people these days are in tune with what is and is not in ‘fashion’ from a very young age. With such omnipresent influences from mass media it is no wonder that girls then deem it appropriate to waltz into clubs and allow themselves to be objectified by men. But what saddens me most is when I realise that many women require this behaviour from men in clubs to validate their beauty and sexual attractiveness! Which in my opinion is totally and utterly backward and wrong!

The primary point my friend made during this conversation however, was that boys behave like this as a result of feminism. Saying that boys did not know how to cope with this sudden ‘freedom’ that females were achieving and so felt the need to retrieve their dominance over women. Resulting in ‘ lad culture’.

Naturally I realise that this is a very controversial topic and I would love to elaborate if I wasn’t so concerned that I would start to waffle, which I know I have already done! I also realise that this is a two-way street and that not all men act like this and that some women appreciate the objectification while others do not.

I just feel that as an equal rights movement, it is totally going back on itself.

It has caused a rise in the public objectification of women. Again referring back to mass media, as a general rule, for a woman to be viewed as “sexy” by men, she needs to be almost naked and wearing unrealistic amounts of make-up and photoshopped to impossibility. Whereas men just need to take their tops off and females aged 12 – 30 will be swooning. It’s just not right.

Maybe though, it’s just how society is.

 

I’m baaaaack

So I’m back for round two (after a long break it has to be said).

Since September I have under gone a lot of change, within myself, on a personal level which it has been far from easy and unfortunately is not over.
My purpose of this blog has never been for personal reasons, because I feel at the end of the day, no one is really that bothered about other people’s lives (that’s my opinion). And yet, people can get so wound up in other people’s lives – just look at what’s on TV these days with Made in Chelsea or The Only Way is Essex, granted they are totally fake and scripted but in general the youth of today (which does include myself) love it. Furthermore, being a YouTube viewer I spend a shameful amount of time watching vlogs (video blogs), but then I realise… I don’t really care what that person did on that particular day. But then why did I spend 10, 15, 20 minutes watching them progress through their averagely average lives with no climax or pinnacle event?! Although I feel I can justify it because according to my screen 1 million other people did the same… BUT WHY?!! (This is something I wish to explore in a future post).

But back to my initial point (sorry for side tracking).
My aim for this blog is going to be a mixture of its initial purpose (things to make others happy), but it is also going to give me much needed space where I can express my views, opinions and worries about my life and modern culture in an attempt to try and clear all the clutter from my head. In essence I’m using this blog as a tool to help me find out who I actually am – because at the moment, I have no idea!

I really hope you enjoy reading it 🙂

xox

 

“Your life is your message to the world – make sure it’s inspiring” – Lauren Conrad