Friday, December 23, 2011

true 2 urself

If it's true that our choices are dictated by societies norms and tastes and that we as humans have no free will, then what are the real differences between individual human beings?

Despite what we may share with others, we are all unique individuals. Siblings share the same society,school and family life but each have their own distinct character and sometimes can be completely different. The primary material that is evident in each human being from birth is what gives each individual their true wealth. If everything else is simply what we have picked up from our environment then the only thing that can really represent our true selves is what we are born with. To try and modify who you really are could be quite dangerous; denying natural impulses can only bring more emptiness into the world. If you are not yourself, then who are you? That doesn't mean that reacting emotionally without thinking is the answer either. The point is that we can only truly accept ourselves if we know who we really are. If we don't give ourselves the time to examine the route of our own feelings and actions, how can we be sure that our actions are our own and not simply what we have learned from a corrupt society?

Having said that, we cannot deny that in the physical world in which we are aware of; nothing is permanent. Every object upon this green earth is constantly developing. You are not the same as you were yesterday and tomorrow you will change again. Just because we are not conscious of these changes it does not mean that they do not exist. No matter how similar one day can seem to another, there are differences in your thought patterns and how they interact with the environment.

Every organism abandons its previous forms and acquires new ones under the influence of four factors:

1. Origin (What you were born with)
2. Evolution that stems from its own nature (The way you as an organism develop naturally)
3. Evolution that changes under the influence of external factors (The impact the environment has on your development)
4. Evolution and transformation of external factors (The influence of changes in the environment)

Awareness is a good thing and something that helps us to become more conscious of our own actions. The desire to conform is often so strong that we sacrifice not only the precious primary material that each individual is born with, but we forget to do what we know in our conscience is the morally correct action in any given situation, if that could risk our chances of being part of the group.

As children we are all small, helpless and full of fear. The rules of the playground prepare us for the rules we need to follow if we wish to fit in to the society in which we live. Young children are very aware of societies values or the lack of them. If our society values material objects then children will also value them. To fit into the group in the playground children need to have the correct material objects. The pressure to conform is almost impossible to resist at such a young and impressionable age. Those who don't conform to the norm often suffer immensely until they find a group that they can fit into; of non conformists like themselves who often follow the same rules as their group.

The point about the childhood experiences for many growing up in societies which have lost any real moral or spiritual values they may have once had, is that we are denied the opportunity to develop naturally. In other words; each individual's Evolution that stems from its own nature is somewhat denied under circumstances where that individual is not able to accept their own origin and natural development. The key is to be aware of ourselves and when we find ourselves in a safe environment we need to at least give ourselves the chance to think about how these four factors have influenced our life choices.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

The reality of war

A shocking video that shows real images of war. It's no surprise to many of us who were never convinced that the US army and friends were in Iraq or Afghanistan to help the people. For many years now the only thing I heard on the news were stories of Iraqi suicide bombers or the sad news about the heroic death of an  American or British solider at the hands of the evil Taliban.

George Orwell's 1984 is quoted more than ever before as today's society comes closer to the nightmare depicted in the 1940's fiction. The idea of changing the definition of words does not have to be done by editing any dictionaries as the majority of the worlds large media corporations sing to the same tune. In Orwell's nightmare, freedom=slavery. In our 21st century reality the word "Freedom" is used time and time again to justify actions which destroy the most basic freedoms. Aerial bombing of entire villages would never be shown on the BBC or CNN but is a reality of warfare. Not only in the 21st century either. During the Vietnam war the american soldiers thought it would be a good idea to drop a load of bombs over Laos. Not because Laos posed any threat but simply because the country was seen as an a convenient area to dispose of excess bombs. Injuries and deaths still occur due to many undiscovered landmines across the region. The point is that when people lose their loved ones, limbs, schools, hospitals, homes, access to food, drinking water and the security to leave their homes without risking their lives; they have no freedom. This the reality of war, what ever name you want to give it.

The founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange won the Walkley award for journalism in November 2011, despite his fallout with the New York Times. Whose editor complains of Assange thinking of himself as a journalist. Whereas Assange complains that the newspapers are publishing very little information. The speculation continues, not only over the fate of Julian but also of the less famous whistle-blower; Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial at a US military court. He may be given life in prison or could even face the death penalty. The irony of the so called US "Justice" system is that if he was found guilty of torturing civilians he would not have been given such a harsh punishment. The fact that he exposed the truth about torture in the US army made him a criminal for doing what was moral and just.

Here is a video about Manning, his forgotten story. There are 3 parts. Part 3 is the most interesting

Friday, December 9, 2011


Objects in society
Pretending to be subjects
But treating themselves as objects
How can one be objective?
When life is so subjective
Life is so subjective when we are all treated as objects
Step outside the box and free yourself from normality
Love is the subject not the object
Don’t reject the object
Reject the consumption
And the psychological manipulation
This is counter productive
Don’t make assumptions
Make decisions of reasonable judgement
To avoid confusion
Free yourself from the illusion
And start again
Free yourself from pain
And start again

The cannibal

A cannibal is cutting a hole in your scull
And eating your brain
You think you’re still alive
Still breathing, still feeling, still thinking
But you are mistaken
For what he’s taken
You don’t want it back
You’re comfortable in a trance
Listening to the voices in your head
What are they saying?
Are you really hearing
What you’ve most been fearing
It’s appearing and disappearing
Floating on thin ice
Could you be breaking
The most precious gift ever given
Have you kept it hidden
Not wanting the world to see
Who you really are
Behind the glitter and the stars
If not now then when
When will you stand up for what you believe in
Ready to be true
Break down the barriers
Let the light shine through
Restore and renew
Assess the situation
Have some patients
Have forgiveness
Take your time but don’t waste time
Use the space, don’t take the space
Break the cage
Feel the love

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stop and think about immigration

 Life can be difficult if it's only you. Many suffer and some suffer more through the cold winters. Does love go beyond borders? One answer would be yes. Of course we are capable of loving someone who does not share our culture. Such differences are insignificant and have nothing to do with love.

 It's through learning that we grow. We can learn to accept differences as no better or worse than what we've grown to learn in our own unique environment that we all as individuals have been thrown into from birth. The most significant difference between someone from a rich country and another from a poor country is often the rights they have in each other's countries. The European Union has been trying to make immigration more difficult for many years now. For many the only option is to enter illegally. Many of those who travel by boat make it to Europe alive. When they arrive they are not allowed to work legally and not entitled to many of the benefits that Europeans grow up with. What can one do in such a situation? Many hope to get to the U.K, France or Germany but end up in countries like Spain and Italy; which are often the first stop for those arriving by boat.

I met one young man in Spain who hadn't been back to Senegal for over six years. His name was Demba and his story began as a student in France who came with a visa to study architecture. He said that president Sarkozy had put up the student fees to the extent that made it impossible for him to study. He had some friends who were working in a small town on the Costa Brava; not too far from Leon. He thought it would be a good opportunity for him to earn some money, so that he could send it back home to his family in Africa. He's been in Spain for 3 years now, selling what he can.

Demba is often is too ashamed to answer calls from family members as he often just doesn't have any money to send back. He works 7 days a week and some days he comes home empty handed. He lives in an overcrowded flat and shares a single bed with his cousin. Despite the hardship, he counts himself lucky that he's not living on the streets with a drug or mental health problem. He explains how his life was better in Africa but he came to  Europe to improve the future of Senegal. After all he's been through in the last 6 years he can't just give up now and go home with nothing.

The story of an immigrant arriving in Europe on a student visa, not achieving an education and then deciding to look for work in the black market is not uncommon and certainly not unique to France. The U.K is often the most popular destination for students. It's not surprising given that English is the international language and Britain has long established relations with many countries who were once officially under her rule.

Over a year ago it was announced that the UK government would treble the cost of university fees. Currently British citizens have to pay around £9000 a year. There were protests fueled by the the outrage of a generation of young people unable to afford an education in one of the richest countries in the world. What very few people managed to mention was that foreign students have been paying around £9000 a year in university fees for quite some time now.

For those lucky enough to put together enough money to reach Europe legally. Which is often a case of families saving up for years and sometimes family members clubbing together to put money into the would be students bank account so that the UK government have their proof that Ahmed from Pakistan has at least £800 in his bank account for every month he dares to tread on her majesty's blessed kingdom. When they arrive they find that the cost of living is often too high to simply focus on studies. Those on a student visa have restricted working hours which are changing all the time. If the only way to survive is to work illegally for £3 an hour and skip classes then many will do just that. Do they have another option?

For those who don't want to return to their country as a failure, marriage can seem like an appealing option. Especially for those who really do fall in love and who come from a culture where not being married may not be very socially acceptable. Unfortunately even love is not always enough to secure a place in the so called "free" world. Even if after careful examination a marriage is accepted. Which in the UK is not only a case of answering correctly to a set of interview questions but is also a case of proving that you have enough money to support your non-European spouse. Even if you are able to jump through all the hoops, fill out all the forms, gather all your documents and in many successful cases pay the lawyers fees; the visa is only probationary for 2 years. The idea of free trade is often celebrated by the rich and powerful. But in reality the only free trade that exists between poor and rich countries is the freedom of the rich to get richer by taking advantage of the open borders of the third world.  While keeping theirs closed to people like Demba who is only looking for a very small slice of that wealth that was partly created from the colonization of his country.