The Burial

Do not consider the version of you, that you are today, to be the best version of you that there ever will be. This presupposes arrogance, or a reluctance to learn, to improve. Stagnant and immovable, unlike anything else in this flowing universe. Which is a sign of the ignorant, and the boring. The version of you, that you are now, is not some post-best version of you. Even if you’ve been through times of greatness, or succession of success, and that comes to an end, do not then assume that something new will not come along again, or that you’ve played your part and can wait by the sidelines until the curtain closes. There is no stopping, there is no end, simply a change in the game, or in the rules that you play by. This feeling of lost, or ending, is a feeling we often get at the end of a long venture, such as a business venture, or maybe even the end of a period of formal education, such as school or university.

It’s at times like this we must most remember; the road is a long and arduous one – with friends and people you’ll meet at the start, while others you’ll meet at the end. Some will stay with you throughout, and some will part somewhere along the way. Some will carry you for a portion of time, as your feet tire against the persistent gravel, and there are others you will carry for some time too. If you’re lucky, you’ll smile and laugh as you carry or be carried, in the form of a piggy back. Sometimes it’s more that you are carried or that you carry, by the back and by the back of the knee, as you rest against their chest, or as they rest against yours.

Sometimes eyelids will be closed, shielding tender eyes from the searing light of the sun, or the unforgiving reminder of the vastness of the universe in the form of twinkling stars. Sometimes they will remain closed for longer than they should, for fear of all that  they’ll see. Or if you’re feeling lonely; for fear of whom you will not see, around you, when you need them most. Those whom your crave, to keep you warm amidst frosty nights.

Sometimes you will smile; and lie. Inside you curl up your toes underneath your bottom, and hold on tight to your shins as you fear the coming storm, in whatever form it chooses to manifest itself – and yet your outward projection is one of confidence, a frame that can withstand all the weather that can be thrown at it. When in reality, you are as sturdy, as Autumn leaves.

This is known as bravery, being the only one that knows that you are afraid.

But never let it be forgotten, that you do not have to be brave, to be good. You can be honest. You can be kind. And after you have been consumed by whatever life has become for you, and thrown at you, you must remember you can revive yourself or be revived with the support of others, and you can be brave again. Even if only a time, until you cannot be brave any longer. We are what we do consistently; not what we have done once before. Greatness therefore, is a habit. Not an achievement.

So you have not been great, and guided; and now you are lost, and mediocre. The road is simply not without its speed bumps. Its speed limits. It matters not that you slow, just that you do not stop. You are great, and you will be great, because of what you continually strive to do. It is okay to fail. It is not okay, not to try.

Do not long for a version of you that has passed. Rather, ensure their return, and eventually safeguard that they are improved upon, and no longer the standard by which your own personal greatness is based upon. Ensure the return is relentless, and without mercy. If the world is a fire, ensure you are a storm. Whatever life throws at you, as unrelenting as it is, remember that you are unyielding, and more ferocious than it can ever hope to be.

Do not find yourself giving up early, due to wearing parts and exhaustion; suppressing your dreams and ambitions off to one-side and pretending that you can gleeful accepted mediocrity, when in fact you have merely given into it. For all you will accomplish, is not realism – but an early death. One where you die, at twenty five – and are buried much later in life.

There is no point in giving in. There is no emergency exit. For not even the end of the road, can be the end. There has never been an end. Only a change of the game, or the rules by which you play.

Definition – A study of “Now”

It would be a presumptuous yet fair statement, to say that we all have a preconceived notion of what we want from our time in this life that we perceive as ours. An idea of what it would take for us to reach the plenum of existence, and consider ourselves “fulfilled”.

And yet, if you were to stop for a moment; put a pause of your life as best you could, and write a list of exactly what it is that you want from your time on this Earth, and make a conviction and a promise not to change that, you would run into two distinct problems.

One: while it is perfectly easy to suggest you pause your life, you obviously and unfortunately cannot. If you were to take your time and write this list, with the intention of completing it in totality and never changing it, you would encounter a problem based on an assumption you would have had to have made, in order to even begin writing the list. The assumption would have been that you, unlike everything else in the universe; are static. An assumption that while your body grows old and tires, YOU are always YOU.

When in reality, YOU are changing all the time. You are not some steadfast rock grounded into foundation which a river works around, rather you are part of its water. It just becomes difficult to define the water part, in the same way you can point to the whole river and say “water”, or pick out a single molecule and say “this too is water”.

It’s a result of a struggle to separate the “I” of the mind and the “I” of the body. Assuming they are not one thing, because one part thinks, and the other part is physical matter. We forget the physical matter provides the means by which the conscious thinks, and can therefore perceive the physical part.

The two are cyclical; perfectly chicken and egg. And the two are changing at every second of the day as you flow from one moment to the next. A great example of how ever fluctuating both your mind and body are; is you may have a memory of a time you were brave, and so you could define yourself as courageous – that you put your body in harms way to save another in some form. And yet, you will probably also remember a time when you were cowardly. When you stood and watched a bully, rather than intervene, for fear of reprocusion. So are you brave, or are you cowardly?

Or were you simply brave in one moment, and cowardly in another?

But while you think of that; you will come to:

The second of the two problems: you can write down the words, “I want to be happy” or “I want to have wealth”; but you must remember that these are just words, not the feeling as they are themselves.

That is to say, that to physically say the words, “I am happy.” is not the same as being happy itself. Being happy is an indescribable feeling, because once you are in a moment of happiness, you’re not thinking about how happy you are; you just are. Like all else, it’s like a flow. You lose track of time, and you simply are the experience you are living, and it’s one which through one way or another evokes happiness. If you are to stop and think “why am I happy?” or “how happy am I?” you have begun to detract from the experience, and may actually think “how could I be more happy?” which decreases the intensity of the experience further so that actually you can’t describe your feeling of happiness just now, because you’ve lost yourself trying to define it, and by comparing it to future or further happiness it’s now not as happy as you imagine you could be.

So you’re defining nothing.

In the same way you could say you “want wealth” and in one moment mean “money” and in the next mean “purpose.”

In summary; what this effectively means, is a “You” which is no longer “You”, is defining an experience of say, “Happiness” which you cannot define, because the “Happiness” you are trying to define has passed to the variation of “You” than you were, and the “You” that you are now because you spent the time to define it.

Classification and definition are traits of the intelligent entity; perhaps experience is the trait of the wise entity.

To live the moment; is better than to define it, for in defining it, you surrender it.

And while you could define a moment, retroactively, this is defining a memory of a moment, and not the moment itself. So it is subject to infinite complications and inaccuracies.

Definition enables comparison. Rather than experiencing temperature, you are now experiencing hot or cold, or hotter or colder. This applies to happiness and sadness.

Rather, live in the moment as it is. Do not fear it or long for changing of circumstances, simply bask in what is. And while you can choose to define, at least understand what you are doing to the moment by categorising it. Take the moment as it comes, as it is in its purest form. Do not long for more or less of it, or a greater or lesser intensity of it. Simply; be.

Regardless of what you do; I hope the moment you find yourself in now, is a happy one. Just try not to think about it.

 

Feminism; Equality Takes Two

It is a strange world we live in; where one could decide they would like all things to be equal, and yet not decide they believe in feminism. The core concept of feminism, being that in a primarily patriarchal society, it is about time that women were given the same rights as men, and not be subjected to petty rules based on a pre-defined gender at birth. Ultimately, it is about shaping the world so that women are not classed as second class citizens. It makes no sense, to pay a woman less, to require she work harder to achieve the same goals, or to assume she must perform “housework”, must put on make-up or go through additional “grooming”, or must perform “womanly duties” because she is a female.  It’s creating fictitious rules one must abide by, simply because of their sex. This is archaic, it’s misogynistic, and it needs to change.

In the defence of those who are not yet feminists (one must assume ignorance before maliciousness), it may be that they are indoctrinated by a male dominated media, who have managed to swindle the case of feminism so that it appears all supporters are radical. It’s a common technique, called minimalising. Where you make an issue seem small, and that only extremists could care about it. Of course with all causes there are radicals. But it is important to remember they are called as such because they differ from the norm. It is vitally important, that you do your research, and understand what feminism really means. It is important, that women are given equal opportunity in the field of journalism, professional journalism, so that they may steer the view-point. With more women in the field, in the positions of power and with the ability to make change, so too will this trickle down to the masses, who will be educated on the other side of the the debate.

Equal Work Opportunity

Now what must be understood, as a matter of physics, is that to start moving an object takes more energy than for it to continue moving. So while it is unfair, the task is upon the world to make an effort, to gain the momentum we need, to reach the place we should be as a society. And that requires the participation of all peoples. Or all genders and sexes.

And yet, what is problematic, is that some are falling into a trope of assuming you must be radical to be true to the cause. What’s more upsetting, is that some vocal speakers, believe that feminism requires misandry. As a male – I come across a common issue when trying to comment on feminist issues, to show support for it. I come across the issue, where I am immediately made to feel not welcome, or when I do enter a forum and read a horrific story a woman has went through, the top and most up voted comments are to the effect of “Typical man.” or “Of course it was a man who did that.”

And when you do try to comment with your own perspective, you are touted as not being eligible to have an opinion on the matter.

Some people are under the impression to be a feminist, you must be a female. This is categorically false – and remarkably short-sighted. This would be similar to saying you cannot believe black people are treated unequally because you are not black. Which would be a very stupid thing to say. If we could only comment on qualities we posses, then one could not believe disabled people require support; unless you are disabled, or that gay people deserve equal rights; unless you are gay.

Long story short; you are allowed an opinion on a matter, even if you are not the direct subject of it. To say “You aren’t X so you don’t have an opinion.” is moronic, and cowardly. We all fit into the society we are creating, which means we are all allowed our takes upon it.

To say, “Typical man” or “Of course you’re a man; you would act this way.” is the very definition of sexism. Do not fall into this trap. I understand, as a male, my struggles to enter the feminism debate does not equate in any way to the struggles of the brave women out there who have had to endure endless ridicule and denigration because of their sex – what I am saying – is that there should not be an additional barrier to being a feminist. Especially an invisible one.

Because the Male Sexists of the world will use it as ammunition. They will be given evidence, however false, that will allow them to spin stories, and tell lies about feminism. They will point to the one negative article surrounding feminism, and ignore the adjacent positive hundred. It’s very easy to convince large groups of people, when you show them a narrowed perspective. This in turn will slow the move towards feminism, which will in turn increase frustrations, which may lead to more misandry, which will in turn slow the transition more, and so on.typography-2730340

The fight for equality requires that we both participate. And while the rules of progress are still debated, please ensure you are moving towards the solution, and not simply creating a problem.

Lastly, if you are a man, and you believe this is a fight.  You believe this is a fight, where the women are stealing your power, they are stealing your advantage, they are stealing your ways and the traditions of how the patriarchy has operated for thousands of years, then understand this; this is a fight we must lose. 

We are on the side of the privileged – and in a world where we should all be given an equal opportunity, it is important then that we lose this advantage. You are not losing your opportunity – you are just ensuring others have it too. In the race of life, we must all start on the same line, as best we can. We cannot make education, opportunity, work, money, healthcare, safety, politeness, caring, kindness, or priority, different for one sex – and not the other.

This is unfair. Just because it has been the way, and the way for a long time, does not mean it must continue to be. You must not continue making a mistake, simply because you have committed so much time to it. This, is a honey pot.

As we move towards equality – a world where men, women, and children of all genders, ethnicity, and sexual orientations are allowed equal opportunity – we will move towards a world of peace, of understanding, and of a forgetting of past bitterness and unfairness. We do not have to be dystopian children; dystopian dreamers. We can have a future, and a beautiful one at that.

Be sure that in the future, when you look back upon your contributions; you see you fought for the winning side; the side of feminism.