Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Conundrum of the Self: How Can We Change the World?

We need to stop undermining the individual. We need to stop thinking that just because we feel similarly to one another at times, that we're the same people. It's a habit we've made popular -- the typical, "have you ever felt like x?" question, and the typical "oh my gosh, yeah, I didn't think anyone else felt this way!" answer.

Alright, I understand that what I just said up there was a bit of a "punch", but I want to make it clear that my point is not about getting rid of our relations to one another as humans, but rather that it's about getting rid of our nonsensical tangents that lead to narratives of undermining the unique, and stuffing the common down people's throats until they can no longer breathe the very essence that makes them, themselves.

I think that teenagers experience this all the time. We get categorized, underestimated, brainwashed, ostracized, humiliated, etc. etc., almost every single day. I bet that even our thoughts are doing that right now, the whole, "I've already heard the typical being a teenager is awful narrative" turned into a, "I'm undermining myself by saying that" finally evolving into, "I'm horrible for trying to set myself apart because now, I'm just attributing my existence to that narrative."

But I think that it's important for us to realize, that by thinking that we're foolish for trying to initiate change by glorifying the individual, we're not doing ourselves the very favour we need, which is to be proud of being young. I mean, come on, we all know that the reason why we're underestimated and humiliated for being young is because the really mean older people that don't like us, know that if we're on the same team, we could possibly ruin their "empire". As much as we look like super uneducated monkeys to some people, they also know that with a little bit of book reading and a lot of analysis, we can actually really change the world.



So, after having talked about the potential for a "young and ripe overturn of the machine", it's worth focusing on why I think it's so important to embrace ourselves, that is to say, by embracing ourselves, we're able to stop the cyclical trap of "pushing to be unique".

As a member of such a large community of humans, I know what it's like to feel lost or insignificant in the presence of numbers so big. I get it, we're all trying to set ourselves apart from one another, and as much as I know I glorified that just a few paragraphs ago, I also want to comment on why it's really hard for us in the long run to be doing that, which is to say, to be trying to set ourselves apart.

This whole quest for the "unique", and the presence of the glorification of discoveries of the "unique" being panned out for so long, is actually a process of self-sabotage when you're in the position of the other, which is to say, the observer of the unique. It becomes an issue of trying so hard to be different, that you just end up being like everyone else.



Now you're probably thinking the same thing I am: that this has to be a visible conundrum that people are either avoiding, or treating like some rhetorical question.

Actually, I've realized that it's just something we've been overlooking for so long as the general public, that it's almost incredibly awkward if we do what's actually supposed to happen.

The big answer to this conundrum is what I've been saying this whole time... we just have to be ourselves. That's it.

We spend so much of our lives worried about what people think, who it is that we should hang out with, why we should prefer wearing matching colours over mismatched tones, where we should place ourselves on the ranking scheme of societal convention, and how we should be acting in order for people to think we're different. It's crazy, because we didn't need all of that.

I know that it's just part of the human condition to be feeling the way that most of us do about our place in the world, and the acceptance of others, but really at the end of the day, the ones who make a huge change in the world, or establish their own unique platforms, are the ones who just follow their gut. Our gut instincts are probably the most unique things about us, and I think that the moment we do follow our gut, we become masters of our very own empires.






Along with this however, we need to remember that not everyone is going to like us for who we are, and I don't think it should matter as much as we think it does. We all want to be accepted but sometimes that's just impossible, and I think that's okay even if it doesn't seem like it. We sometimes can't grasp an acceptance of our own selves, so why would we expect any different from other people? Moreover, why should we want everyone to like us? Liking other people isn't the the focus of global change, it's the awareness of the fact that other people exist on this Earth, and that they deserve every inch of respect for being the individual that they are, no matter where they're from.. except when they're really horrible like the countless people who have killed others for reasons completely unjustifiable by reason, and by humanity.

The point is, love yourself. It can be hard, I know, but it's the secret to loving life, and that's important.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

I Think We Should Separate Part 2

It's been a while so I thought I'd update you all on this long awaited issue.

I'm choosing to be completely honest in this post, and so I wish to reveal to you, as many of you already know, I didn't exactly stick to my plan.

Part of this whole "hiatus" was to allow myself to see if I could really live life without social media, that I could live each day genuinely without this "new generation crutch".

It worked for about 3 weeks. Each day I felt more and more cleansed, and honestly, I felt that it was great because I didn't obsess so much about how many people liked my posts, or who retweeted me, or how many views I had on a particular blog post or Soundcloud track. But as soon as the first month was over, I found myself starting to give in. I felt lonely because I realized that as much as I wanted to do this cleanse, it wasn't something that everyone else would be on board with.

I started to see that the social media movement had a larger impact on the youth than I thought. People I knew spent hours on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., scrolling down pages of endless pictures and videos and text posts about things they felt in tune with, but had no courage to live out. It was just so sad because as much I saw that social media was having a negative impact on the youth, I could do nothing about it because I didn't want to be relevant. I didn't want to be pulled into the attention, nor did I want the attention myself. I was more in tune with the humanity of myself but less with that of others as the world let humanity be dictated by these non-human machines.

Feeling trapped by this, I ended up using all of social media again by mid-August.

I saw that life nowadays literally can't be lived "properly" without social media. It's all people talk about, it's all people obsess about, it's all people feel is relevant.

As I mentioned before, I know that social media has its positive sides too. For example, I find that posts on Twitter reach followers much faster than the news, so let's say if a child is missing, people can post amber alerts automatically onto the site, and within literal seconds, neighbourhoods will act upon the issue and start looking for the child. I've also found posts of kids taking videos of their family members, making them promise to stop smoking if they get enough retweets and these tactics have worked for the amount of times I've kept up with them.

But I really can't find anything positive that outweighs the negative for the young people. I think that unless you're making a brand for yourself as a blogger, a Youtuber, an entrepreneur, or an artist, there's really nothing going for you on particular social media platforms. The ugly detail that encompasses this issue however, is that, this is exactly what corporations want. They want you to go on the site regardless of the benefits because it helps them make money, and in reciprocity, makes you more relevant to the world.

And honestly, as much as I see that for many, this may not be a huge deal, I think that we need to be more aware as users of the effect social media has on our psychology, that is to say, that we need to spend equal parts on it and equal parts off of it.

Now again, please don't get me wrong. This isn't a propaganda-infused post about taking down the machine, or boycotting the internet and its social media platforms. I am in no way denying the positive aspects about these sites, I actually really benefit from most of them, especially being able to contact friends without the awkward "I'm really weird on the phone" statements, and the super annoying phone bills. I also owe a lot to sites like Facebook and Twitter for allowing me to check up on my family or to hear about new songs and projects being released or worked on by celebrities I really look up to. I just think that we've learned to consume a lot in moderation except for the Internet.

I guess for now, I'm not really making any super huge decisions about what to do with my social media sites. I've noticed that I've started to use them a lot less, and if I do happen to go on rants online, they really are just rants of positivity or upon subject matter for social change.

I've honestly learned a lot, and I really hope that whoever may be reading this, will be able to take a week or two off of social media as well and take the time to spend human time with human people, no matter how redundant that sounds.

Thanks for keeping up with these posts y'all,
Until the next one!
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

-Nicole




Thursday, 8 October 2015

Emotion Translates Humanity.

I guess you could say that I talk about love a lot. I've mentioned several times that I can be quite an extensive dreamer, in the sense that anything made apparent to me, which I in turn perceive to be beautiful, is something that I end up loving. The very fact that we are called to love, and are capable of love as humans, is something that to this day has left me on cloud nine as I find myself constantly paired to states of unending love.

Today, I realized that something I've found to be beautiful is the change in tone of voice. The immediate switching of vocal chords from lower levels of bliss, to heightened levels of enthusiasm, or shock. The changing in tone of voice does not always prove to be a positive experience, but just the very fact that we have this ability to transition between emotions so swiftly and effortlessly, becomes an affair of true wonder for my mind.



Emotions put us on a very human level - the instance of the breaking of barriers of social status, age difference, place of origin, evaluation, belief system, and inevitable institutionalized separation, all boiled down to a moment of mutual concern and understanding. The beauty that is our inherent nature as beings, that are able to identify closely with one another is made manifest in a single transformation of tonal difference. The mystery of life's complications all broken down and replaced by instinct of genuine feeling, that to me is something so strong, so magnificent, that even the words used to describe that very ability in my mind does not do the action any justice.

Incredible things can stem right from the very ordinary. It is so interesting how a single physical action can portray the essential substance in which the human is made distinct - that emotions can initiate moments of true awe and wonder.