Cultural conditioning

Recently I watch a video on YouTube entitled ‘101 Reasons to go vegan’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4HJcq8qHAY). Less than 5 minutes into the video a plethora of profound ideas and emerged from the video; despite the purpose of the video, the points that were made really got me thinking about how certain cultural mannerisms came to be.

The presenter puts forward the idea that why we think the way we do is essentially through being conditioned by our ancestors. Let me elaborate; the reason I believe we have certain ideologies may be due to the cultural appropriate values that have been infused and bombarded into us from a young age. What is fundamentally ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ may simply be something that has been reiterated as the truth, told to us over and over again; to the point that it becomes concrete. It is what we consider the ‘norm’; a concept as simple as the names of colours could be changed by simply telling our next generation that red is yellow and yellow is green.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with how society is today (although I can’t say that about the entirety of the world) but it really fascinates how simple it can be to change the how the next generation think and react to topics that may be taboo in this generation. For instance, gay marriage; decades ago the very mention of liking the same sex was seen as demonic and often lead to being outcasted from society. Now days, more and more people are coming out because now it has become acceptable to do so, no longer do people live in fear of their true identity but they embrace and as do others. People have slowly accepted that is a normal part of life, parents now tell their kids that it’s okay no matter what their sexuality is and to accept others who are ‘different’.

People say that there are a long list of issues wrong with the current generation, but I do not believe they understand the power they possessed to produce a kind and peace loving generation. However, on the other hand, it should be noted that what people consider right and wrong differs greatly from person to person. Racism is regarded as with negative connotations, but there are people who use this concept to exercise power in society- thinking that it is right.

I guess we can not change society as easily as I think but I think is an idea worth thinking about

Dependence

They say not to depend your happiness on someone or something, but sometimes it necessary to do so. Why? Because to generate happiness requires an object or idea; you have to be happy about something. I guess you could be happy for the sake of it, but who are you trying to please? Ultimately, we are all in search for meaning- the meaning of life…what it means to be happy, what it means to succeed, what it means to mean something to someone. Whatever the desire, we are all inevitably searching for meaning of some kind. We depend on ourselves for perseverance, for strength and for happiness…we are depending on ourselves to depend on ourselves. It is just a continuous loop. Maybe instead we should seek to embrace those around us and allow ourselves to divide our dependence, so that we are not pressuring ourselves to create this mindset where we are constantly trying to please ourselves- trying to find a reason to be happy and trying to generate a feeling that is not fully attainable. What I mean is, we are capable of creating our own happiness; but when we do is this happiness true? Is it completely reflective of how you are truly feeling on the inside? There is no right answer. But in my opinion when I am with other people ad with my loved ones, the happiness that I feel is greatly exceeds that of the self-generated. This may not be true for all, however I truly believe that in order to be emotionally connected to yourself and the world around, there is a need to depend on others.

Having said that, your dependence on others should not be 100% because once (for example) the person who you depend on for a good laugh exits your life; you may be left to fill the void. If you only had depending on this person for 50% of your laughs, you only have to fill half a void versus if you depended 100%.

I am contradicting myself a bit..I think what I am trying to articulate in this mess is that do not be afraid of depending a portion of your happiness on other people because at the end of the day they will amplify this emotion. But on the other hand, maintain a proportion of happiness to be self generated because people are like the ocean; they come and go.

P.S I hope this post made sense

The place in between

Do you ever just get stuck? Metaphorically speaking. There’s this weird place I’ve discovered recently, where I am not happy nor sad- but somewhere in between that is somewhat indescribable. Perhaps, this is not a feeling but rather a desire; a desire to feel. The human mind is both fascinating and confusing to me, there are things that simply so not amount to words- things that are indescribable, things that are beyond the capacity of science…yet we somehow know what they are. Emotions, thoughts, feeling, consciousness they are all phenomenons that we know to be true yet cannot actually prove it. For example what is dreaming? Why its when you see vivid real images while we sleep. But how exactly do we know those images are real? We have all had dreams, but how do we know that what you classify as a dream is the same as the people around you? Likewise, how do we know that the colour red is the same red that the person next to you is seeing through their eyes? It may be darker, it may be lighter or it may not even be red, it may be orange for that matter. How do we know that what is happening right now is reality? How can we prove that? My reality may be true, but is my reality the same as yours and is your reality the same as mine? Also, what about the past? They say the past shapes who we are as both individuals and as a society; but how can we be certain that any of the events in the past actually happened? Lets say we can be sure because of the many different interpretations of the same event (like teh holocaust) but are the recounts of the events plausible? Each recount is a different version of the same event; none of them will be identical to the last- because of the fact that one’s pain may be another’s strength and one’s weakness may be another’s victory. People obscure and twist stories to make themselves central to their experiences; if and when they articulate their memories bits will be left out and bits will be emphasised. Nothing is objective; everything is subjective. Something may seem objective but the nature of the human mind cannot help but have a ‘mind’ of its own (pun intended)

All the heavy lifting

True Story

her
(this post makes broad generalizations. Apologies & acknowledging in advance)

I read all the comments that are left on my posts. I might not reply, but I really do, and for the most part, they’re really interesting to read and I’m glad that what I write can compel you to share your opinion. I write a lot on the topic of emotions and relationships and I’ve noticed that a large portion of the comments are left by females. One can assume that a lot of ppl who follow me are girls, or only girls take the time to read & and write comments, and while those explanations to have merit, I think it’s something else…

Women are tougher than men. Yes, both physically and emotionally. This conclusion comes from observing my mother (and many other mothers of their immigrant generation), and by looking at the girls who’ve shaped my personal life. Reading some…

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The art of acceptance

I know it’s been a while since I blogged…so about a week or so ago I was waiting at the bus stop as per usual, and as I was waiting a girl approached me to ask about the bus times. Now, this girl was one of those people who you knew had a hard time everywhere they go; with huge teeth, big nose and stringy hair, she was no the modern depiction of so called ‘beauty’. What troubles me is that I had already formed a preconceived idea of who this girl was without even talking to her. And as we engaged in casual conversation I found out how real this person was. Her hardships made mine seem minuscule in comparison; stories of abuse and torment that made me feel extremely ashamed of myself for judging such a damaged soul. Every aspect of her life effected based on the way she looked- dropping out of uni due to constant death threats and people casting away her artwork. As I continued to talk to her I realised just how much she needed someone to express her feelings to, how much she needed a friend. In those 20 minutes spent with her, I learnt a very valuable lesson. It may seen very cliche but I don;t think people truly understand the importance of  not ‘judging a book by its cover’ until they experience such a lesson. We can talk good of ourselves and create a desirable persona but to really be that creation we must have certain experiences before we become who we aspire to be.

What I’m most upset about is the fact that society has conditioned us to believe that persons attributes are enhanced by their appearance, or in other cases negative attributes are overlooked. For example a person who is both good looking and kind-hearted automatically becomes a person who is looked up to by others around them. Where as someone who is not deemed good looking but also possesses the kind-hearted trait will receive less recognition simply due to their appearance. How does the shape of your nose, the size of your eyes, the arch in your eyebrows in anyway dictate your personality? It just frustrates me that the degree to which someone is ‘caring’ or ‘sweet’ is emphasised by the way they look and not by the nature of the trait itself. Can we not just accept people for the way they have been created- for the way God or for the way our cells have arranged themselves to form a unique being.

I just feel like this has been discussed time and time again but nothing really has been done; and with the introduction of social media people feel the pressure to be somewhat presentable at all times, just in case someone posts an unsuspecting image of them. I guess forces of technological development and out of our hands but the development of society and eliminating fixed ideals is certainly a possibility. What do you think?         

Undecided

So it’s been a while, partly because it’s holidays and I’m just savouring every moment of it before I start YEAR 12! Argh! Can’t believe that it’s my final year of school, most people welcome the last year…but for me, I’m actually dreading it. I mean for 13- sorry 14-years this is the only thing I’ve done/accomplished in my life…my routine has always been get up, have breakfast, go to school, have dinner, sleep and repeat. My life up until this point, has revolved around this; what’s going to happen next? I guess that’s why I’m dreading the end of high school, not only does it signify the end of your ‘childhood’ but also you’re suddenly thrust into the unknown. Merely deciding what course to take in Uni is placing immense pressure on me as I feel like it’s what’s going to define me in society, and I don’t want to complete a 3-4year course only to find that the career is not right for me. There’s so many things I want to do that it’s hard to narrow down to one thing. On one hand I want to chose a course that I like and interested in and on the other I want to think more economically and choose a course that grants me easy access to a career. I’ve spoken to two of my elders- my great uncle and grandma- and my great uncle thought that it was important to choose a course that interested me; because this phase of my life is about learning and gaining knowledge, your career is something that you think about after you’ve completed this phase of your life.

I talked to my Grandma today and she believed that while it is important to choose something that you like; you have to also be realistic and think about where this knowledge will take you. Ultimately you get an education to learn, but what results from that learning is your contribution to society; the notion of ‘giving back’. I think my Uncles valus are more ‘go with the flow’ and short term based, where as my grandmas’s is more realistic and long term. But having assessed their thought patterns, I’m still left undecided…if anyone would like to lend me some of their wisdom, feel free!

Midnight thoughts

Something that’s really bothered my since I was young, is the concept of death; what happens before, the biological side, the psychological side and of course what happens after.

I remember this one time when I was younger; I had thought about this for the first time…I kept thinking about what would happen after the inevitable. I thought about it for so long that I eventually made myself scared of dying- of course my mum comforted my by telling me how silly I was to think about these things…and that was that.

Since that day I have developed a fear of death; but recently I realised that it’s not the death that I fear, but what’s going to happen after. Fear of the unknown. I’m not one of those weirdos that constantly think about death and whatnot but I’ve had those nights- when it’s late and you just get lost in the haze of your thoughts. Those lonely thoughts mixed with the delirium of sleep; I lie awake unable to shake these thoughts. I think to myself about how much I love this world, the people that are in it, the people who I share this life with. I get emotional thinking of what will happen after I pass…will I forget this life? Will I be reborn into another being? Will I rejoice with God about this beautiful life he has given me? I don’t know. And that is what really scares me. I don’t want to live another life nor move on from this one. I wish desperately that I could be frozen in this period of my life; to have my parents, siblings and grandparents all under the same roof- laughing about the most pointless things, eating dinner together, living the life that we were graced with.

Recently I watched a documentary type video on YouTube about a guy who had had cancer for a number of years, the producers were able to capture his last couple of months. He said something that really changed my perspective on this; you can either chose to let it take over your life or ignore these fears and live as if you don’t know there’s an end.

Like I said; I fear the unknown. So ultimately I guess I just want closure..either someone discovers what happens or someone shares their real life experience. But, what is ‘real’? Who knows.