I’m currently doing revision for an exam in the morning on prejudice and discrimination and I’m going through research on desegregation when something astounding hit me.
Why is the original word segregation and the opposite desegregation? Why was the word that came first, the one to describe people being separated and alienated instead of the one to describe us living in peace?
It’s an awful realisation that our default setting is one of hostility with the urge to advance ourselves at the expense of others. Maybe we should try to stop that, don’t you think?
If you’ve only ever lived one day in your whole life then of course you’re going to be afraid of death. If you got a job at 18 and retired at 65 then of course you’re going to want to live to 100. If you dropped out of school and flittered between meaningless jobs for ten years until you got someone pregnant and you had to stay in a job to support the family, of course you’re going to wish you had more time.
If your life never changes and you never take any risks then of course you’re going to want more than what you’ve had.
I spent two years as the salesman who works 70-hour weeks and fills his weekends with drug-fuelled rampages. I’ve spent the last three years and will spend the next year as the poor student who lives in squalor and drowns in assignments but still manages to go out and get drunk at least once a week. During my life I’ve been the devoted and loving boyfriend who would do anything for the girl he’s with and I’ve also been the jerk who tries to fuck anything that moves at the first chance he gets.
Once next year’s done, I’m going to spend at least a year as the waste-of-space hippie who’s running around the world doing fuckall that’s really constructive. By that time I’ll be 25 I’ll either extend that time or I might try something new, guess we’ll have to see.
And it went off without a hitch. I agreed to go on too many dates during the time I was home but somehow, one of them bailed and one asked to meet up tonight before I left for Swansea instead of yesterday, so it actually all ended up perfectly! And somehow, with all of the things that I did, all the people i hung out with and all of the alcohol I consumed, I now find myself back in Swansea with 4050 words of a 5000 word assignment done, so this’ll be easily finished by 3am, and then it’s off to bed ready to tackle tomorrow!
This is the last update on this topic for a little while now, I wasn’t going to do this many but I guess I got overexcited. From now on they’ll just be a weekly rundown. I look forward to having more to write about in the coming days.
The reason so many people are unhappy, depressed or even suicidal seems so clear. Realistically life isn’t repetitive, although it can sometimes feel that way. It’s only repetitive when you look at it on a small scale, when you look at every day through monday to friday there’s an incredibly high chance that most people will have done the same thing each day.
If you then look at the last four weeks you’ll see repetition interspersed with the odd day where you did something different, to break the cycle and give yourself a break in return. Now, look back to the last year and think about all of those days where you did something different or achieved something, or maybe even just thoroughly enjoyed what you would normally consider monotonous and you can see that life isn’t repetitive, you’re just looking at the corner of a masterpiece through a magnifying glass. You need to look at it all.
Don’t give up just yet, there’s always more to the canvas.
The reason why our country is so awful at the moment is simple to me now. If you look around you see a void in so, so many people. There’s people across the country with virtually no ambition and it’s the reason why anybody is unsuccessful. If you look at America, you’ll see hundreds upon hundreds of people who do what they need to to make their dreams come true. There’s people who make money from doing what they love and for one simple reason.
From the youngest age, Americans are told that they live in the land of opportunity. They’re given the concept of the American dream from such a young age that it becomes part of the very core of their belief system. The American dream is to do what you love and make more money than you can possibly need in doing so. It’s in every successful American, they love what they do and they use that drive to be the best at what they do.
Here in Britain there is no dream, we’re stuck with a class-system and an ineffective monarchy. We’re told from birth that if you’re not born into it, you aren’t going to get it. We follow the traditional methods of gradual progress, you get a job slightly better than your parents and hopefully, in hundreds of years to come, one of your descendants might be a doctor and earn a decent amount of money.
The main problem with this is that all it takes is one slip-up along the way, one person in the family tree who fails at what they do and all of a sudden the progress is back to the beginning and we have to start all over again. In America, it’s go big or go home. Each generation gets their own chance to make it and if they don’t, they pass the torch on to the next. There’s no gradual development, it’s all or nothing and that’s the way it should be.
I was asked a question as old as time today, one that I’ve been answering at least once a month since I’ve been able to talk with increasing frequency since I officially became an adult. It starts out as “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and gradually develops into “what are you going to be?”.
The difference between these two questions are miniscule in terms of grammar but the insinuations hidden behind the questions are monumentally different. The first is the obvious one, the fact that the sentence loses four key words and tells you that you’re now grown up. You’re no longer planning for the future, you’re planning for right now. There is no intangible and idealistic vision of your future self, it’s just who you are right now, give or take the occasional major epiphany.
The second difference is far harder to notice but even more painful to realise. It is no longer a case of what you want to be, but what you’re going to be. It’s an implication that what you want is no longer the most important part of the goal, it’s not a case of what you want to do but what you’re going to have to do. As you mature, so does your outlook on life and the dream job that combines minimal effort with maximum reward is no longer a possibility, it’s a case of finding a balance between both. Maximum effort will produce maximum reward and minimal effort will produce minimal reward, that’s essentially why some people are happy stocking shelves and others push themselves to breaking point in order to achieve what they believe that they want.
In response to the question, I wasn’t able to confide in the other person what my dream job is. That’s a story for another time, or at least i hope it will be.