Schools are pumping out half-made humans.

It seems to me that the education system is too focused on making a living rather than making a life. There’s always exceptions of course, but generally speaking in at least the standard UK curriculum, schools aren’t incentivised at all to provide education to create well-rounded, happy, healthy, decent human beings. It’s not a priority. What is a priority for them seems to be producing employable consumers.

I don’t think this is the fault of the schools, they are answerable to the government. They HAVE to deliver the required curriculum, or they get backlisted. The government represents us, so it seems within our rights to get the kind of schools we want. The government obviously has it’s own agenda. I don’t understand how they don’t see the following list as super important and include it in the curriculum.

Where will people learn about things such as:

– Self-expression/finding out who you are
– Personal finance (for example student loans and lifetime debt!)
– Mental health
– How mental health and physical health are connected
– How to be a good parent
– How to raise a dog
– How to deal with emotions
– Mindfulness and meditation
– Diet and nutrition
– Critical thinking
– Life fulfilment
– Stress management
– How to run a house
– Relationship communication
– Race issues, gender issues, sexuality
– The importance of play and relaxation
– The importance of time in nature
– The importance of work/life balance
– Spirituality
– Community and cooperation
– Sustainability

Where can we learn this stuff as children if not schools? You can’t rely on parents to teach all this stuff.

It’s all essential stuff. Without the knowledge of these things, decades can be spent trying to correct everything and cause much pain and suffering. It pisses me off.

Maths, science and english are obviously really important, but they won’t help you if you have depression because you didn’t learn about emotional regulation and the importance of work/life balance! No wonder most people are unhappy and dissatisfied with life. (That’s my personal observation and opinion).

Children will grow up to be a part of society, so why doesn’t society give them all the tools they need to be happy, healthy and well-rounded? It’s mutually beneficial to educate them fully so they’re better citizens and better people.

Pupils themselves are pushing for ‘life skills’ to be taught in schools, but there’s more campaigning to be done before it’s in all schools. Holland are ahead of us in lot’s of ways, including teaching mindfulness in schools. Let’s get schools to help make whole humans, not just half one’s! Maybe schools can acquire curriculums from organisations like The Representation Project. 

I think this stuff is worth questioning and thinking about. You know my thoughts. What are yours?

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What’s more important to you: happiness and enjoyment or riches and status?

I think we should redefine the definition of success from monetary based to happiness. Would it be worth the risks to the economy? In my opinion it would, everyone would be happier generally, enjoy their lives more, have less regrets, follow their intuition more and we wouldn’t be destroying the planet. But society has heavily taught us that to be happy and successful we need to make the most money we possibly can and get big careers, or we’re ‘losers’, we’ve ‘failed’ at life.

In my opinion though, if working a part time, low waged job, makes you really happy (like Randy in Clerks working at the video store), then you ARE ‘successful’, you’ve ‘won’, well done, you’re doing what you want with your life. If you’re working at a store, and you hate it, then it’s not for you, you’re not following your intuition. And this doesn’t mean that it’s an unsuccessful or a bad way to live for someone else. One person’s heaven, is another person’s hell, and visa versa.

We’re unhappy because we think the grass is always greener, looking to celebrities and other people we compare ourselves to, to lead the way. I personally haven’t enjoyed my life so far at all because I’ve been striving for success and achieving things, so I resent society for tricking me into thinking that was more important than my happiness. Nothing is taught in schools about how to be happy and parents don’t help either, they want you to get the highest grades so you can secure a decent job, cos they believe the lie too. Also, according to The Guardian, Anxiety or depression affects nearly one in five UK adults. Could this be related to the chronic stress we’re under as humans living today?

Society defines success as being rich, famous and owning loads of stuff. It’s in the best interests of Capitalism to make people strive to be financially successful. If people are happy making little money, and you don’t have anything pushing you to want more for yourself and to be a ’success’, then we’ll be happy but the economy and people at the top milking us for money, will suffer.

So should we be selfish and make sure us and the people around us, enjoy our lives or should we be selfless and give our lives and happiness over to the economy that’s only friends with us for our money?

You can do what you want. Even if you chose a path, that you fall out of love with years later, you can pick another one. Nothing is set in stone, you can change any time. Same goes for falling out of love with people, ideas and religions. As long as you’re listening to your intuition, you can’t go wrong. The trick is – learning how to correctly interpret or know what your intuition is saying!

We can get pleasure from achieving, consuming and collecting in the moment and that’s okay. But if you’re life is defined only by what you’ve managed to achieve, consume or collect at the end, that’s a waste of life. There’s no point in being the richest man in the graveyard, or the one that needed just another year to achieve their goals, in order to be happy. I bet you would happier if you lived every moment as fully as you could, lived with authenticity, did what you wanted, followed your intuition and truly enjoyed yourself. How we spend and our life is how we spend and our moments. “Enjoy the moment because this is all you have. Create for tomorrow, but live in and for today.” – Robert Anthony

Live now, the time is now, this is it… don’t die never knowing what it feels like to be free. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you, because you’ll be wasting your life, time and energy in the meantime. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” – John Lennon

So for a healthier society maybe we need to redefine success to be about being happy in life now. If you manage to enjoy your life, well done – you’re a success!Would this not be a society you’d want to live in?

Summary fuel:

  • Don’t let society or anyone dictate your happiness (“care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner”) – Lao Tzu
  • If you’re happy in life; you’ve made it, you’re successful (in my opinion)
  • Listen to your intuition, do what’s right for you, do what you want to do
  • Don’t compare your life to celebrities or anyone else, everyone is unique
  • Take inspiration from animals and children in how to live in the moment, do what you feel and enjoy life (at least 50% of the time)
  • We are all going to die and we can’t control when, so what do you want to do while you’re here?
*Update: When I say happiness i mean contentment. Happiness is often short-lived. It is often an attempt to overcome feelings of unhappiness. Contentment is a state in which you are at peace with yourself and the world, even if the world around you is not to your liking.

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Do magazines exist to fill an emptiness?

Good Housekeeping
An old Feb issue of Good Housekeeping – what’s bad housekeeping?

We all have emptiness we try to fill up with food, TV, relationships, shopping, drugs etc. I guess that’s just a human thing to feel and do, at a very basic primal and unconscious level. I think we can do better than that, and become so much more self aware.

‘Buy this magazine for a whopping £4 and you’ll be living a full life in no time. (As long as you keep buying this magazine). Packed full of things to buy, places to go, things to eat and wear, your happiness depends on us.’

This is how I interpret it, reading this magazine, made me feel quite sad. I couldn’t help but notice the play on human desires, gluttony, envy and pleasure taking place to sell magazines. Does anyone live the kind of life that’s advertised in glossy magazines? And if they do, how fulfilled and happy are they? I also felt sad because some of the grass in the magazine looks much glossier and greener than mine.

'Add a little love' - what does that even mean? The Beatles always said you can't buy love, didn't they?
‘Add a little love’ – what does that even mean? The Beatles always said you can’t buy love, didn’t they?

I guess the problem I have with most magazines if not all, is they take part in the big lie that certain lifestyles, ideas and things will fill people up inside and make them happy. Full of adverts for holidays, clothes, makeup, jewellery, hair/skin products, articles on how to get good skin, articles about love, ageing, advice and recipes, each part followed by an advertisement of some sort. Call me cynical, call me wrong, but I don’t believe a certain beauty product will be the one that will fix everything, you can’t fight nature. How you look, how your skin is, is largely determined by things like your lifestyle, diet, environment and genes. I just don’t believe the answers to my happiness are in magazines like this, I think they just want to sell me things and plant ideas of a better life because mine ‘isn’ good enough’. It gives me choice anxiety, and the grass is greener all over the place.

Holidays
How do I possibly choose? I should go to them all incase I make the wrong choice, and one makes me more happy than the other.

Not that consumerism is totally bad, I just want to see a variety of content out there. I want to see a magazine that says, “just be you, whatever that is, is fine, have fun, get out of your comfort zone and take care of yourself. Do what feels right to you, there’s no set rules that work for everyone, experience as much as you can while you’re still alive, whatever that might be.”

I want people to learn that true happiness comes from the inside not the outside, I want their mind to be fuelled with meaningful, helpful things, things like what George Carlin once said “Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body”. In my opinion – trying to be happy by buying monthly consumerist magazines and believing everything in there will make your life better/happier, is also like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.

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“Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”

― Bill Hicks

It might be quite cynical and controversial but I feel like Bill makes a good point. It’s the ‘rat race’, what do you win at the end of it? In the short term – Success? In the long term – Death?

Wikipedia puts it well:

A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of the futile efforts of a lab rat trying to escape while running around a maze or in a wheel.

In an analogy to the modern city, many rats in a single maze expend a lot of effort running around, but ultimately achieve nothing (meaningful) either collectively or individually. This is often used in reference to work, particularly excessive or competitive work; in general terms, if one works too much, one is in the rat race. This terminology contains implications that many people see work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose.

The increased image of work as a “rat race” in modern times has led many to question their own attitudes to work and seek a better alternative; a more harmonious Work-life balance. Many believe that long work hours, unpaid overtime, stressful jobs, time spent commuting, less time for family life and/or friends life, has led to a generally unhappier workforce/population unable to enjoy the benefits of increased economic prosperity and a higher standard of living.

Escaping the rat race can have a number of different meanings:

  • A description of the movement, of either the Home or Work Location, of previously City Dwellers or Workers to more rural locations

  • Retirement in general or no longer needing / having to work.

  • Moving from a high pressure job to a less intense role either at a different company or within the same company at an alternative location or department.

  • Changing to a different job that does not involve working 9 to 5 and a long commute.

  • Working from home.

  • Becoming financially independent from an employer.

  • Entering professions such as teaching/motivational speaking

  • Moving away from the city to the country and living in harmony with nature.

It’s certainly socially accepted and the norm in society to live like this. In cave man days, they would probably just get up when the sun rose and go to bed when it went down, in sync with nature. But now we get up super early everyday, work hard all day and go to bed too late every night, then when the weekend rolls around you might say we feel entitled to let our hair down. Not a great cycle for our health or sanity but it sure does keep us productive and ignorant.

So whether it’s a Rat Race, a conveyor belt, treadmill, or an invisible prison, I don’t want to be part of it. Life is ultimately pointless in the grand scheme of things but I could at least spend my best years doing something that truly fulfills me instead of chasing money in order to keep on living to keep on chasing money, it’s self perpetuating stress and meaninglessness.

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

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What would it be like to live a more liberated existence?

This is Simon Amstell’s live at the BBC ‘Numb’ show, he talks about all sorts of great things, including the part I’m choosing to focus on for this blog post:

He has some astute thoughts on the current human race and society today if he was to leap into the future and look back on us, in this time now. Our human history is full of oppression and close mindedness, and it’s mad to think that in hundreds of years from now we could live more liberated and open-minded lives. (The opposite to many films portrayal of the future like Hunger Games).

“Do you remember when people thought money was the answer, that money would make them happy, ‘If only I could just win the lottery, oh I have won it, oh I spent it all, the problem was internal.’ Remember when we had prisons, when we separated people into cages rather than giving them the love they needed that would have stopped all the crime. What about when religious people fail to remember that God is nature, there’s nothing more all-encompassing or wise than mother nature and athiests forgot that science is the study of nature, and then they both remembered and had amazing sex by a tree. Do you remember when people felt proud of where they came from, like it was something to do with them, it’s just where you happen to fall out of your mother’s vagina. If you’re going to have a flag, have a flag of a vagina, so then you can meet people and go ‘oh hi, where are you from? Oh same as me, let’s be friends.'” – Simon Amstell

In 2014 however, certain things shunt this development of higher consciousnesses, like the perpetuation of fear in the media to sell more papers, magazines & products and to distract us from what truly matters.

It makes me think of when we were all kids, did we care about where other people came from? Did we think money would make us happy, or anything else for that matter? We wanted things of course but not because it would make us happy, but because we just wanted them so bad in the moment, like cake or a certain toy. What if, we’ve lost our childlike wonder along the way to growing up and seeing things with judging eyes, and closed minds? I want to get some of that back.

Simon’s obviously watched some Bill Hicks when he says this: “Everything’s a choice between fear and love, we may as well choose love because death is coming.”

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

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Dude, don’t be a bully to your inner child

“The earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have, and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be. You really will be happier in life if you can let go of the things you will never have.” – Amy Poehler

She talks of gratitude for what our bodies do for most of us, like digest food, run up a mountain, breathe or connect with others. And focusing on the positives instead of obsessing over things we can’t change. Of course some stuff we can change to some extent, (weight, clothes, hair) but it’s always better and healthier to come from a place of acceptance and love for yourself than hatred and oppression.

Okay Amy doesn’t mention the ‘inner child’, but I believe that in everyone there’s like two people, two opposing forces (the inner child and inner adult) and there’s sometimes bullying and conflict between them which effects both parts of you. This happens because of negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself. Both parts are unhappy, the inner adult doesn’t get any satisfaction out of bullying the inner child, it’s disappointed and expecting too much, and the inner child feels shit because it’s abused all the time by the inner adult. It’s a bad situation, but there’s ways to get out of it. First of all, be a good friend to yourself and have your own back, don’t bully yourself – you wouldn’t bully a friend like that would you? And a wise woman once told me, that whenever I feel negative towards myself and I bully myself with thoughts, to imagine me saying those things or physically beating up a young child version of myself and watching her bleed and cry, and hopefully this induces feelings of wanting to not hurt your inner child and protect, nurture and love it instead. You’re hurting the most vulnerable part of yourself with these damaging thoughts. The innocent, vulnerable, open, free child version of you is still in you and always will be, we all began with the child and it never grows up, we just acquire a new self too, the adult.

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?
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“People choose the paths through life that have the greatest reward for the least effort – that’s the law of nature that’s hard to defy” ~ House MD

It’s a very natural thing in humans to do. Of course Some people defy this nature and instead work really hard, not thinking about a reward or recognition, because they might just love doing it. Like playing in a band that costs you money for equipment, practice time and to put on gigs but it’s your passion so you don’t mind the losses. Or someone who volunteers to help people less fortunate than them. That’s a lot of effort for no monetary reward, of course the reward for these things are happiness, enjoyment and fulfillment. It’s a different attitude and motive driving them. Or someone having a kid, is a hell of a lot of effort and risk but apparently it’s worth the reward.

Cases where it’s the greatest reward for the least effort would be where companies might re-boot an old film in an attempt to make money, when the film was awesome to begin with and didn’t need re-doing. But it’s the least effort cos it’s already been done, it’s just a refresh rather than from scratch. They don’t care about making history or creating meaning.

It’s a very capitalist attitude.

Like when a company makes houses as small as they can, as close together as they can, on their patch of land and do the least they can get away with in terms of regulations, materials, design etc. And you end up having 100 tiny houses instead of 50 really nice big ones, so they’ve double their profits. But something always needs to be sacrificed to get that and in my opinion it’s not worth it.

Maybe neither way is fully correct, but is good to assess and judge things on a individual, situation basis. “Everything in moderation” in my opinion, is a good way to live.

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I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

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