Saturday, October 13, 2012

Our Disassociated Selves

The world is suffering from a lost innocence, manifested in our hardened souls. 

This blog post is nothing more than an inner conversation my conscience has with me, frequently. A circular conversation that starts where it ends, every single time. It starts like this.

When was the last time you cried over something that had absolutely nothing to do with you?

When was the last time you empathized with someone else's adversity?

When was the last time you actually tried to do something about it?

Maybe we claim we do. Perhaps we shrug our shoulders and think in silence that it is wrong, that it is unfair but that there is nothing we can do about it. We shift the responsibility over to someone else, not knowing who that someone is. A proverbial savior of all things who is anyone but us. And we distract ourselves and go on with our daily lives, just like those who struggle for their daily lives go on too.

I am guilty of being in a state of disassociation. I look for a scapegoat. It could be anything. The media, the news, governments, politicians, people in power not doing enough, people on the ground not going about it the right way. Fact is, we're all in the same boat, just looking at things from a different angle. There's a huger sense of cause and effect that governs our lives. There's a unique sense of balance that may seem skewed and unnatural. An oxymoron I know, but somehow it makes sense. And again I digress and find that this is just another means for me to philosophise our human condition; our dissociative selves.

I watch the news and the constant bombardment of atrocities has made it the norm to expect to see and hear these advertises on a daily basis. So I instantly shut it out. Dissociate myself from it. Out of sight out of mind. A safety latch that I hold on to, allowing me to function in a world gone mad. There are many like me. In fact I have stopped watching the news.

I occupy myself with my goals and hobbies and doing my bit of good in this world. But it's never enough because my conscience pokes at me again and asks me...

When was the last time you truly, sincerely empathized with someone else's adversity?

And the bully of a conscience replies to the silence it is faced with: you're just like everyone else, lost in your disassociated self.

And I sigh and think yes and the world is suffering from a lost innocence, an innocence that at least I still possess and see reflected in children under five years old. And my soul is not so hard after all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why I Love October - just for fun!

It's October! A month that brings me joy. Come October, I feel my spirits high, carefree, in perfect balance and serenity.

In a true light-hearted and corny sense, today being the 5th of October, I decided to write my all time top 5 favourite reasons why I love the month of October.

1) October means Spring (southern hemisphere) or Autumn (northern hemisphere). Both seasons are full of personality and change. Effervescent flowers or crunchy leaves, they're opposite seasons of each other. Spring being the start of life and Autumn being the gradual end to it. October carries both meanings gracefully.

2) October defies the norm. You'd think that the 'octo' in October would make it the eighth month of the year from a semantically Latin point of view. Yet it falls within a perfect ten. It challenges norms with strength and confidence.

3) It invites an exploration of the outdoors. There's a pleasant balance of sun and breeze. A comfortable temperature level. A beckoning of the outdoors to discover.

4) October talks of rain. A blessing of droplets from the sky that tease and play with the sun's rays and we get to see rainbows.

5) October is the month I was born in along with many other lovely Librans.

Another year passes,
another is due to begin.
Of all challenges of the year,
we'll face another with a grin.

Happy October to everyone and especially to those other lovelies born this month.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Confident Are You, Really...

Picture this.

You're in a car park and you've finally found a parking spot. You decide you're going to reverse park into it this time. But just when you're about to do the maneuver, another car turns the corner and waits. Obviously you're in its way and it waits. You feel the headlights on you. You feel the driver's restless eyes on you. You feel the other car's engine revving up as it watches you and waits for you to get on with it. What do you do?

You might find yourself cursing silently. Feel a few sweat beads run down your forehead. You might actually try to park the car but then the pressure just gets too much and you drive off in a huff in search for another parking spot. You catch a glimpse in the rear view mirror of the other car, the one that was waiting for you, gracefully back into your spot in reverse. And you curse again.

Or you might persist, against all odds, come what may, you will park in that spot if it's the last thing you ever do. You're not about to back out now. True, your skills are not up to scratch. Despite this you ignore the piercing or glaring eyes of the driver and make excuses for the numerous maneuvers that you are having to make before you finally park the darn thing. You even ignore the immediate aftermath: the screeching of the tyres of an angry and restless driver whose time you managed to waste. Inconsiderate, you think. After all, you would've waited all the same.

Or you might absolutely relish the challenge that you're being presented with. The opportunity to show off your perfect driving skills. Watch and learn, you think to yourself, as you gracefully reverse perfectly into the spot. In fact, the trickier the spot the better the challenge. You think of how you can smoothly reverse with the least number of maneuvers and the whole experience becomes all the more pleasant for you. Nevermind the screeching tyres of the other car in the aftermath. That's just plain rude, you think to yourself, drive off with envy, oh yeah!

Analogously, we tend to react to the challenges presented to us in a similar manner. I found myself in the latter category of drivers this morning, relishing the chance to show off my driving skills in the parking lot. Years of experience gave me the confidence and allowed me to excel in that specific skill. I knew I could do it and I even enjoyed doing it. I wasn't contemplating it or even waiting for it. But when the situation presented itself to me all of a sudden, I could do it subconsciously. In my mind's eye I was already a winner, always alert and always prepared to use a skill that has become second nature to me.

Yet I must admit that when faced with other challenges on a daily basis, I tend to fall into the second, if not the first category. So why is that, I asked myself. Is it because I am faced with something new? Is because I haven't built the confidence yet, still unsure of whether I could do it or not? Is because I am unprepared? It might be a combination of factors but it made me consider what is it that makes us excel in certain situations but not others.

I contemplated the ways we tend to react to the challenges of life. A source of brief enlightenment, I realise that this could be a means for me to work towards and strive to be that confident driver in the third category in other aspects of life. Maybe by trying to attain that level of confidence, I can then become the competent driver of my own life.