Permission to Pursue the Dopest of Dreams

Permission

Sat around the dinner table this evening with friends, talking about life and our dreams, I was thinking about permission. Too often we hang fire on chasing after our dreams because we’re waiting on someone else to give us the permission to do so. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we’re awaiting permission from parents, society, our peers or even ourselves.

There are two kinds of people. The first are those who are spoon-fed. The second are those who grab the bull by the horns. The former are those who do things the way things were done before them. Even if it doesn’t feel the best, they do what they feel they ought to be doing. It’s what everyone else is doing, therefore surely it’s the smartest choice…The latter are the people who don’t wait for someone to give them the permission to chase their dreams and do what calls to them. These are the people who instead commit to going after what they want – regardless of how difficult it is and how many ‘no’s’ they encounter along the way.

It seems the pattern is fairly consistent here. It doesn’t matter what the committed pioneer is pursuing. First, he tries and goes against societal expectations. He faces the ridicule of friends and family who are still stuck in old ways. This ridicule only stems from those who can’t imagine doing things any other way, or those who have tried and failed. He then faces self-doubt. ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’ he asks. And then, he wins. And it’s that win that feels more fulfilling to him than any amount of spoonfuls presented on a plate. This is because the meal he’s finally tasting is enriched with the most decadent and exotic flavours, far exceeding twice the quantity in slop.

This is metaphor heavy – I realise – but for someone who’s tasted the freedom of dream-chasing, any other life is a sure-fire path to starvation. It’s slop on the plate and a weevil-infested pantry in the mind.

We wonder why mental illness is at an all-time high. Loneliness and unfulfilled dreams permeating every ‘social’ circle. These brilliant minds are bored. They don’t believe in what they do and they’re craving the satiation – the satisfaction – of dreams come true. They’re craving the boomerang effect of vibrations just like the ones in their heart and soul bouncing back at them from a manifested existence that they want to be a part of. More so – that they want to create.

So if we’re all created equal. If each of us unique, with our own set of skills and strengths, why are only a few of us calling the shots? I call it a disease of awaiting permission unnecessarily. And it has quite simply got to stop.

There’s a formula for how the world works at the moment, and few who dare to go against the system and make an attempt at doing things differently. What would be the wider outcome if this became the way of the world? How would the system change?

Today’s food for thought.

Photo: Flickr

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Hit the road, heart attack Jack

I hope one day in the not-so-distant-future we’ll look back and wonder how on Earth we ever let humans drive. I don’t sit here and write this in a frustrated frame of mind after being stuck in traffic; after all, I don’t own a car and travel by train on a daily basis. I’m expressing something that I frequently wonder in disbelief when I am on the roads in somebody else’s car.

I don’t deny that there are many great drivers out there, but even the most switched-on, road-savvy, experienced individual is not superhuman. We all could, theoretically, have a seizure or heart attack at any moment. Or our car could fail us in a time of need. And then there are those that decide to drive drunk or high or tired or whilst texting, hitting the road believing that they are exception to the law. Then there’s driving in weather conditions that you’re uncomfortable with, or God forbid a sudden flash flood that takes you by surprise (and washed away the car of a friend of mine one rainy evening). My point is that you can’t plan for everything and you certainly can’t trust everyone to make the wisest decision 100% of the time.

As of yet, there is no form of transport that is 100% safe and reliable. But, of all of them, driving has got to be the worst. To give you some figures, in 2013, 1,713 people died in car crashes in the UK. Granted, this is lower than the 3,409 in 2000, but it’s still not good enough. And ASIRT report road traffic accidents as being the 9th leading cause of death! Of all the revolting bacterial infections and viruses, road accidents are number 9…

So for the people that want to argue, ‘Driving gives me a sense of freedom. I like to hit the road and go where I want.’ I say first of all, don’t preach to me about freedom! That may as well be my middle name. But I see an alternative looming on the horizon and think you’re remaining well within the box if you want to throw that argument at me.

What if there was an alternative that was totally reliable, frequent, convenient, safe, comfortable and environmentally-friendly. Would you still choose your car? I guess it depends on your priorities. Cars are indeed symbols of freedom, but with more and more of them on the road and an ever-increasing risk to your health, why not focus collectively on a better alternative? I often look at a beautiful place and try to tug on my most creative abstract brain cells and picture it without all the tarmac and four-wheeled fiends. Cars pollute our air with toxic fumes and noise, act as eyesores most of the time, are inefficient, expensive, lead to a waste of time (i.e. traffic) and pose a health risk.

I’m not preaching about getting rid of your car only to use buses and trains that aren’t good enough for your needs. I want you to realise that a car as we know it is NOT as good as it can get. That shouldn’t be the end point of our transport goals in this life. We complain about all the oil companies and how we want to save the planet, but continue to drive our cars around, supporting the oil companies and polluting our planet. Just imagine for a moment if everyone sacked off their cars and demanded that their governments devise plans for a better, more sustainable form of public transport. With developments like Elon Musk’s Hyperloop and Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project, along with Google Chauffer, it’s time we start thinking bigger and striving for better.

hyperloop

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail

Brain, engaged.

I eat meat. And fish. But I’d like to think I’m careful about what I choose to consume. The truth is, I could probably be a lot more particular about where my groceries are born and bred, but I’d like to think that on the scale of animal-product-consumers, I’m towards the better end.

You will never catch me eating a McDonalds, Burger King, KFC or mysterious sandwiches in packets. I won’t eat a kebab on a night out and if the choice is poorly-reared meat or the vegetarian option, long-line-caught tuna or a plain jacket potato, I’ll pick the latter on both occasions.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that we all have varying relationships with food. The athlete may see the food as fuel, the chef as the colours on a palette, the starving as edible gold and the emotionally-tormented as the enemy. But, some things are fundamental: 1. we need it to survive and 2. it can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, if only you let it.

We have this really unfortunate state of affairs these days in the UK and USA, where we’ve distanced ourselves from real food and instead substituted with nutrient-poor, artificial, inhumane, environmentally-destructive alternatives. In the corporate world, it is encouraged to eat lunch at your desk or on the go; working days are growing longer and if you throw in a commute too you’ve got an exhausted population just wanting the quickest thing to throw into the microwave and then into their gullets.

We’re at this point now where food is expected to be convenient – the quicker to prepare, the better. The result is we see food simply as an object of sustenance and rarely think deeper about exactly what it is that we are consuming. When you selected your last fast food burger, did you question how much deforestation occurred for the cattle to graze? When you purchased your last processed pack of cookies, did you ask how much of the rainforest was destroyed for the palm oil in that product? Did you stop and question why the chicken in your meal deal sandwich came from Thailand? Did you even look at the label to learn this information?

My point is that nowadays many of us eat without thinking. We do not take source of the meat, air miles and packaging into account when making the decision whether or not to purchase the item. Or perhaps we do, but turn a blind eye? If you had to immerse yourself in an intense, large-scale slaughterhouse for the day in order to get your meat, could you do it? I think you’ll find many of us would squirm at the idea of having to kill our own food for the next meal. And worse than this: being surrounded by enslaved animals in the most excruciatingly artificial environment. Unfortunately these kinds of conditions are more common than many of us would like to think – all because we are only prepared to pay rock bottom prices for our food.

It would be counterproductive to fight convenience; the nature of the evolution of man is learning ways we can improve our lives and then putting them into practice. So, perhaps we can’t all be out hunting and fishing all day. However, we all must start using our highly-evolved brains to question what it is we are putting into our bodies and support welfare and respect above all. If you are what you eat, after all, do you want to be consuming anguish?

caged hens chicken nuggets

Images: The Guardian

The Trampled Underfoot.

Many Britons did not vote in the general election, due to feeling that their one little tick on a sheet would not make a substantial impact. It is the age-old ‘I can’t make a difference’ mind-set that allows the power-hungry, dysfunctional elite to infiltrate. Now that we are about to plunge into the next 5-year Conservative rule, I worry that all those who voted for any other party will remain silent in defeat.

It is widely known that an angry population is far more difficult to control than a depressed one. Anyone who is familiar with depression knows that it creeps in and sucks all the hope out of you, rendering you powerless.

The night of the election I had multiple apocalyptic dreams which interrupted an already restless night’s sleep and I awoke with a jolt before my alarm even went off. I already knew the result; call it a premonition. A whole array of emotions flitted across the forefront of my mind and continued well into the day. It began with shock, followed by disgust, then anger, then hopelessness. As I slowly digested the results as they began to confirm what I already knew to be true, I couldn’t help but let my mind charge down all the possible routes that would allow me to leave the country as soon as possible. Any of you who know me well know that I am always looking for another place to move to and another adventure to pursue, but this was a different kind of escape method. This was one of hopelessness.

A couple days have passed and whilst I know I won’t live here forever, I know that for as long as I am here I must fight for a better future for those that come after me. All of my generation must. Because if you don’t fight and you don’t voice your concerns, you become part of the ever-spreading concrete, trodden over by Savile Row every day as they walk into parliament, ready to get the cement-mixers going. Be the birds in the sky shitting on the suits, not trampled underfoot.

And now for a poem.

Along the underbelly of a seven-headed monster

Through the smog I crawl
Along the underbelly of a seven-headed monster.
Faceted by green as far as the eye can see
Paper scales still in the stagnant air;
Air arid and lifeless and heavy as it permeates into my lungs.

Scale language a demonic backslang of useless words,
Words incapable of rebirth and beauty and creation,
Absurd words, the epitomy of human void,
Lifeless absurd words that sustain no source.

So I sit in the still and slowly dissipate into space.
I let myself seep into each and every single monstrous cell
And summon the eternal lifeforce.

I feel the pumping of every heartbeat
And the buzzing of every catalyst.

And I sing of life into the abyss.

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