What does it take for radical changes to be made in our society? How much environmental damage? How many traumatised sexual assault victims? How many children fighting for survival in broken homes? How many young people burdened with crippling stress as a result of overwork and underpay? How much sickness?

It’s pretty mind-boggling to me because I consider myself to be a (relatively) normal person of a (somewhat) normal background, but I’ve experienced all of the above. All of them. And I struggle with my mental health a lot of the time. So how are those worse off than me coping? Thinking about this truly saddens and baffles me, to be honest.

This isn’t a cry for sympathy. I write about this kind of stuff to bring it to light, to encourage those suffering in silence to speak up and get help and also to turn up the volume on our desperation – as the young voices of society – for change.

I’m sick of spending 70% of my time wondering how to live well while avoiding plastic, avoiding consuming animal products and still maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet so that I can be healthy and happy. Society is not built to support this and so it’s incredibly difficult. The framework is not there. The framework exists in the form of corporations and advertising backing fast food and destructive consumption habits. The result is sick person after sick person, overweight and yet malnourished (in the developed world, that is), polluting the beautiful world around us.

I’m sick of having to fight off the seething anger I feel when some asshole catcalls at me when I pass by in the street. Do you know that I now rarely wear anything that reveals a body that I’m actually really proud of because it’s just too exhausting to deal with the attention? I’ve tried every tactic in the book when it comes to rude men invading my personal space and disrespecting me. I’ve ignored them, I’ve raised the middle finger, I’ve told them to fuck off and no matter the response I choose to embrace, I still leave the scene angry and deflated. To any men that have ever catcalled a woman or worse, please know that we think of you as akin to the dirt on our shoe. We do not find this attractive. It does not make us attracted to you. It does not make us feel good. We see you as dumb, chauvinistic predators who feel that the worth of a woman is limited to her appearance rather than her brain. We don’t feel you would produce good offspring. We don’t want to have your babies.

I’m sick of seeing bad parenting happening over and over again. We’ve got lazy parents who can’t be bothered to interact with their children, so instead shove a smartphone or tablet in front of them hoping it’ll keep them occupied. You grew this little human! Do yourself and society a favour and raise it well! We’ve got parents neglecting their children and withholding love because they don’t understand their needs. And it’s probably because they never took the time to heal themselves of their own traumatic childhoods before entering the world of parenting. They then find said children acting out and don’t understand why. They try to discipline them which only causes further upset and frustration until eventually the gap in understanding between parent and child becomes so large that bridging it is rendered impossible. That child enters adulthood struggling to do life, not really understanding why and feels a bitter resentment to their parent(s) which society still labels as unacceptable (“It’s family! You can’t turn your back on family!” *shakes head*). The vicious cycle then continues if they go on to reproduce.

I’m sick of overtime becoming the norm for so many people of working age. Overworked people are good for very little. All that results is both physical and mental sickness. Weak staff are unhappy staff and unhappy staff aren’t very productive. Every job – no matter how ‘technical’ – has an element of creativity to it. If workers are essentially shoved into survival mode because they are too stressed to function properly, the last priority is creativity. Simply doing basic life becomes a struggle and so you’re essentially paying staff to do what a robot could do far better. You’re not getting out of them what humans are so good for in the first place: creative self-expression.

Finally, I’m sick of the weight-watching-obsessed, calorie-counting, disease-ridden people taking up resources and placing a strain on our healthcare system because they simply weren’t taught about food while growing up. I don’t blame any person struggling with his/her weight and addicted to processed food. It is likely that he/she grew up with parents who put fast food on the table every night or who’s idea of vegatables was boiling everything until it turned the same shade of snot-green, subsequently putting him/her off for life. If you grow up thinking that broccoli is meant to be a pile of green mush, of course you’d rather opt for fries. We need to start teaching kids about food in a way that encourages a healthy relationship to flourish. We need to teach them how food grown, how it’s meant to be consumed, what nutrients we need to be healthy and the environmental impacts of the food we choose to eat.

So my question to you is, what does it take? WIth all these different flaws we have, what will it take to see real change?

Photo via Unsplash

 

Isn’t it a wonderful idea to believe that we are all here on this planet with our own individual strengths to each contribute or create in our own way? Think about your circle of friends and family for a moment; whether you’re aware of it or not, you go to different people for your different needs. You surround yourself with some people because of their ability to be respectful listeners, others for the knowing you can let loose and party with them and others for their dreamy presence and inspirational outlook on life.

If all of these character traits are innate – meaning although each of us can aspire to perfect our listening skills or approach a more carefree attitude to life, we simply may not hold a particular trait as our strength – why should this just be limited to social interactions? What I mean is: why is society not operating on playing to each individual’s strengths, rather than squashing every single person into the same square-shaped mould?

It can’t just be me that feels we are long overdue a societal revamp, can it? We have all the information we could ever want at our fingertips and collectively mental expansion is occurring more rapidly than ever. So, why are we still stuck in the past?

Why are we still travelling in gas-guzzling planes, trains and automobiles? Why are we consuming produce soaked to the core in carcinogenic pesticides which are killing both ourselves and our wildlife? Why are we still living with such disparity between the rich and the poor? Why are we still forcing our children into the vaults of anxiety in a shit education system where they are forced to study a set curriculum, hardly tailored to match the individuality of each kid and resulting in walls of frustration and disappointment?

The way we all intertwine with each other on this planet is in the form of a collective relationship. That’s how we need to think of it. Shrink the scale down to two people: a relationship only flourishes if kindness, honesty and love are at the core of the friendship. As soon as spitefulness, manipulation or greed enters the zone, pain results.

Anyone who has had any kind of social interaction with another human knows that neither of you are perfect. Early childhood trauma occurs in almost every household and the result is that we enter adult life carrying with us a variety of burdens or distorted behaviours. All you can hope to do as you make your way through life is to heal whatever pain you carry with you and evolve as an individual.

I think that the reason we are currently experiencing so much anger, confusion and pain worldwide is that we are all cruising at different speeds of emotional development and ascension. There are many of us with the goal of operating from a place of love, rather than manipulation and personal gain. However, likewise many are still so blind to a life functioning any way other than the current system and hence the butting of heads and conflicting energies.

The only way of truly evolving as a society, to one which allows individuals to flourish based on the person they came here to be is, for everyone to operate from a place of love. It is the most difficult thing to forgive a person that has hurt you. It is excruciating to wish them well in life when a part of you surges with anger at the thought of all that they have done. But, if we aren’t wishing them well, then aren’t we operating on the same wavelength as them? I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to repulse me.

Suppress your ego, let kindness pour from your heart and try to see the inner child in everyone – I promise it will make you more forgiving.

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