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WELCOME

This will, hopefully, become a little corner of the internet where I can share my thoughts and feelings and, perhaps, make a little bit of a positive change in the world – whether by bringing some light into life or offering a new perspective.

Please feel free to look through my musings and comment. I welcome both constructive arguments and kind agreement for, the more we talk the more we can learn and the more we discuss the more we see.

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So, who am I?

Truth be told I’m still learning some of that myself. A year ago I would never have imagined I’d feel strongly enough about something to want to post it online but here I am.

I’m a man who spent much of his youth hiding away from the world but has slowly ‘woken up’ to find that the world looks vastly different to what I imagined it would.

I live in the UK and love my home for the wonderful countryside and colourful tapestry of its history. Most of all it’s the life that fills this lovely land, from the pounding waves of the coast through the ancient forest roots to the echos of past footsteps in ancient buildings. It’s a land of living history born from the lives of every farmer and labourer and rising up through every royal and lord.

There used to be a belief in ancient times that kings were tied to the life of the land – responsible for the lives of everyone and everything they were ruler of. It’s a belief I love the idea of and one I feel still applies today in each of our lives, whether we’re king just over ourselves or landlords watching over tenants and property or farmers who represents vast fields and herds of sheep.

Who am I?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s a bad habit isn’t it? Well it feels like one to me. A good way of avoiding the most important elephant in the room.

What am I talking about?

Telling people what you think they should do or how the world is.

It’s something I almost fell into recently. Getting so lost in the rush of life that I forgot myself and how simple a part of life I really am.

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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

I’ve been offline for the most part recently. It can get like a rushing river of thoughts, ideas and opinions, and I tend to drown rather quickly in that kind of rush; losing my sense of self and any hard ground to hold onto.

It’s not the first time, or even the only place where I find it hard to stay ‘me’. I’ve recently also come to some kind of early understanding of how I can get lost in pleasing people ( and changing my life to avoid fear of disappointing others ), something which has left me more twisted up than a pretzel.

So, for this post, I thought I’d simply drop everything else and ask that toughest and scariest of questions – WHO AM I?

Not an easy one to answer either, is it? I’m all the work and things I do for other people; I’m an aspect of those groups I tie myself to; I’m the words I cry in frustration, blindness, anger, pain; I’m my biggest mistakes and most accidental successes; I’m a thousand colours seen through the various lenses of all I touch.

I’m all of those but, when everything stops, I’m none of those.

That’s what makes it so scary after all. The fact that I don’t even know, and I can’t ask anyone else to tell me or join some group to make me, because they’re just clothes I put on.

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What’s that? You’d like to have me say who I am?

I can’t. I don’t know yet… Actually, it’s kind of nice to say that. To not hold to expectations of being a specific. To be free from saying, ‘less than this ability and I’ve failed at me’.

Who am I. I’m the one sitting in a world that suddenly feels more open and alive, now I’m not looking at shadows for an image of myself. I’m the one who’s smiling and, just maybe, a little bit happy.

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Where I was wrong

Image by Carlos Lincoln from Pixabay

Learning from feedback

I’m sure no one will be surprised when I say that I had a fair amount of feedback on my last post. All of it friendly and useful in helping me better understand both the situation and where my thoughts were heading.

I won’t be removing my last post as it’s an important point in how my thought process has developed as I move on and also a good marker for others going through similar processes, but I felt it both important and right that I should admit my mistakes and show how my thoughts have developed.

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Most of the feedback to me was in the line of, I don’t live the situation so my thoughts are coming from not facing it or my fears are my problem not the people protesting’s problem.

I can’t deny that and my biggest mistake I see in my last post was in putting the onus of my fears on the protestors rather than following it back to its heart. My other mistake, and one I hear repeated often, is in thinking that the words, “It’s your problem,” mean the same as, “shut up and go away.”

So lets see what facing those two mistakes lead to..

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

What’s the heart of my fears?

I do still see the fear there. It’s true that real change happens with strong actions so I have to accept that there are times when scary actions are important, but that’s not the heart of my fear, it’s the point when I noticed it.

The heart isn’t in what happens today, or even tomorrow. It’s in what happens after.

Frankly, I’m not scared that better rules will come in or that those in charge will realise they need to care about everyone. These are important things and the only issue I have with that is in hoping that all those in need, whether from gender, race, sexual path, disability, age etc.. will be heard.

However, I remember, pre Brexit, watching all the people around me who, it seemed to me, had buried their angers and fears as rules on health and safety and disability rights came in force here in the UK; I remember them stewing on it and wanting someone to blame for less money and jobs; I remember how it burst like a blind wave when someone pointed at immigrants and Europe; most of all I remember how similar it felt to what I understand had happened in Germany in 1932/3 before a certain person had come to power.

Now I could be wrong about all this – it happens all the time – but I can imagine the same process happening again, with the people watching the protests but not involved, burying fear and anger at things changing then blowing their tops much later and undoing all the good that gets done today.

That’s the heart of my fear. And yes, statues and things are unimportant compared to people, but believe me, I’ve known people who hold some aspect of their lives to be the main pillar of themselves, be it their job or position, being a scout or part of a group and, for them, something which hurts that pillar is going to be like a dagger in their hearts.

Image by 272447 from Pixabay

But it’s MY problem

And this is where my second mistake comes in.

I was so busy looking at what revealed my fear and suggesting how to stop it that I didn’t think about who I was talking to or why I was putting the weight on them.

You see it is MY problem. But that’s not to say I should shut up and ignore it. No, that’s how it comes true.

You see, when I’m scared I’ll either curl up or charge. Stopping and thinking goes out the window. I don’t want to look the fear in the eye, certainly not take responsibility and understand it, but, unless I face it, there’s always the danger it could start to stew and the option to blame someone else for it will always be there.

So I don’t get to change what’s happening or speak up on that, but it doesn’t mean I can’t think about my worries or make my own efforts in dealing with my fears and the issues in my world that need fixing.

I don’t get to change the world. But, maybe, I get to understand myself and, if I’m really lucky, be a little bit of light in my corner of it.
I hope so anyway.

The Future…

… or The Past?

Where to after Black Lives Matter?

Image by Kim Broomhall from Pixabay

Final ammendum – My views from this post have changed somewhat. You can see these thoughts and changes on this post ( https://musinghouse.home.blog/2020/06/16/where-i-was-wrong/ )

I have added to this post to include information and links offered in regards to plans for policing reform and defunding( these are at the bottom and I strongly recommend taking the time to read them ). I should add that I am not altering the main post because I still feel others will be struggling as I have, not always because of what’s happening but because of what we DON’T SEE is happening

Of late I’ve found myself more and more struggling to support the protests the way I did before – not because our ideals differ, but because a protest that appears to only want to tear down the bad from the past can miss the oportunity to build brightness in the future.

Threatening to tear down statues that commemorate the past or police who are meant to protect the innocent scares people and, more so, tears out the good that was done by people who were also bad and allows criminals space to do bad things.
That’s not to say the people whos statues are threatened weren’t bad ( frankly I can’t judge given my limited knowledge ) but, for instance, for all that Baden Powell has a dark side, the fact that the Scouts have been a force for good at times can’t be denied either. And, unless something else is ready to replace it, police can’t be disbanded without fear and the risk of another danger.

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But I agree, change MUST happen

No doubt some people reading this will be seething, thinking that I have no idea of what they’ve faced and such. My hands are up, I admit it, I don’t have a clue; I was born lucky in my gender and skin tone and only had to deal with ordinary bullying. I don’t have a culture that’s being crushed, nor fear when I wake ( any more ), not even a question of what people think when they look at me or if they might hurt me. I certainly can’t say how hard it is to change things, how many scars will never heal and how deep prejudices are ingrained..

But I love this world; I love the life and the wonder.., and I love the people. People who can dream and hope and build.
Most of all, I hope. I hope for a bright tomorrow where people hear, and see, and dream together.

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

In hoping, I wonder what would happen if, instead of fighting by tearing down we fought by building up.
Fighting by showing rules which will create a corruption free police ( I will add that I have been given some links to such aims for positive reform by people involved and I’ve added them at the bottom of this post ). Fighting by raising statues to  William Wilberforce or the  West Africa Squadron or the hundreds of other people who fought against slavery or for equality. Fighting by bringing people together who don’t know pain like you do, and haven’t the bravery to face fear like you’ve had to.

And I don’t know if people will react good or bad to me saying this, or what obstacles are in the way, but I’d rather shout for hope ( in my small way ) than stay silent and never know if such a future as I imagine can come to be.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

So, yes, fight and shout and raze the walls to the ground to stop injustice and prejudice. Make the ground shake and tell the world, “We matter!”
But don’t stop there. When the dust has settled the hardest part begins – The bridges that must be built; the lights that must be shone; the memories that need to be seen, from the light and the dark, so we learn how to deal with those situations when we meet them again, tomorrow.

List of links regarding aims for positive police reform/defunding –

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/01/what-happened-to-crime-in-camden/549542/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/31/the-answer-to-police-violence-is-not-reform-its-defunding-heres-why

https://oaklandpowerprojects.org/emergency-preparedness/

Worlds in Worlds

My Thoughts on Protests, Politics and Segregation in its many forms

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You may have noticed that I’ve not posted for a while. The truth is that I’ve had a lot on my mind and, if I’m brutally honest, I wasn’t sure what was real, to write about, any more.

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No, this ISN’T where I start talking about a brush with madness.
The thing is., I’ve built up all these ideas of what the world is, based on the things I’ve lived through; the people I know; the places I’ve seen. Then, suddenly I came across ideas and people who turned that all on its head, not through some difference that’s just skin deep or to do with who they love ( which is important only in telling me how to identify them across a crowded bar or reminding me how much of a gift loving is ) but by the very nature of the struggles they’ve faced and the choices they’ve had to make.

I know I’m not the only one to face this, and I wont be the last to, either.
How we face it is always going to be unique to each of us, just as what we see in each world is, but I imagine some of my reactions will ring a bell.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Hiding – Yep, that’s the first one I face. I hold on to the sheer power of my belief that my rules of how life should be are right and obviously these other ideas are mistaken. The classic argument that there’s a flaw in the others reasoning or, perhaps, it’s just that we both missed a small detail that makes my way right.

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Running Away – Second up and my all time most effective way of dealing with things. The curl in a ball technique and the way I hid from my bullies when I was young. Oh, it’s so easy to switch off to other people’s lives and other ideas. All we have to do is change the channel, or walk away from the chat group, or even drive round the outside of that neighbourhood.

Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay

Blaming Someone Else – Right, I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets nervous facing this one. I’m absolutely certain that I’m not alone in doing it too, though.
“Oh, the planet’s being poisoned. It’s all the oil companies fault. Excuse me, I’m just going to go spray weed killers on my garden or burn some petrol.”
“Those poor people are homeless. It’s the councils fault. No, of course I don’t want to go to a public meeting about finding ways to house the homeless and I sure don’t want anything lowering my home’s value.”

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Are you scared, nervous or shouting the good reasons you have for not looking? You aren’t alone because I sure would be too.
And, lets be honest, our lives and our personal fears and problems are important and we have to care about those around us first, because we know what they face and are there.

But that doesn’t mean we can just pretend this isn’t happening.


It’s like the world is made up of millions of bubbles – other worlds – one for each person. Each bubble can be so different that its hard to understand them but they each affect the others around them and each is a unique marvel that can never be replaced.

Image by Javier Robles from Pixabay

I’ve been torn between ignoring all the protests and anger right now and trying to get some idea of what everyone has gone through to make them need to stand up.

I know I’ll never truly understand it, and I’m glad of that in a way, because to understand ( properly understand rather than empathise or conjecture ) I would have had to live it and I don’t think I could. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care or should ignore this other world around me.

It’s a scary world, full of pain and anger and things we’d love to brush under the carpet because they’re scary. It’s one that we can close our eyes to if we want.
That’s the crux of the matter though and the stumbling block that stops me hiding. Do we really want to ignore these other worlds?

Is it worth side stepping these issues? Or will the lessening of another’s world be the lessening of all our worlds?

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If we all wait and huddle away and think it’s someone else’s problem what does that do to our world? For surely, if we just ignore attitudes and issues that cause pain, and turn aside from the tearing cracks which are trying to make us distant from each other then wont there come a day when those pains and cracks also surround us?

I’m certainly not brave enough to march in protest and I wouldn’t risk the danger of giving Covid to those close to me but does that mean I cant look and see what I can do? Ask if there’s some petition which I agree with or write to my local politicians, even just say what’s on my mind so others can hear and make their own decisions on what to do.

Image by Timofey Baker from Pixabay

These protests, to me, aren’t about just a march or one person who was murdered. They are voices trying to get us to look and see; People crying out to be heard because they can’t breath any more.

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No, we can’t change these big scary problems alone but, the truth is we don’t have to. All we need is to show those in power that we know we put them there and, together, we want them to change their ways or we can remove them. That’s the power of democracy and the thing the gets hidden from us.
You see, every quiet person going to work in a small job, every telemarketer or typist or whoever. Every one of us is in charge of employing our leaders and law givers. We voted them in to do a job, NOT to be gods, and we certainly didn’t give away that power, although we sometimes forget we have it.

So, if like me, you’re looking from your own bubble world at the protests, just remember that we can take the time to listen and we don’t need to be brave or strong to help change the world.

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Black lives matter., and so does every life, no matter how different they seem, because each of these lives is a person like you; like me. Each may be a brother or sister; a mother or father; a friend or carer. Each matters and is important. And each deserves your voice and love.

The Sound of Harmony in Crisis

Once again a post by Kylara ( http://kylarathought.blogspot.com/2020/03/dealing-with-dark-times.html ) has focused my thoughts in my own writing.

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Now is probably one of the hardest things we, as a world community, will ever face together. A crisis reaching into every part of our personal lives, not just out and about but finding its way into our very homes.

It’s scary I know. I feel scared as well., and yet there is light here too.

Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay

A couple of days ago the NHS in the UK asked for volunteers to help with various things like delivering medicines and driving people to hospital (https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/03/your-nhs-needs-you-nhs-call-for-volunteer-army/ ) and the number volunteering was already over 500,000 by yesterday; One of my neighbours has organised for us all to share phone numbers so that none of us are left alone and vulnerable and I have found that my offers of getting shopping for my customers have been almost universaly turned down because their neighbourhoods and families are reaching out to each other to make sure no-one is left without. All of these are quiet but powerful beacons of hope.

Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

For all the times I’ve mourned the harshness of our madcap, isolated and selfish rush to keep afloat in today’s life, this dark time has reminded me of something special that we tend to bury deep or miss in the normal rush:- We have the strength to care. To reach out as much because we know fear and that others will be facing it too and need our help.

So, each vision I get of this new, quieter, world, I’ll see more than huddled houses standing alone. For we stand as a community pulling together even when we must hold apart.

Words have Power

Ok, so I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise to most people reading this but, as the title suggests, I feel that words have power.

I know, it’s quite a well understood point but I feel it’s one we need to stop and think about every so often.. It’s certainly been one which seems to have come to mind from several places for me recently ( which appears to be becoming a common thing with my blogging ).

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

As I’m sure many of you know as well as I do words can cut and leave scars, they can heal and bring joy, they can give life to new possibilities and ideas and, in extreme cases, they can even cause death. Which is why I feel it’s a point worth going back to, especially in this, a time when people post advice online which can be dangerous, stupid or even malicious, and all with the safety of distance.

It is, after all, easy to say things without thinking or taking the time to be aware ( I’ll be honest, even though I ended up in an awful state due to such things, there have still been plenty of times when I’ve spoken without thought and caused hurt I would rather that I hadn’t ). It’s especially hard when you think of how much words come into our lives both in the usual form and in the symbols which express a word; every song; every voice on tv; every book or blog; every symbol on a road or emoji; even the unspoken words and harsh silences, thoughts in our minds and echoes of words long forgotten by the speaker. All these things are like ripples in our lives, having affects on others and ourselves which we may never be fully aware of.

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For me there has been a lifetime of words and actions echoing in my head, telling me I’m no good. Words I’ve spent each day learning to rise a little higher above but which still faintly cry at the back of my mind, like sirens summoning me to the jagged rocks of despair and defeat.

For others these words can be like dark whirlpools or pits of snakes, so dangerous are they. For still more there are times when they act like chains and anchors – names and titles which they want to fight desperately to rid themselves of or feel they must struggle to be worthy of.

Worse still is the fact that these colour each other no matter how far apart in time and space. A harsh word may mean nothing to you but, to someone who’s had a hundred harsh words thrown at them, it can be like a mountain of hate hitting them.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

So, every time you write a word or make a sound, every action you do or expression you show, try to remember that those will leave a ripple over the lives of those they touch.

And for those out there, like me, who still feel the pain of words long gone and have it colour their lives, try to hold on to the knowledge that those words were offered without full thought or care by people who never took the time to see who you were. Because, if they had, they would have seen the bright flower inside you that was too beautiful to go trampling on.

Think, Don’t Panic

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Anyone else looking around at empty store shelves and panicking comments and remembering those disaster movies where the poor person in the wheelchair gets trampled by the mad crowd?

Now, before I go on I should clarify that, yes, this is a worrying time and we face a dangerous virus and by all means we should be concerned and want to take precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones, after all, this thing is a killer..

That does NOT mean running around like Chicken Little claiming the sky is falling in; blaming people who look Chinese, ill or dirty; or emptying the supermarkets of items so that everyone else is left empty handed!!

I’ve seen enough white, clean shaven, healthy office types leave toilets without washing their hands to know that you can’t hold to stereotypes of where germs are spread from. In any case, while you’re busy pointing fingers you’re completely ignoring the things you could be doing to help the situation.

There’s more than just social politness in keeping your heads too. If you go round panicking how the heck do you think you’re going to be able to assess what potential hazards to avoid and which are in your head? If you go buying all the hand sanitizer does that mean your neighbour, who has none, is going to get ill and pass it on to you?

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So step back a second and think, “Yes, I’m scared but so is everyone else. How can I help make this a less scary time and make sure we all do our best to keep safe?”

That’s not underplaying the fact that there is a danger but lets be honest, we aren’t going to be safer by worrying about every breath of air and doorknob.

Image by leo2014 from Pixabay

So, what can you do? If I’m honest your best first step is to check for saftey suggestions from both the government and your local health authorities.
After all, I’m no expert. All I can do is offer a few extra thoughts..

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You could check your neighbours to see if they need any help, particularly if they’re elderly or housebound. For instance, it could be they need some shopping but the usual resources they use have run short because of panic buying.

Is it worth offering items or money to local homeless shelters? These are people who need help to get back on their feet, may have a less robust immune system and could well be in places where they’re in close proximity to hundreds of people ( which is to say that THEY are at more risk of catching and dying from this virus ). If they have access to a shelter they have access to plenty of fresh running water and are in a place where medical treatment can be called more readily which could save their lives and prevent virus spread.
And just to reiterate – These are ordinary people like you and me, NOT some kind of enemy or monster

Speaking of low immune systems, I imagine you’ll probably know at least one person who’s been ill or has a bad immune system. They’re no doubt scared and could feel isolated. Any chance you have time to give them some support, make sure their store cupboards are filled and give them something to smile about?

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But those are just a few thoughts that came to mind as I asked myself, “What could other people be going through right now.” So, the best thing I can think of ( after you’ve washed your hands and followed any guidelines which come out ) is to stop and think, not just in this current situation but in any situation where you’re scared, because you never know when you might be able to help just a little by thinking and caring.

Loneliness of Living the Mask

The Fear of Showing You

I’m trying to learn not to lie. I made a promise you see.

It sounds a simple thing I’m sure. I knew it wouldn’t be when I accepted that this is something I would do, but I also didn’t know how many lies I was wrapped in either.

Image by Jay George from Pixabay

I don’t think I’m the only one with this issue. Well, in a selfish way, I hope I’m not – this is something too scary to think I’m alone with.

But then that’s the issue. The turning point in realising why I have a problem. You see I’m scared that all my castles in the sand of what my life is, could wash away should people see the real me..

The real me. I; real? I don’t even know all of what is real me and what is my mask and cloak. It covers in thick drifts of dust or rings like onion skins.

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At first I thought it would just be those lies I used to cover my mistakes ( yes, I picked that up. Just give me 10min, I need to pop out for a bit. ); the ones that would mean my family didn’t know I had failed; that meant they didn’t worry; the hopes they couldn’t see I’d let them down and the half truths so they wouldn’t see my tarnish. Then I cleared enough away that I could see below and I began to be aware the enormity of my quest.

I’ve placed myself in so many boxes and accepted that being this is so much more user friendly than being that.., And I’m the lucky one, without fear of long held stigmas.

I’ve only slowly become aware of how those I know who are homosexual or bisexual ( or with other relationships or of other genders; so varied but all so much the same by fact of the love they share for whomever is right for them and the hopes of living as they ‘are’ ), of bad background or having the ‘wrong’ parents or religion, must feel ( and even that can only be a guess ). For some there may be a choice of having to cut their life fully in two and carry the stress of swapping boxes, hoping a false word or accidental meeting doesn’t mix things up; or cutting off swathes of their world so that the pain of truth in the wrong ears can’t break them; or steeling themselves to stand tall, always waiting for an unexpected wind of sharp cutting words to come their way.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I’m NOT a box!

I don’t know how not to be one, to be honest. Not when we all hold onto our boxes – even activist is a box when you think about it.

I find myself trying to be me and then a part of me will make something I did so much bigger and something else so much smaller. Not as a lie you understand, but to show the best of me, and the worst thing is I don’t even know I’m doing it. I’ll be trying to help and it comes across as if I think I’m a great expert, when all I am is swimming through similar waters and finding one stroke easier.

Yet it’s a lonely thing wearing a mask and not knowing if your friends, your family, your partner or even children could accept you if they saw the scars beneath. Then, if you do let some of your mask down, you end up constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when ‘they’ will notice and how long til the scars put them off.

The funny thing is I see others with their boxes and find it so easy to see they don’t need them and that the box doesn’t even begin to hold all the good bits of them, but when it comes to myself I can’t be so kind.

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So, just for today ( because it’s been a nice day ) let me stand tall, offer my hand and say “Hello.”

My name doesn’t matter and my skin – well lets just say it’s skin; I have someone in my life I love so deeply I want to be whole for them and I believe in something that is truly worth caring about and keeps me strong when all I want is to hide; I’m not great or wise or powerful and if I have thoughts or advice it’s because I fell down that hole or tripped on that branch before you; I’m a mess starting to be sorted and fears starting to be faced.

And, for today at least, I am proud to have all of these faults. For, today, I am me.

What gives a person value?

I wasn’t planning on writing a new post so soon but a recent blog post by Betul on the Pointless Overthinking blog has tied in with a thought raised by both a tv show I’ve been watching and a blog post by Kylara ( links to both further down ) about sense of value and how we so often put a value both on ourselves ( for our percieved strengths and weaknesses compared to others in the same areas ) and upon others both near ( friends and family ) and far ( world leaders and tv stars ).

We all do it to one degree or another. We choose to read this post or vote for that candidate; to make friends with that person or give money to that charity. Quite frankly we couldn’t live without some kind of discernment of who and what were most relevant or valued in our lives but, like all things, it’s so easy for us to get carried away. To assume that valuing one thing makes another somehow lesser or to be outside of a valued group makes us less valuable.


It’s interesting how we go from “this person is someone I can connect with/has some attribute I like,” to “this person is more valuable than that one”.

At the same time there’s also the question of why we think weakness is a bad thing when it is, so often the thing which shows our strengths as we struggle to overcome, circumvent or come to terms with it.

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In Kylara’s recent post about taking care of your mental health while following a pagan path ( http://kylarathought.blogspot.com/2020/02/mental-care-is-self-care.html ) this came out most strongly in the point that we so often find ourselves wanting to live up to some image of the perfect follower that has been created for us to, well, follow and when we inevitably fall short this is something that is seen as shameful and failure, when really it’s part of who we are. Growing from and dealing with these parts of us are our strengths and show the power in us that is hidden and unused if we don’t have it to face.

At the same time the programme I was watching had a young man with autism who felt he had to prove to himself that he had value, because people had told/treated him all his life as though he was of less value than others. Watching him over the course of several episodes it became obvious that he had been valued not for his personality but for his disability; For their comparison of him to other, more mentally able, people.
You could see, in each fight to converse with people or face new situations, a deep strength and calm focus which he brought out of himself and they shone through as he found confidence in facing these struggles.

Image by jpornelasadv from Pixabay

Then I read Betul’s recent post ( https://pointlessoverthinking.com/2020/02/23/do-you-belong/ ) on the Pointless Overthinking blog, about how we lose ourselves in belonging and it reminded me of my own struggles with being part of a community. The sense of needing to be part of a group and match others so that I would be of value; the feeling that not being able to interact at times made me less and that I needed to hide parts of myself to fit in; even the memory of times when I felt ostracized and, because of that, valueless.
I realised that I had lived most of my life with the idea that if one didn’t have those qualities deemed ‘good’ then that meant I had to have the ones deemed ‘bad’ ( in a value sense ).

However, the thing is that value, though a fine thing for connecting to others, isn’t like justices’ scales. If one value tips the weight down on one side it doesn’t mean those without it are thrown in the air on the other side. It most certainly doesn’t mean that all that are not like one mould, or in one group, are lesser because of it.

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I’m sure everyone’s now saying “but I don’t do that”. So let me ask you, when you last had a vote for government did you think “I like that person so the other one standing must be awful” or was it more “I like this persons ideas but that one has some good ones too”?
And it’s not just in others we do this. Have you ever found yourself feeling less worthy because you weren’t like that amazing neighbour who managed to cook a 5 course meal for ten or because you weren’t among your colleagues chatting about some tv show?


I don’t know about you but I do, every time I feel tired and low; I still find myself wanting to be part of chats where I really have nothing to add just so I don’t feel less valued; I even, sometimes, feel low because all I see are the values that don’t fit in and the faults that look worst. I guess the only difference is that I’ve learnt that I am strong enough to feel valued again tomorrow.

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So, next time you feel on values’ scales remember, you aren’t alone and, no matter what’s said or done, you’re as valuable for who you are as anyone else in this world.

Not My Problem!

I was talking to some relations the other day about some local housing plans and was somewhat disappointed when their response was that “it’s not my problem”.
The thing is, and it took me a long day of thinking to realise this, they’re right. It’s not my problem – it’s not anyone’s problem really, at least not until it happens….

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Yes, I know. Shock, horror, that I said such a thing. Have I gone mad?
No. Nor have I decided we/I don’t need to care about the future. What has changed is my thoughts on why I should care

“It’s not my problem” or “it is my problem”.
Think about those sentences for a second. Since when did our future change from a dream to a chore?

I certainly recall that it wasn’t like that when I was a child dreaming of magical worlds like those you see on Star Trek movies, and how many people out there watched The Black Panther and thought, “Wow, that would be a great place to live” or dreamt of all the amazing technology of Iron Man?

A lot of what changes now won’t necessarily make a big difference in our lives or our lifetime. Certainly there are things I plan ( like my will ) which can’t happen until I die. However, I don’t want to be doing these things for myself. I do them because I care about those who I leave behind or because I dream of the world being that bit better tomorrow – nearer to the world I always hoped it would be.

So, next time someone tells me, “It’s not my problem”, I hope I’ll remember and tell them it’s not my problem either.., it’s my hope.

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay
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