Friday, May 20, 2016

Back online


After two weeks offline I have a running laptop again. Weee! Two friends gave me their old laptop, bless them. I have a history of using old computers and laptops. I've never had to buy one due to the kindness of friends. Truth is, I wouldn't have the money anyway.

I *did* notice that the world did not end during my internet absence. I also noticed how much time I spend on the computer. It's inevitable. I watch movies, listen to music, write letters and stories, kill time on social media. During my offline days, I read books. Lots of books. There is only so much reading a person can do and remain sane. I haven't discovered it yet. I do know I have to stop reading when my eyes burn and my head aches. It takes a long time to achieve that state of bibliophilic grace.

I am watching the sixth season of The Walking Dead. It is a very good series. It shows what happens when the social web collapses completely. Something not different than what's happening in Syria and many other places in the world now. If you subtract the zombies and add the 'good' European countries plus US and Russia bombing for freedom and the local factions killing anyone who doesn't belong to their faction, which is basically everyone else, the brutality and mindless killing is the same. What's happening in the world now is not different than a post-apocalyptic zombie series, but for some reason, human beings don't find this alarming. Unless it's happening in their neighbourhood, it doesn't concern them.

Recently a friend was telling me how lucky we are that we don't have a war here, and don't really realise our privilege. It's true. In a sense, my country is lucky. In another sense, we're not. If I place on the scales outright war and economic strangulation, I am not sure which one is worse. And economic war is happening on a worldwide scale. Billions of people are below the poverty line, or barely manage to live. How did we let this happen to this planet? Why are we not rallying on the streets instead of uploading coffee and doughnut photos in Facebook and Instagram with mobiles we bought on credit? What the fuck is wrong with us?

A few days ago I saw a series of dreams. I no longer remember what they were about, but I remember my state when I woke up. In my dreams I remembered how I felt when I was a preteen. The hope and awe and unbelievable sensation that life was open for me, that all possibilities were open. Now I am older, disillusioned, cynical almost, and so very tired that my soul aches. And it aches even more when I remember even for a little while how I used to feel. That amazing sensation of trust and faith and belief and the deep certainty my life would be so exciting, so amazing, so... magical. I don't dare think about it because it hurts so much and at the same time that sensation makes me feel alive. It makes me remember what it is to have faith and trust and an open heart. It cuts deep to expose how much I've lost on the way, and how much I can, perhaps, rediscover.

Here is a poem written about that:


Anesthesia

We dream, oh how we dream when we are young
and yet we grow up to become the lesser evil.
It is a matter of priorities
cowardice disguised as sensibility
and the princesses, and the phoenixes, and the feats of bravery
we just grow up to become the lesser evil.
What will your mother say?
Will the neighbours be jealous?
Is he the right one?
Your classmates would have laughed
(like they always did, no surprise there)
and on our deathbed we finally know
we grew up to become the greatest evil.

27th of July,  2010
 
Be good to someone tonight. Just to one person, yourself included, and just for tonight.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Random acts of vileness

This is not directly related to the post, but it's very nice. It's my random act of kindness for today. You are welcome. XD Source: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelStokesPhoto/
I have an observation to make, as well as a request. Don't be nasty. When you do something bad, the misery you create spreads in waves and finally finds its way back to you. How does this work? Let me give you my thoughts.

As you have guessed, a friend of mine passed away a little more than two years ago. She was very dear to me. A few months before she was gone, she posted me a birthday present. I have no idea what that present was. You see, she posted it from Japan and although she sent it by registered mail, her gift never arrived. It turns out that the tracking system for the packet worked only inside Japan and someone stole it. Since this was the last present she ever sent to me, I wish I had received it. Not for any other reason but for its sentimental value. In any case, someone interfered and I never got it. That someone obviously didn't know that this gift was important to me, and didn't care about the consequences of stealing it. He or she didn't think it was something, but to me it was.

Now you are going to tell me, how does this affect other people? Whether we like it or not, we are interconnected. We exist within a very complex web of social interactions. Every time someone behaves like an arse, this affects a lot more than just the person who becomes the receiver of that behaviour. What, seems exaggerated? It's not.

Let's say you have a fight with someone. You go home enraged and take it out on your significant other. They get out of the house with their panties in a bunch and without meaning to, they run over a cat. The cat owner isn't going to be a happy chap, and I don't even want to refer to the poor cat. So misery spreads like sticky smog and affects a lot of lives, because whether we like it or not, we are connected. Even small and seemingly unimportant acts of anger, greed or malice can have major consequences for you or someone else. I don't believe in heaven or hell, but sometimes a single act of ill will or irresponsibility can turn a person's world upside down. For this reason alone, humans need to be careful. And though it may be hard to believe, happiness spreads in a similar way, through the same social web. 

I am giving by nature so I don't need anyone to tell me how that works. However, let me elaborate for you. Do you remember when you went for coffee and the waitress was extra polite and nice? Or when a random stranger stopped and helped you with your car trouble? Or when a co-worker complimented you on your new dress? Do remember how good it felt to be at the receiving end of such behaviour and how it improved your mood for hours afterwards, making you smile and making you nicer, too? That's the way happiness spreads, and unlike misery, it is unlikely to cause damage to someone or cost a person's life. 

Do something nice and don't do it because you expect something in return. It affects a lot of lives, more than you can imagine. This is a small world, and what goes around comes around. It may come in a different form, but it does. You don't have to save the world from hunger. All you need to do is buy a sandwich for the homeless guy in your neighbourhood, or throw your remaining crumbs to the pigeons. Don't think big. Small is more than enough. Small and immediate is fine. And if you don't want to do that, at least don't step on other people's toes. That, too, is plenty.