"In this fucked up world all you can hope for is change, and I'd rather be a hypocrite to you now than a zombie forever."

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

In search of friends? Remember this:

"The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude."

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Do you look like a good person?

If you concentrate on your character,your reputation will look after itself.

Socrates and Robin Hood. Two legends of history that are cited for their goodness, for their belief in justice, fairness and equality. Neither of them are noted for their obsession with merely appearing good or noble because they needn't have been: their actions were enough. Of course, they weren't saintly and are likely to have cared quite a bit about how they were perceived - what human being isn't? But they did not achieve greatness through superficiality - instead they endeavoured to act with the noblest of intentions, so proved their capacity for great thought and morality to all of history. The practice of sycophantic words and constant appeasement of others hasn't granted anybody true happiness or goodness, and does not create a fulfilling life for us all. It is possible preferable to gain popularity by being true to yourself and others (or as close as possible, since none of us are faultless).

If only so many people didn't earn the label of being a 'good person' by relying on the density of their words or innate desire to be liked and were instead judged upon the warmth of their heart & purity of thought. Everybody, including you, is worthy of so much more than living life with the constant worry of what others think about them. Moreover, most people can't be judged upon appearances anyhow... despite the fact we're given ideological messages that it's 'human nature' to do just that. Labelling things as 'human nature' is a lazy journalism that engenders ignorance of the good in other people and encourages us to act out of fear and not faith. You are not just a product of 'human nature' - we are all evolved human beings who think and feel so each person's thoughts and feelings are important, no matter what their identity is. It's not 'human nature' to talk snidely to/about others or to use people as a stepping stone for your personal gain. It's 'human nature' to have empathetic opinions that you want to fight for. Our insecurities are dictated to us from every available source - who are also just as lost and as a result, we limit ourselves and judge others in order to feel marginally better about who we are.
That's ridiculous. You do not need self-pity; you need self-respect and self-love.

Everybody has the potential to be wonderful from the core, including both your friends and foes. All of us are 'good people' but some choose to be more than others, despite appearances to the contrary. Take responsibility for your existence. Think about how others feel, care about what happens to yourself and those around you, stand up for what is wrong because you will be respected for it. It's unimportant to be seen as a 'good person' but imperative to Think and Act with goodwill and empathy. Treating people fairly and being pleasant with people are not always the same thing and it shouldn't be so cool to hate when we could all be spreading the love.

Friday, 28 December 2012

No More Rape Culture

Thanks to patriarchal structures, we live in a global 'rape culture' that normalises and condones sexual violence. So I made a collage to illustrate examples of the rape culture at work in bright colours (it's less depressing that way, just).

Friday, 19 October 2012

A book about New York. Sort of.

For nigh on 6 months, I've been involved in a tempestuous relationship with a book called 'The Good People Of New York'. What keeps me coming back to it? It's hard to say, especially since the storyline is no epic quest to find the meaning of life or love or religion. Instead, author Thisbe Nissen (cool name right?),  takes the reader on a spy-hole journey through the 'kitchen-sink drama' affairs of protagonist Roz's ordinary life in the big Apple.

Front Cover

To be truthful, Thisbe had me at 'New York'. It's no stereotypical central perk setting but that's a part of its twee charm. I can't say the blurb is particularly enticing, nor is the pace of the story itself, but both are a pleasant read/short snippet of a fantasy world that could well be someone's reality. It's the beauty of the everyday in x number of words.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Happiness remedies Part One

Small things that can make you smile.

Helping other people.
Volunteering is extremely good for your well-being! It could be anything from comforting the elderly to selling knitted cardigans at the local Cancer Research shop... No matter what kind of help you give, you'll get happy in return. Unless you're a die-hard capitalist who won't leave your bed for less than £100, volunteering is definitely for you. It's a CV booster that employers will acknowledge because they can see evidence of your work ethic and experience. Career-focused volunteering is a good way to go if you want to ensure your CV is more 3D. If you're stuck for inspiration, websites such as v.inspired.com and do-it.org are the perfect place to scout for opportunities in your local area. Alternatively, get out there and see for yourself! I'm sure your free service will be warmly welcomed in the majority of places and honestly, it's a worthwhile experience.

Hot chocolate.
Whipped cream & marshmallows included.
 To make it, I advise heating a cup of milk in a microwavable cup (check the bottom!) for about 2 minutes and stirring in lots of chocolate powder. Choose your biggest cup and your favourite brand of chocolate. Milk of choice? Cravendale. Not only do they have genius adverts but the milk is so thick&creamy&lovely. Chocolate sprinkles on top are optional, although recommended. 
It's no secret that chocolate makes us happy and a little bit won't hurt your waistline, so feel no guilt and enjoy!

If you're just plain bored of refreshing your internet browser, get outside! You'll have plenty of time to read TheThinkingGirl'sNotebook later, don't worry ;). Maybe your body is just crying out for exercise and your mind wants to concentrate rather than be numbed by notifications and youtube comments. A destination is preferable (maybe you need some more milk after that hot chocolate?) and if you plug in your iPod (avoiding the depressing music) you can click on an anthemic number and pretend you're in a film. You may as well, nobody can read your mind. Even just taking a scenic route for the purpose of relaxing is inductive to happiness - everybody needs some alone time!

Focus on the positive.
After all, if you're doing that, you're bound to be happy. Sometimes it just takes some deliberate thinking to ensure you're not wallowing in misery and instead appreciate your time on the earth. Think about something that you like or someone that makes you smile or write a list of what you're grateful for. Just smile. Be happy  and in the present moment.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

What to do this winter to keep yourself happy and helpful

What to do this winter to keep yourself happy and helpful

Go for a walk and smile at every person you come across
Fly a kite. A colourful kite
Write a story: short, long, mid-length
Buy some face paint and wear it for the whole day for no particular reason
Try out a new recipe from a fancy cookbook. Something Jamie Oliver would be proud of
Have at least 3 conversations with different people about the meaning of life
Buy a scrapbook and fill it up with love.
Decide that everything will be okay because if you believe that, it will be.
Clean your room to music – an old idea but you love it and you know it.
If you’re a boy, dress up as a girl and take photos of your beauty.
If you’re a girl, dress up as a boy and take photos of your beauty.
Donate even the smallest amount of money to charity.
Ask somebody if you can take their dog for a walk.
Watch a classic film that you have always wanted to see but never got round to seeing.
Call up an old friend – yes, CALL! – proceed to talk to them with genuine interest for at least an hour.
Open up a savings account for a super summer.
Plan that summer (including room for spontaneity)
Buy a really aesthetically pleasing puzzle and make it. Puzzles are fun.