7 Jan 2015


In light of all the stuff that's happening recently and currently (Paris shootings, Ched Evans etc), I want to talk about ways we can tackle some of the total crap the world throws at us.

In the words of Anais Nin, 'You cannot save people. You can only love them.'

You cannot change people's minds. You cannot control their thought processes and decisions. You will probably never, ever succeed in making a racist, sexist or homophobe believe different beliefs. The only thing you can control on this planet is yourself.

It's in the small moments, the tiny exchanges and the fast judgements that we create who we are. If I want to be a good person, and have a good impact on this world no matter how big or small, I need to do my best to make good choices every single second of every single day.

I need to remember to text my mum when I'm home safe so that she doesn't worry

I need to smile back at that stranger who smiled at me

I need to say thank you clearly if someone holds a door open for me

I need to say something positive myself instead of negative, if I'm tired of hearing complaining

I need to think of my grandparents occasionally and write to them

I need to work to maintain old friendships

I need to remember to take the bin out sometimes so that it doesn't always fall to my housemate (I am really bad at this)

I need to be open and trusting in order to build new friendships

I need to stick to my word

I need to live and let others live

I need to take care of my surroundings, wherever I am

I need to consider what other people are going through, rather than internalising everything and making it about me

I need to lead by example, live out my own values, without trying to impose or change anyone else.

The thing I can't wrap my head around is the whole concept of 'othering'. The idea that certain groups of people are in some way 'alien'. They're not. We are literally all the same. We are all human beings. That is why I can't comprehend why some human beings treat or view other human beings as though they are not human beings.

A few months ago I was at Meadowhall train station waiting to go home. A homeless man was nearby and suddenly collapsed. Myself and another man helped him stand up and he very apologetically informed us that his legs don't work sometimes.

We couldn't move him any further because he was too heavy, so I turned to the other 10-15 people stood at the platform and said,

'Could someone help us please? We need to move this man to the bench so he can sit down, his legs have collapsed.'

Not a single person volunteered. Everyone just stood there, staring at their feet or each other as though they hadn't heard anything. It still sickens me and makes me really mad to this day.

We had to wait for the train to arrive whilst holding him up, and got the train staff to help us instead.

Standing there and doing nothing, not even replying to my request. That is exactly how to contribute to making the world a worse place. If we don't make the decision to help each other once in a while, if we don't integrate and interact with each other, it'll eventually become too easy for us to forget that we are all the same. That we are all human beings.

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