Poem: Present/Future

Writing

 

We only have the present.

Regardless of what we want in our futures,

It is the ‘now’ which takes all of the credit.

 

Living in the moment,

An experience unknown to many.

We disown it in exchange for a chance to oneday own a moment, 

Which is nothing more than merely a ‘maybe’.

 

Hope is one thing.

Oblivion another.

Do you look in the mirror and see yourself for who you are?

Or always strive to be somebody better?

 

Poem: La Familia

Writing

La Familia,

Blood’s thicker than water.

A ‘V’ for Vendetta,

If any were to ‘runneth’ over.

 

Sibling feuding subsides,

Eyes are dried as,

The belly of the beast rolls over in submission.

Fist fights in a blink of an eye become,

Nothing more than a memory of augmented vision.

 

La Famila,

The Family,

The Clan.

Does the man make the family,

Or does the family make the man?

Homesickness & Appreciation

Writing

Am I the only person who gained a newfound appreciation for my home country only once moving away from it?

I think the saying is true, we don’t really know how much we miss something until we no longer have it. And this point couldn’t have revealed itself to be more true than during my recent trip back to visit my parents in Northern Ireland.

I use to think that the little town I grew up in had nothing going for it. But actually it has quite the opposite, it holds my most cherished childhood memories, from my first day at primary school to the day I left for university, it was the place I was a child, the place where I was brought into this world. And I will always be thankful for that. Northern Ireland, in such a contrasting way to my parent’s experience due to The Troubles, gave me an overall safe childhood, filled with an eclectic range of memories, from my 12 year old self racing snails on makeshift race tracks I caught in the local park to my awkward yet endearing coming of age self throwing the bizarrest of shapes at school prom nights in cold Decembers.

I used to think I was from a quite a quiet place but with time my perception has changed, I’ve came from quite a peaceful place. That the smell of manure infiltrated my lungs making me wish I didn’t have a nose at some stages, yet now, I see it as a welcome home sign, a pleasant change from more polluted places.

To be clear, I’m not trying to say that I detest city life, if that were the case I wouldn’t be living in a city. Infact I like living in a city because it makes me appreciate the places I visit when I’m not in the city even more if that makes any sense!

Do you have an appreciation for your country of birth?

 

Why Are We So Ungrateful?

Writing

If you can read this right now then you have the ability to see. Sight is one of the most valuable senses us humans can posses yet paradoxically it is one we take most for granted. Too busy complaining about our bosses thinking they’re better than us or stressing that we aren’t earning as much as our partners, we lose focus. Instead of moaning about somebody else to make yourself feel better can you not spend a second seeing the good you already possess? For your ability to speak, for your ability to cook, the list goes on. I write this post to share my thoughts on this point, this focus on ungratefulness has crept up on me several times. One example of which was just several days ago when I was walking to work in the morning, on route I passed a beautifully dressed young lady, she was wearing a maroon headband made of silk, a ruffled lemon blouse and bottle green cigarette trousers and she was using a white cane because she was blind.

 

As I passed her my negative thoughts of how bored I am living in the same flat to how annoying a colleague is at work suddenly meant nothing Instead I was stunned with the realisation that I had no reason to complain, because what I was complaining about was so petty. I had more important things to be thankful for thank things I had to complain about. I was going to work to use my skills, I had the ability to walk where other people may not be able to do this , I had the ability to see where others may not have the ability to do this. I must stress that this post is not me trying to compare myself to someone else and state that because they don’t have something and I do that I should feel good about that or better about myself. But instead I aim to highlight that we all have qualities in our lives which we overlook all too frequently, for example while we’re too busy chasing the next pay cheque we forget that we’re fortunate enough to have our health. Or whilst we complain that strangers are rude to us on our commutes we forget that we have a loving family at home. While we judge something critically in the shop window we forget that we have the ability to see the expressions of joy on others around us. To stop for a moment and be thankful of the most underrated elements of your life will surely enrich it?

 

I truly believe that the real answer to being happy is being grateful. To further support this opinion of mine, I need to look just at last week. As much as I enjoyed the Isle of Wight Festival , I must say camping was tough. Let’s be honest lying in a damp cloth cocoon in a bumpy field is a fast track way to insomnia I’ve no doubt about it.  But in some ways, anytime I go camping I’m thankful afterwards. And this time was no different, for on my return to London I couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face as I jumped into my bed after a shower with actual hot water! A week prior to the festival and I treated a warm bed and a hot shower as expected, fast forward a week and I saw it as a luxury. My point being to feel good about things and about yourself perhaps it takes a moment to realise. Perhaps it takes a week camping for you to appreciate home comforts, atleast it did for me.

 

A tip I do sometimes actually, especially if I’ve had a bad day is list 5 things I’m grateful for that night before going to bed. It may not solve all of your problems but it certainly helps remove the storm cloud from above your head so you can sleep And who knows, maybe if you do it frequently enough you may be a happier person in the long run. I think so.

The Psychology of Value

Writing

What do you think is more valuable, the price of these rings in the picture, or, the relationship symbolised by them?

No rush to answer! How about the question below instead, as a continuation from yesterday’s post:

 

If I gifted you a Swiss chocolate bar to begin with then a few moments later asked if you’d like to swap that chocolate bar for a new white coffee mug, would you do it?

I didn’t think so either, so why is this? Maybe you like chocolate more than mugs (same here)? But the psychology behind ownership  isn’t that straightforward. In a study by Kahneman, Knetsch and Thaler, when the experiment was conducted in the both the way outlined  above and also the opposite i.e. when students given mugs first were then asked if they wanted to swap it for some of Switzerland’s finest cocoa products, the majority refused to swap the item they were initially given for the item up for grabs in return. So why is this?

Scientists believe it may be  because of the psychological phenomenon known as the ‘Endowment Effect’. Which put simply is the idea that people place more value on something they ‘own’ than the very same object which they have not inherited. For example, say we had two identical water bottles. If I were to give you one and ask you a few moments later if you’d like to swap. Chances are you wouldn’t, even when knowing the two items are basically equal in value in terms of money and use.

But that’s just it. The intrinsic value that your water bottle has to you is more than that of my water bottle.  In those precious few minutes you held your gifted bottle you developed an ‘attachment’ to it. This attachment idea stems from childhood: It is theorized that throughout our childhood, we grew accustomed to placing value to particular objects, be it a certain blanket or a toy,  as if believing that they have a ‘unique’ essence.

Not limited to the imaginations of our juvenile selves, this trait follows us into adulthood and if anything becomes more elaborate.From celebrity memorabilia to refusing to detach ourselves from the possessions of passed loved ones, it’s as if we feel better connected to these individuals through their materialistic items.

 

When it comes to ownership, culture also plays a part.

 

Explained in tomorrow’s post!

 

Poem: A Day As Grey As Today

Writing

Have you ever experienced a day,

As grey as the grey day today?

You know the kind,

That makes you less kind.

The kind you wished would just go away?

 

I’ve certainly experienced a day,

As grey as the grey day today

It made me feel kind,

To the man who reminded,

Me to enjoy every day.

Poem: Fight

Writing

It doesn’t matter what’s wrong or what’s right.
If you go left, I’ll go right.
I don’t want anyone to know I cry at night,
So that’s why I always put up a fight.

I’ll fight on a Monday, I’ll fight on a Tuesday.
I’ll fight when you choose-a-day,
Cuz for me, it’s never a -lose-day.
Atleast not in your eyes.
But perhaps inside mine.

See, although I try and hide it,
Truth is, I really am quite shy.
I really do get tired,
Of keeping up this lie.

See, I feel like you will feel I’m weak.
If I were to go weak at the knees,
Would you expect me to kiss your feet?

I dare not kiss my own self-esteem,
For fear of being seen as an obscene wannabe Queen.
But, perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.
To care for yourself is not vain or self-centered.
A love for thine self should surely be unmeasured.
Unweathered and treasured.
Or atleast I would hope.
But not merely know.
I would give anything up,
Just to give this a go.

The meaning behind the poem: In a society where no-one wants to seem big headed, where compliments are brushed off in a heartbeat, it can lead some of us into a downward spiral of self-loathing. Just as body dysmorphia can make someone unhappy with their external appearance, low self-esteem can make someone belittle themselves from within. My poem highlights my inner antagonism at a stage in my life where I truly didn’t like myself enough to even go to the shop to buy food. I sat on my bed and just wrote this from an honest place. I use to be a very angry person, angry at myself for not caring about my own well-being at all. I thought I’d hide my insecurities be being angry with others, being defensive so I didn’t appear weak. I’ve learnt the hard way from this and as a result have taken steps to better myself and most importantly be kind to myself so that I can be kind to others.