Train Lines and Trackwork

Picture life’s journey as a train ride. Often bumpy as the old, rusted rails take you through both familiar and foreign suburbs. On the odd occasion, you find yourself sitting stationery, waiting for the green light to proceed, or maybe you’re stuck at the station, raising your eyes to the rolling screen of train times, ruing the seemingly ridiculous “unscheduled trackwork” which has now seen you miss what you sought.

I like the way this metaphor captures the complexity of life with simplisity. Whilst there are many elements to life’s unwritten journey, visualising it with this common human experience, what is something of a daily journey for some of us, allows us to appreciate the experiences we are going through.

However, the challenge with this metaphor relies on the belief that we are completely subservient to the will and the way of the track, and I don’t believe this to be true. That is because we have moments in our life where we face choices other than to look out of the left or the right window. There are times, when we find detest in complacency and comfort in risk, that we choose to arise from our seat, alight from the train and board another, moving in a different direction.

I’ve reached one of those moments. One of those defining points in life when the whole trip changes, picking a train line I haven’t traversed before, excited for the new bumps, delays, and views.

Here’s hoping the train is running on time.

Guise.

Advertisements

Double Standards

I’ve previously shared my thoughts around the difference between equality and equity (The Myths of Equality), but I guess this is about one of those specific realities. A reality which says that despite all efforts to normalise their lives, sports stars and celebrities are different to you and me. The expectations, the scrutiny, the public presence, and the value they add to a large quantity of strangers lives. For this reason, we are not equal to that of a celebrity, sportstar, politicians, or other public figures.

There are benefits of this inequality and disadvantages, for both parties. Good and bad is a measure of perspective, it is simply a demonstration of opinion.

We forgive disgraced celebrities and sports stars because they offer something to our life. They provide art or entertainment, and help us escape from life’s daily challenges.

But there is a cost for this type of immunity, having every moment of consciousness scrutinised by the masses. A level of privacy comparable to a public gym change room.

Putting all that a little to the side, there is the final, more cynical approach to this imbalance between the ordinary and the famous… Money. And as we know, money talks.

Guise.

Ideal Timing

The past few weeks have been a testing period for my mind. I’ve often felt in that time that my mind has been pulled in too many directions.

Needless to say it’s been exhausting, and I found myself in a bit of a mental slump. Which is why I find the timing of the universe and all its contents to be far too convenient to be coincidental, at least for the most part.

Right when I needed it, I was surprised by the beauty and humanity in people from the most obscure reaches of my life.

Colleagues who had gone above and beyond to get on board with trying to make the workplace a better place to be. Efforts which celebrated connection, these people committed hours of their own time to create various creative work of beauty. All in response to a simple call for creativity, these individuals shared an important part of themselves with us, and it was beautifully surprising.

So I sit here on this Sunday afternoon, buoyed with refreshed energy thanks to the efforts of these individuals, ready to do my own part with renewed vigour.

Life’s funny like that, and timing is always key.

Guise.

Politically Incorrect

The revolution against political correctness is coming.

You can feel it building, can’t you. Generations of humans who have grown up in a world where everything they say and everything they do is scrutinised and polished for fear offending someone. They’ve passed through some of life’s most fragile and uncertain phases always conscious of the eggshells they step upon.

What we can feel is that has become tired, and a generation so aware of the eggshells is starting to choose to ignore the sensitivity once thrust upon them.

If we look at how the PC revolution came about, we see a culture at an extreme to the one we currently reside. A world where racism was casual and common, indigenous Australians were statutely considered flora and fauna, women were out of the home only physically, and the physical assault of homosexuals was a social activity. This was a world filled with abused majorities, not just minorities. Where mental health was unheard of and “soft”, and asking for help was completely misunderstood.

Considering where we’ve come from, the last 30-40 years of the PC revolution has been monumental for our society and balancing the field, to some degree.

What I see, though, is that as this mindset has developed, it’s almost over-developed, and people are becoming tired of being told they are a bad person for the way their mind and belief system works. This is not to say that these people aren’t wrong, this is not a commentary of the merits of conservative, or even non-left wing views. No, rather this is commentary of the movement which will see us change the way we talk about sensitive societal and cultural issues.

Hopefully that change means we, as a society, are in a place where we can have proper discussions of issues, without branding the opponent as ignorant, or preaching about how offended you are.

Here’s to a world of discussion, not eggshells.

Guise.

Soliloquy in Thought No. 1

A word of empassioned influence, the crowd in the palm of the hand, of the speaker and his confidence, a great more great with falling sand.

A lesson amongst the madness, the co tent vast and growing, of better lives and greater minds, a time of knowledge flowing.

A discussion with the people, the matter to be addressed, of changing what one knows, a life that has been blessed.

A challenge to authority, the power undermined, of information scrutinised, a difficult endeavour.

A mention in praise of effort, the journey nears an end, of undetermined learnings, a process ought to mend.

Fear of Loss and Life

My greatest fear in life is losing what I love, from my partner, my family, my friends, my mind, to even my life. For this reason, (perhaps even prior to this fear fully developing) I’ve learned to cherish what it is I have, to appreciate the people in my life and how fortunate I am to be in the world that I live in.

I think the greatest factor to this fear, is the lack of control I have in stopping loss. Death is inevitable and people do/say/believe things that we do not agree with. In all honesty, I am not what you would typically consider a control freak. Flexibility, open-mindedness, and empowerment of others are some of the traits that I am most proud of, but this fear and subsequent lack of control in avoiding this fear becoming reality comes from the realisation that life changes in an instant. It is devastating and destabilising. It forces us to adapt when all we want to do is stagnate.

If we look at one of the defining flaws to result from this fear, I now live a life which is as risk averse as possible. Decision making is tiresome, and opportunities become limited, all because of a fear that I may set in motion a ripple which inevitably causes me loss. And then I’ll only have myself to blame for ruining what I had.

Considering how short life is, as I really appreciate with ever-passing day, I want to make a committed effort to forgoing the fear, and remove risk (to a fair degree) from my regular decision making, and to just live.

I know that there is plenty to experience and learn when I let it go, now it’s a matter of making it more of a reality.

Guise.

Traditionally Speaking

Let’s talk about tradition. It forms part of our default habits and behaviours, celebrates our ancestors and their ways, and often gives us insight into best practice.

Without tradition, we would spend each generation learning many of the same lessons. We rely on it, but then we also urge to steer from it, looking for new ways, better ways, different ways.

But the most satisfying aspect of tradition, is when you reach an age, that you start to build your own sub-cultural traditions. Days of the year, family events, celebrations.

Today is one of those days, a day spent with friends, and I’m thankful for that.

Here’s to tradition.

Guise.