The Greener Grass 

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Growing up as a kid in London, there wasn’t a child I knew that didn’t have at least one thought of one day going to America or for some, moving there. You see, to us, America was always looked upon as the best place to live because of what we saw on our TV screens; in other words, what the media allowed us to see. If it weren’t the movies and TV shows that use to captivate our every being, it was the music and the celebrities that created this dream of ours. Everything we saw happening in America as “outsiders”, was pure gold! The envy of not having the sunny beaches, or even the “lifestyle” created by just being “American” was something that most young Brits contained. 
America has literally been like a blueprint for the way some people in London choose to live their lives. Whether it’s through the way they dress, talk or the music they choose to make; it’s fair to say that America without a doubt, has a huge influence on England; in particular, London. 
It’s quite sad to a certain extent because you could ask a young Brit, anything about America and they’d be able to tell you in a heartbeat; but under the same breath, stumble on questions about their own country. Due to no fault of our own, we have literally been conditioned to put America on this so called “pedal stool”; seeing everything that happens on American TV as a reality in which we are far from. 
However, little did we know, the same country that many look to for what to do next, also has a dark side. Issues such as racism, discrimination and police brutality are just a few of the many things that are dividing the “United States”. Yes, these are global issues, that are not just happening in America; but it does make you sit and think. You can adore something, someone or in this case somewhere so much, that you become blind to the fact that just because it glitters, it doesn’t mean gold. 
Reading and hearing about what happened to Sandra Bland is what really brought me to write this post. It highlighted quite a few things for me; 1. As a woman, 2. As a black person, and 3. As a Londoner. Of course the issue of how the police officer handled Bland as a female, upset me; the way he man handled her was quite clearly unnecessary and wrong. Then you have the fact that she was a black woman, to add the icing on the cake. With all that is going on in America, some will say they’re numb to the ever so repetitive mistreatment of black people; but as an “outsider” looking in; it’s like seeing it with fresh eyes each time. It’s just not something you get used to, or something you’re supposed to get used to. 
In London, there has always been a resentment towards the police and how some of them deal with issues surrounding black people; but I can honestly say, I have never felt more thankful to be born where I was born. To know that, you could be minding your own business and the next minute, literally attacked by a police officer is a scary thought. The fact that there are no boundaries on how African Americans are treated by the police, is enough to make you scared to even breath the wrong way in America. How can the people that are supposed to be protecting citizens of the country, be the reason most of them are dying before they’ve even lived? At what point is this going to end? Just because you’ve been given a job where you get to state the law whenever someone potentially breaks it; doesn’t mean you can suddenly change these laws to suit yourself! 
Watching the video footage of this incident made me feel angry, hurt and somewhat betrayed. Even though I’m not an American or even a citizen of America, the fact that I could have been born into a country where my life is threatened by the police more times than anyone else; sends chills down my spine. 
I don’t even know if I’m meant to count myself lucky, because all though this isn’t happening directly on my doorstep, it’s still happening in the world I live in. 
Witnessing the events that have been unfolding in America makes you have to appreciate what you’ve been blessed with, whether you initially see it as a blessing or not. We’re living in a world where our lives are not even our own because it is so easy for someone else to come and take it from you. 
The saying “The grass ain’t always greener on the other side” has never been more true for me. Seeing the current events of America has really made me think, and should really open everyone’s eyes. Just because something appears to be in top form and desirable, doesn’t mean it’s faultless. 

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Just Log…off!!!

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It’s kind of crazy how we find ourselves consumed by the likes of social media in this day and age.

I mean, I can’t count how many times I have unlocked my phone just to check the same site I checked like 20 minutes ago. It’s become a part of my everyday routine and weirdly enough, if I don’t check either my Instagram, twitter, Facebook or YouTube it’s like my phone simply doesn’t have much of a purpose. Remember when phones were used directly for making calls? Seems like something that is just a figment of our imagination now, right? Now we talk to each other through comments on social networking sites and texting; the need to hear each other’s voices is just not there anymore. What makes it all worse is that, this is something that we have become used to and are quite comfortable with. Majority of the time, we only really know our friends and loved ones are alive because we tag them in a funny post on Instagram or Facebook and just wait for them to reply with a “lol” or “LMFAO” otherwise it’s like picking up the phone to call them or actually going to see them is a challenge that most cannot be bothered to take on.

I get that technology is becoming more advanced as the years go by, but whilst it is doing so, we are slowly becoming more regressed as people. Gradually, we are forgetting what life was like before all these sites were created and the new iPhone or Android came out. The way we have taken to the internet and all these gadgets is as if we weren’t living life before. Fortunately, anyone born in the 90’s and backwards will still have the privilege of remembering what it meant to be an actual child. The kids of today are forced to grow up and advance with the likes of technology and society around them; often making them forget a child’s place.
There have been way too many times that I have logged on to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and have seen children being exposed, and behaving like adults for a few likes and a couple laughs. The amount of young girls you find posting ‘twerk’ videos and all the likes and thousands of comments they accumulate is kind of disturbing. This sudden need for validation from people you don’t even know in various parts of the world is what makes this whole thing weird to me. These same young girls that are half naked “twerking” in front of the camera, are the same girls that will scream “don’t judge me” “you don’t know me”….of course we don’t, we only know what you’re allowing us to see. So if you didn’t want to be judged or looked down upon, then why would you post a video or picture of yourself half naked? The need to have a presence on the internet in some way is what is ruining the younger generation. As if, having a twitter account or Instagram filled with nudes or thousands of likes makes you a “somebody”.

Having said that, the most disturbing part about these social networking sites is how, many people plan to utilise them. Instead of posting positivity, people would rather post something negative but try and make a joke out of it. Rather than filming a video of someone genuinely helping a person in need; people would prefer to post a video of someone getting the life beating out of them by another person in exchange for a few laughs at that person’s expense, or even someone being sexually assaulted. I’m trying to understand how these serious issues have suddenly become funny; before the internet, I’m pretty sure watching someone get beaten up til they were unconscious was not something to be made light of. So why is it, because it’s behind a screen, that it’s hilarious?

The younger generation are given way too much freedom to explore the internet which ironically traps them; because instead of playing outside with other kids their age; they are absorbed by all that is going on in the world wide web and forget what it feels like to do childlike things. I remember as a kid, playing “knock down ginger” “it” or “Tag” with the other kids in my area; simple outdoor games like those have almost become non-existent now. The younger generation would rather spend hours, on an iPad, laptop or phone than be outside in the fresh air, enjoying their childhood while it lasts. There’s nothing worse than looking back and realising that you spent majority of your childhood, indoors with your eyes glued to one of the many gadgets you begged your parents for, or even worse, your parents gave to you just to shut you up and get you out their hair!

Looking back at the last couple of years of things I’ve seen via social media; I think it’s safe to say that how we utilise it has worsened. There have become no boundaries for anyone, once you log in to whatever site it is that interests you; it’s like you have entered a world where anything goes. Whether it’s setting yourself on fire whilst someone films the entire thing, or attacking another individual; it’s clear to see that some people should just not be on social media; or at least know, when it’s time to…LOG OFF!!!

‘Difficult’ with a bow on.

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I'm sorry that I'm like this

I ‘m a ‘difficult’ woman.

Don’t try and convince me otherwise, my mother would testify to this in court. As would most exes, teachers, acquaintances and hospitality staff who have ever met me.

I used to get upset about it. When I was a kid and my mum used to tell me I was ‘difficult’ with a wee smile, like she was proud, I didn’t understand that it was meant as a compliment.

What it really means is that I know what I want and I’ll make sure you know it too. I’m assertive and opinionated. There are obvious caveats; I won’t blindly wade into arguments without authority on the subject. For the most part, I won’t be rude or mean or vindictive. My assertive nature doesn’t mean I’m immune to wild insecurity but you won’t be able to tell.

This hasn’t always made me very popular. Assertive. Opinionated. These…

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Was University The Right choice?

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So was university really for you? This is a question that many students will be asking themselves as they receive their degree classification, over the next few weeks. After three long, hard years of struggle, many will have finally finished university and will be graduating in the next few months. All those late nights, caffeine, no sleep and flood loads of tears have finally given you the degree that you have longed for . However some may not feel like it is anything big to celebrate. 

So I know everyone must think I'm going crazy to say that, because to complete university and get a degree is a big accomplishment in itself that not everyone can do. However society has made it hard for students once they have graduated, and if you don't leave university with a 1st class honors or upper second (2:1), most if not all people will look down on you. People have a certain expectation from graduates and if you're not in the higher grade bracket you really don't have a chance. I feel that all those individuals who may have achieved the lower side of grades (2:2 or 3rd) don't even get a chance against others students with the higher grades. It could feel like they might as well forget that they even got a degree in the first place. It's sad to say but for some, those past three years may feel like they have been wasted, and now All they've been left with is huge university debt and no hope for the future. 

So even though many maybe graduating over the coming weeks, it isn't with a grade they may have wanted to achieve. Nevertheless please don't be disheartened if you have achieved grades in the lower grade bracket. There are loads of opportunities out there for you.  I would like to personally congratulate everyone that successfully completed university. As a fellow student/graduate that has been through the stress and struggle. I understand what it is like to achieve a grade that you did not want. Graduating is a huge achievement that needs to be celebrated. So to answer my own question " Was University The Right choice?" YES IT WAS!.So enjoy your graduation day and live it up.