Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s Only The End of the World

The Following is based on a toastmasters speech I delivered on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011. I thought I would post it here as I make an observation about how our fear can dictate our lives, though I did it here in context of the whole ‘ End of the World ‘ nonsense.

The Stock markets are crashing, London is burning, bombs are flying everywhere, natural disasters are happening at increasing rates, people are revolting all over the world ( Arab Spring anyone? ) Things aren’t exactly looking too good in the world these days. You look at the state the world is in and wonder what the hell is going on. Then maybe, just maybe, you begin to think that the Mayans were right and that this is a sign that the world is indeed ending.

‘ OH NO! THE WORLD IS ENDING! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! ‘

OK, OK, calm the hell down. Sure things are a bit chaotic in the world these days but let me get one thing straight – The world is not ending. Please, get that nonsense out of your head. I’m not saying that bad things are not going to happen ( or happening as we speak ) but we’re are not facing an extinction level event any time soon. Allow me to elaborate on this.

I think the first thing worth talking about is the last time a similar large scale ‘ end of the world ‘ event was forcasted. I’m talking about Y2K. This was simply a computer bug where on midnight of December 31st, 1999. Computers would think it was 1900 instead the year 2000. HOWEVER, the media completely blew this out of proportion, claiming that stock markets would crumble, that computers would blow up, planes would literally fall the sky and all other sorts of nasty stuff. Naturally, this led to people thinking the world would end and thats without even taking in account all the end of the world talk assoicated with the year 1999 to begin with!

BUT as we all now know, nothing happened, nothing feel out of the sky, no computers blew up. In short, the world did not end and the worst that happened was a few sick heads the next morning. The truth was it was a sick ploy by money grabbing companies to make a quick buck over people’s paranoia and it sadly worked. Hell, I fell for it myself as a gullible 14 year old but its make made sure I wouldn’t fall for something like that again.

 

Which brings us the next so called ‘ extinction level event ‘ – 2012. I am sure you have all heard of it by now, the Mayans predicted the world would end on December 21st of next year. Once again, the mainstream media are saying a lot of nasty stuff will happen, they even made a film about it!

do a faceplam

Its makes me wonder, do people remember Y2K at all and how much of a non event it was? I bet 2012 wil be similar. Now, I personally think something will happen next year, but not what the doomsayers talk of. I’m not sure of what but if your expecting the film 2012 to be played out for real, you will be very disappointed.

If think about it, one thing that seems to be assoicated with all this end of the world nonsense is fear. Fear is a natural human emotion. We fear the unknown and the change that comes with it. However, that same emotion is also open for abuse by the media. They WANT you to be living in fear, they want you to fear the world around you, to fear everyone, to the fear that the sky is going to fall. I think it all comes to down one thing – MONEY. Yes, the more you fear, the more you’ll spend to make yourself feel better.

Do not get me started on what people are willing to compromise on when they are living in fear, just look towards the ridiculous ‘ secuirty ‘ measures in America as an example of a fear based society gone mad. ( TSA Security mesaures at airports anyone? do a impression of putting on a glove ) What about the Dracoraion measures that are going to be brought into England over the riots, all because of the fear people now have because of it. Remember what Benjamin Franklin said: ‘ They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. ‘ This applies to us all, not just America.

When you are in fear, be of terrorists or indeed the end of the world, you are not being yourself. Now don’t get me wrong, it is OK to be fearful sometimes, fear can be a great motivator at times. Fear and and the regrets associated to giving into it can really help people grow. However, to live in fear all the time is a poison, a delusion. Contrary to what you may think, you cannot thrive on fear, it will only serve to diminish you and those around you.

So, the main message I want to convey tonight is that world is not going to end any time soon, there is no need to be in fear. However, should I be wrong and the worst comes to be. I can assure that the human spirit is greater than any forces that will try to destroy it, we can and will find a way through it. So even in our worst hours, you will not need to cower in fear. The world is beautiful place. A chaotic, but beautiful place, explore it and make the most of what you have right now.

Embracing Your Inner Child

I would like to describe myself as a childish person. I don’t mean I’m immature or anything like that. What I mean is that I like to keep in touch with my inner child. I personally believe that if you nuture you rinner child, it will benefit you in the long run.

So many people stuff their inner child. Still some understandably never had a chance to let theirs out due to circumstances. Worse still is when others with good intentions to try to kill someone else’s inner child because they think that you can live life seeing things with simple joy that child would is wrong and that you need to see the world coldly and cynically.

Truth is, you can still be realistic and still maintain your inner child at the same time, they aren’t mutually exclusive, you know. Granted, there are times you need to operate in serious mode ( when I’m in serious mode, I am ruthlessly professional, for example ) but then are times you can let out the joy, fun and innocence associated with childhood.

I’m also not advocating perceptual childhood here either, we all need to ‘ grow up ‘ BUT there no need to grow old, if you get my drift. Some of us face very real responsibilities, then please attend to those, they are important and you need to be serious mode at those times.

What ways can you keep in touch with your inner child, you may ask? No, I’m no expert on this but I reckon there are a few things you can to do to nourish your inner child;

  1. Always be curious. Always be curious. Be curious to learn more, to try new things, to do stupid things, to do good things. Go on that adventure, get dirty, get bruised. Fall, then get up again. Experiment. Never lose your curiousty, its a sentence to mediocracy otherwise.
  2. Laugh. Its a simple one but its so effective. I’m known as a funny guy, a bit of a smart ass if you may be hey, I make people laugh and I am able to laugh at my own stupidity as well. Make people laugh, its contagious and will make you feel young again and bring people towards you
  3. Know thats its OK to do ‘ Childish ‘ things. This was a hard one for me as I’ve had to deal with family members not approving of this and trying to crush it. On the flip side, I would be who I am today if it wasn’t for that. That said, I know its OK to do childish things, read children’s books and comics, play video games aimed at kids if that floats your boat. Don’t feel ashamed of it, embrace it. Ignore the naysayers, they probably don’t know what they are doing!


Thats just a few ideas to maintain your inner child, leave a comment if you know of more ideas that might be helpful for me and others. Express yourself fully, I won’t judge.

Embrace the child with, that is what I say!


My Barcelona Adventure

The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, my own photo

Hola!

Seeing that I wasn’t bothered to make people aware of my recent goings on, I was recently on a short trip to Spain, Barcelona specifically. The reason I did it was simple, because I could. I also wanted to test the waters and see what would happen if I was exposed to another culture, even if I did have to filter through tourist nonsense to get there. I just wanted to let myself go with the flow and see what I would get from it.

The short answer is – a lot. The long answer, well, sit down and relax, this might take a while.

I literally only booked this a little over 2 weeks before I went. While I like the idea of planning ahead somewhat, I don’t like doing it too soon as I tend to be a spontaneous person and would probably read up too much if I did and spoil it for myself. That said, the most of read about Barcelona was a load of scaremongering articles about pick pockets. My thoughts after being there, yes, there is a problem with them there but its vastly exaggerated. If you ask me, if you go around with one of those front pooches – your just making yourself a sitting duck for them. I never had any trouble with my wallet or other belongings – and I walked back to my hostel on my own – steaming drunk from a pub crawl!

Of course, I did some tourist things, like go on some walking tours ( The Gaudai one is to be recommended if at all possible ) bus tours, visited some places of historical interest ( not recommended doing so with a hangover, I thought I was going to drop dead in the Catalan History museum after going there following a night out before! ) as well as the more fun, like the aforementioned pub crawls and meeting with random people in the hostel and drinking cheap booze. There was also the beach, which was right next to my hostel which was a plus!

Of course, I sampled some Spanish cuisine, Tapas were nice and Paella was excellent. Sangria smelt like vinegar when I first sniffed it but is actually a really nice and sweet drink – hits you hard like a motherfucker, though! Truth be told, I was expecting to spit out at least something because it tasted foul – I did – but it was based on conventional cuisine I’m used to at home! Man, I’d gobble the Spanish cuisine up, it was that good!

If there is one thing on a personal level that I brought home with me its that you should keep hope alive. I mean on a level of relationships. I met someone who I felt on a level we like kindred spirits, too bad she had a BF already though ( FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU… ) but yeah, it gave me the impression that there really is someone for everyone out there and also reinforced the notion that if I am to find that someone for me, I will have to up and leave Ireland to do so.

Now, before all the Irish women get righteous on me, don’t. I could easily meet someone tomorrow that will blow me away and change my mind in the process, I’m just saying what I think based on my experiences but that’s another topic for another day.

Anyway, twas a good trip, an eye opener for me and I would return again – maybe even to live there!

Sunrise over a Barcelona Beach

Photo of the Sunrise over the Barceloneta Beach the morning I arrived