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Equal But Not the Same: Supreme

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Over the weekend, there was a “Unite the Right” rally in the college town of Charlottesville Virginia, where hundreds of white nationalists protested plans to remove a Confederate statue of General Robert E Lee. 

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The white nationalists were met by counter-protesters and chaos ensued. 

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For those that don’t know much about American history (myself included), let’s do a bit of research to understand what the white nationalists (“WN”) were so angry about. (Tangent: It’s interesting that the coverage I’ve seen, most of the WN were men).

Before you dismiss this post because of my questionable referencing, this isn’t a post about history, but about trying to understand discrimination. So really, we just need to have a general understanding of history and culture to see why we are where we are today. As old mate (Steve Jobs) apparently said: 

You cannot understand what is happening today without understanding what came before.

With that being said, General  Robert E Lee was a Commander of the Confederate Army of North Virginia during the Civil War. The American Civil War arose from a long-standing controversy over slavery (which was the central cause of the war) and state’s rights. The “Confederate States of America” was a self-proclaimed nation of slaveholding states of the United States. The economy of the Confederate states was mostly dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton and plantation systems that relied upon the labour of African-American slaves (“Keep ranting, we know who’s really doing the planting”). General Lee became an icon for the “lost cause” of the civil war i.e. pro slavery and so he’s got a few statues dotted around the country, one being in Charlottesville, Virginia. The WN protests occurred due to plans to remove the statue.

So what do these WNs believe in?

White nationalism is a type of extreme patriotism, which holds the belief that white people are a race. WNs seek to develop and maintain a white national identity. White nationalists seek to ensure the survival of the white race and the cultures of historically white states. They hold that white people should maintain their majority in majority-white countries and maintain their political and economic dominance. Many WNs believe that miscegenation i.e. interracial breeding, multiculturalism, immigration of non-whites and low birth rates among whites are threatening the white race, and some argue that it amounts to white genocide.

Sheez, right? 

So how do the WNs respond to the threat of white genocide?

Discrimination

Discrimination is the unjust of prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience

There are two key aspects of the definition

  1. Unjust treatment or opinion which is 
  2. Not based on reason or actual experience 

Layers and Levels 

I think that there are different layers and levels of discrimination. There are so many issues and effects of discrimination and prejudice:

  • Being discriminated on different layers of your being – gender, religious beliefs, colour, all of which can be housed in one person
  • Levels of prejudice e.g. holding your belongings tighter when a POC passes vs. Blue Lives Matter / Black Lives Matter issues 
  • The difference between prejudice and defending your rights 

All these issues would be really interesting to explore, but today I just want to explore how discrimination and prejudice can occur in the first place and be perpetuated.

 

Heirloom Racism

Pre-globalisation, the world was smaller, with fewer resources available to know or understand different cultures and people. Your circle of influence was just people you personally encountered, who would most likely be people with similar backgrounds and cultures to you. So preconceived opinions and discriminatory statements were repeated like a pop song replayed so many times on the radio that they younger generation could recite it word for word. It was replicated through jokes and fables told so many times that the younger generation began to believe them to be true. So much so that the younger generation are now the ones passing on the song and story to the next generation. 

We now we live in a world where information is at our fingertips (except maybe if you’re in North Korea). Information that can dispel lies and uncover truths. Ability to try to understand other people by reading their experiences, or even something as simple as talking to someone with a different background. The the degrees of separation have decreased and so the chance to encounter people with different backgrounds and cultures increases. This means that discrimination should be lower, right? How does deep-seated discrimination continue to exist? Has the level of discrimination experienced now decreased from the past? We may have decreased slavery, but have we decreased oppression? 

Preservation and Survival

The WNs protest of the proposed removal of the General Lee statue, was symbolic of a whole deeper issue. Preserving not only a statue, but the white-dominant status. (I wonder if they feel any compassion towards those that struggle from coloured disadvantage).

The world is changing. A world where old money and nepotism is being losing its power to new ideas, new money and opportunities opening up for more diversity. They WN probably feel really threatened that they won’t receive the treatment they’re used to. Ironically, they are probably afraid to be treated equally. A WN will probably report to an a non-white immigrant at work now or in the future. While high executive roles still feel like an old boy’s club, there are more POC and women in greater positions of power and influence. 

Although, as I type this, a white male that has benefitted from old money, nepotism and privilege is not only ruling the free world, but sides with the WN. (Well, there are a lot of people like them that helped him get where he is, so it makes sense). 

More or Less

An issue deeper and more important than white privilege or rewarding a class of people for anything other than merit is treating another class of people unjustly not based on fact or reason.

The biggest atrocities to human dignity have occurred because people genuinely believe that certain types of people are worth less than others. Hitler used propaganda to put forward the view that Jews were inferior and that white blondes (Aryan race) were superior. Ironically Hitler didn’t even fit this profile himself. He was so good at making these assertions that people began to genuinely believe that Jews were less than human beings, comparing them to rats.

 

An episode of Black Mirror, “Men Against Fire” (spoiler alert) depicted the same kind of propaganda in futuristic post apocalyptic world where there was a different race called “Roaches” who were mutated human monsters. The roaches were being exterminated by the military, who implanted neural / brain technology called MASS into their soldiers . The MASS technology was used in their strategy and communication to enhance training and battle, interfering with the soldier’s sensory processing. So much so that the soldiers didn’t have an acute sense of smell or perception. Mass was created by the military so that that the soldiers saw the roaches as pale, snarling, monsters when in reality, roaches were regular human beings. The roaches are the victims of a genocide against those believed to be genetically inferior, following a global war. The military commissioned them to make it easier for soldiers to exterminate roaches – they wouldn’t feel remorse  or guilt when killing a roach, but victory, when stamping out a pest. Soldiers had MASS implants but everyday civilians do not – civilians simply hate the roaches due to propaganda and prejudice. 

We as everyday civilians are not prone to prejudice – it’s ingrained in society. What we experience, read, listen to and IGNORE can influence what we believe. This is why it’s really important that we must question and try to understand why we think what we do and why we react in certain ways. We should examine what prejudices we hold and where it roots from. People might be different to us, but that does not make you or them any less. Your dignity is of equal value and worth as any human. 

So while white nationalists have very different values and beliefs to me, they aren’t worth less than me, even if they do not afford other people with the same treatment. I respect their dignity as humans, even if I do not respect their actions #hatethesin. We are equal, but not the same. 

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

– Nelson Mandela

Let’s learn to love and love better xx 

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Written by Candice

August 17, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Contemplate., Think.

F#&K

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Things that Get My Knickers In a Knot

  1. When people are too loud on the morning commute
  2. When people put their music on speaker on public transport
  3. When people push in front of me to get a seat on the train
  4. When people use a social media status to ask their friends questions that Google is better equipped to do e.g. “Hi guys, what is Hamilton?”
  5. When people share a cryptic, personal status then get offended or elusive when people ask about it
  6. When drivers don’t indicate
  7. When people cut me off
  8. When people have really white bright lights on their cars that makes it hard to see

 

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I’ve noticed that during the last year or so, I have become more angry or frustrated, causing me to swear a sh$*l@#$ (Sorry Mum!), roll my eyes more and require Friday drink a bit more.

 

Anger is generally viewed as a negative emotion, because it can cause us to say or do things that we regret later. That’s why there are things like anger management. But Anger is actually a normal, healthy, God-given emotion. We should get angry at certain things like racism, discrimination in general really, sex trafficking, abuse and exploitation. Our anger should cause us to act when there is injustice. But our anger shouldn’t cause us to act with injustice in response to that.

 

On a smaller scale, when we are angry at work or in relationships, it’s important that we learn to express our anger in healthy ways. Uncontrolled anger can be damaging to your health and relationships

 

For someone that’s not a scientist or psychologist, I sure do talk a bit about science and psychology. Probably because the things I’m interested in are people so when it comes down to it, I have to pick people apart, coming down to body, mind and soul.

 

Dr Bernard Golden, defines anger as an emotional and subjective experience. It is separate and distinct from the physical reactions that might result from it i.e. anger is often a reaction to other emotions and thoughts.

 

Our brains are made up of different “departments” that do different things. The cerebral cortex (CC) is the thinking department, specialising in logic, strategy and sound judgement. The limbic system (LS) department is the emotional centre of the brain, aka the feelings department, and is considered to be more primitive than the CC.

 

Within the LS, there is another department called amygdala (Princess Amygdala), archiving and storing emotional memories. This mini-department is responsible for our survival instincts, namely fight or flight. When we are processing what is happening around us, it goes to Princess Amygdala first, who decides whether to send the data over to the CC or LS. Since the amygdala is located within the limbic system, it takes more effort to pass it on to the cerebral cortex. So if something causes enough of an emotional reaction in the amygdala, she overrides anything that the CC has to say and lets the LS go wild. This reactive reaction is known as an amygdala hijacking.

 

During the hijack, a flood of hormones are released, causing physical and emotional alarm. A surge of energy results as the body prepares for fight or flight. On average, a person takes up to 20 minutes to calm down from this flood, because that’s how long it takes for the hormonal releases to decrease in intensity. Twenty minutes is a long time and can cause a lot of harm.

 

I don’t know what is stored in my amygdala that has caused me to be an angrier person lately. There can’t be exponentially more bad drivers than a few years ago. Although a few years ago, I did drive to work and now I public transport every day. But I want to get to that core to reflect on the memories stored there to see what triggers my unnecessary anger and why I react differently now. All our emotions and reactions are interlinked.

 

I only want to be angry at things that warrant anger and respond to things in healthy ways.

 

Til next time, angry birds x

 

Written by Candice

July 26, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Contemplate.

Art

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Just a quick spitfire quip

Sometimes I get overexcited, shoot off at the lip

I have been overly consuming black mirrors

But instead of blurring, I can see what I feel clearer

Just a mere idea to get into your sphere

That

Art

Imitates

Life

Imitates

Art

Take the unbreakable, unshakeable Kimmy Schmidt as a start

A comedic edict and strategic commentary about feminism,

Extreme political correctness to the point of an aneurism

Secondly Alexander Hamilton, set in 1700’s

Peeling back today’s issues like Shrek and that onion

I bet it’s pushing Donald Trump’s buttons

Immigrants, social advancement, social climbs, social suicides

Even makes a statement about race relations

So whether you’re a writer or a sculptor or a kid afraid to step out

Set it on fire with your lighter, then maybe go a different route

Imitate life and art and love and pain and sorrow

We have a part to play in shaping tomorrow

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By Mari AndrewBy Mari Andrew

Written by Candice

May 23, 2017 at 11:44 am

Posted in Contemplate., Dream., Write.

Love Stories Series: Pilot

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The English language only has one word for it – love, derived from Germanic forms of the Sanskrit lubh, which means desire. The Greeks think a lot about philosophy and all the big life questions, so they are a bit more specific, having at least 6 words for love – eros, philia, ludus, agape, pragma and philautia, each representing different types of love.

The next few weeks we will be delving into each type of love and sharing stories and insights into each type, through some love stories shared by real people.

A recurring theme in the love stories is that love is a choice. Not just the choice to be with someone or choosing to have someone in your life. In the small everyday choices too, like walking a kilometre to get someone chicken wings because they’re craving it, washing the dishes for someone, offering someone a seat on the train. As our modern day poet, John Mayer says, Love is a verb. You can say you love someone all you want, but if you don’t show them that, it weakens that statement. I’ve always thought that if a boy likes you, they don’t have to tell you because you’d already know. Funny side note, when my boyfriend told me he liked me for the first time, he never actually said the words ‘I like you’ and literally said, “I know you know.” What if he meant that I knew something else? Now we’ll never know.

Enjoy the first story from a real person about a real love.


Magic

My hopes and dreams for my newly found career came to this final moment. I was handing my last assessment ever for my Masters. It took 2.5 grueling years. But it was all worth it. I had sacrificed so much for it, including time for any relationships. Especially romantic ones. 

So I went to the shops to celebrate with my family. That’s when I bumped into him.

It was something straight out of a romantic comedy. First, the eye contact, clear and locked. Then the smile, like the smile you have when you’re at a restaurant and you see that your food is about to come. Then the body language, a genuine hug that says “hello friend, it’s been a while.”.

It had been a while. Ten years to be exact. The conversation was everything you could ever wish any conversation would go. There was laughter, sincere concern, and that feeling in your stomach that made you wish it could go for longer. Were they butterflies? 

Then reality kicks in. I was actually on my way to withdraw money from the bank to pay for something at the shop I left 30 minutes ago because their eftpos machine wasn’t working. Guess who worked at that bank? He did. Was it fate? Or just a coincidence? Knowing we had to part ways, I was a little saddened at the thought that I may never see him again. But like I said, this conversation was perfect. So we parted with him saying, “Hey, I hope to see you around more.” I smiled back. Me too, I thought. Me too. 

I couldn’t help but laugh at the timing. The day I had officially finished my Masters was the day I may have met “the one”. Was it really that magical? 

Failing to keep him off my mind, I tried to take matters in my own hand. Thank God for Facebook, I did some light stalking. We all do it right? But before I got in too deep, a message notification comes up on my laptop. Oh my gosh.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

It was him. Blood rushed straight to my face, and my heart raced as I try to keep it cool and casual. He said, “Hey! It was nice bumping into you the other day.”. I said “Oh hey, I totally forgot we were Facebook friends! Dude, it was good seeing you too!”. Well played, well played. 

And so it began. Our short messages turned into long ones. I looked forward to his essay-like replies to mine. Then we started sending good morning/good night messages. It was becoming your typical online relationship. 

I was genuinely happy to get to know him again. Ten years was a long time and a lot had changed. I met him as a good friend’s boyfriend. Although they’ve broken up since, he was one of the first guy friends I had that I really got along with. So I was really thrilled to have this friendship back. But of course, I was open to having something more. 

One night, he was attending a friend’s wedding. He started messaging me saying he thought of me. Was this really it?  I started getting butterflies in my stomach.  The same ones I had that time I bumped into him. Could it really be destiny? 

After some photos of the wedding food, and flirty messages coming back and forth, I asked him how he knew the newly wedded couple. And he says, “My girlfriend is friends with the bride.”

His girlfriend. 

Heart aches are real because you can literally feel your heart breaking inside. You can literally feel it pulling apart slowly and excruciatingly. And no amount tears, words of comfort could stop it from tearing. 

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After a while, I became disillusioned with the idea that I was better than her. That the reason why he talked to me, especially in that way, was that I could give him something she obviously couldn’t. So, with a lot of shame, I still tried. I thought that what we have is so much better. That his reason to lie was because he was unhappy. So I sought for the truth but he couldn’t answer me. Eventually, I realised that he couldn’t give me what I wanted, even though I was willing to give him anything he needed. 

No, it wasn’t fate, or destiny. It was a lesson, one I had to learn before I met the real one.


When I stopped being interested in other girls

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Preview: With a tear running down her eye, turn to me and say, “My future now looks more bright with you here.” I mean, come on man! I didn’t have any intention of hurting any of them emotionally, but how do you tell a girl, “You’re just one of a few”?

Check out the next 2 Love Stories on Wednesday 3 May at 3pm AEST

Written by Candice

April 26, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Love Stories: Trailer

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The first post of my first series Love Stories will be released on Wednesday, April 26 and run every Wednesday for a few months on the topic of LOVE.

Some of my favourite questions to ask couples is “How did you get together? How did you know the other was the “one””. But there are a lot of love stories untold – stories of parents loving their kids, of trying to love yourself, of the loved and lost, of the one-sided love.

It is undeniable that love plays a huge role in the world, being the muse for song, film, and novels. Although we sing, act and write about it so much, love is hard to describe. It can feel like a warm hug. A tug on your heart. Butterflies in your stomach. An all-consuming grief. Peace. You can only feel it for yourself. And then tell stories about it.

Here’s one I (and a friend of mine) prepared earlier. Ok this one isn’t really a story, it’s just a mate talking about love.


There wasn’t a single moment, it was little subtle realisations over time. We were constantly pushing each other to be stronger, more out of our comfort zones and closer to our goals. We’ve both grown together in maturity and life experiences and I think that’s when you know.

Your partner shouldn’t complete you. You can stand on your own two feet, but I feel it’s more of a “together you can both collectively achieve more and find happiness together” mindset. Everyone has a different personality type based on so many criteria, but over time you know who you align with, understand their love language, etc. Certain personality dynamics bring out the best in each other. 


Preview: I couldn’t help but laugh at the timing. The day I had officially finished my Masters was the day I may have met “the one”. Was it really that magical? 

Written by Candice

April 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Drudgery

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This is really contrary to a few posts ago, talking about shining days. Let’s chat about the drudgery of the everyday grey days. You are probably in it now – the same day as yesterday, which won’t change tomorrow, counting down until the weekend or your holiday or your birthday.

Maybe these are the days that will make us holy or happy or fulfilled. It’s not a life to just always be looking forward to the highs. Maybe a better way to live is to see the beauty and the love in the drudgery and our experience of that moment will be heightened and made beautiful.

Have a beautiful, ordinary day.

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Written by Candice

February 28, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Blurred Lines

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I often give ladies  (and even gentlemen to tell ladies and to keep in mind themselves) advice to keep boundaries. I’m not going to pretend that I’m perfect in this, knowingly and unknowingly, I’ve cheekily toed the line or defiantly taken a step over. But more and more I’ve realized how important it is to make and maintain some boundaries.

People overstep boundaries, despite knowing it is wrong or that they can get hurt . Why? A lure they can’t deny? Fear of loss or loneliness? Boredom? The thrill? To fulfil the need to be needed?

So then, let’s discuss: What is a boundary? Why do we need them?

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If boundaries are not built and the land is Terra Nullius,  will anything remain special? This goes beyond just anything physical. Secrets, rituals, special places will lose their specialness lol because it has already been done. This post feels a bit familiar. 

It’s the loving thing to do to guard the heart of someone else too. Sometimes they don’t know they need it or can’t do it themselves. Setting healthy boundaries are a sign of positive self-respect and conveys that the builder (let’s call him Bob) will not allow people to define them. It is also a positive defence mechanism protecting Bob against manipulation or being used.

Why do I find interest in this topic, especially on Valentine’s Day? Apparently suicide rates tend to rise in this period as well as the rate for filing for divorce. It is natural for people to want to be loved, valued and needed. This is a good desire. But often in trying to fulfil this desire, we go to unhealthy sources for validation or are in a rush to feel something or have skewed expectations to fulfil this desire,

If you’re being asked to lower your walls, sometimes it is good for you. But when you are asked to compromise your values and what you’re comfortable with, then maybe have a think – would this person still be around if you asked them to respect your boundaries? Sadly, the answer is sometimes no. So should you be with this person? I’m going to hazard a guess and say, move on.

One thing I am really adamant about is best friends of the opposite sex. I don’t think it can work. Friends for sure – I am mates with lots of guys. But best friends? Come on. One is in love with the other, even if they don’t know it. We need boundaries in lots of things, particularly in romantic relationships.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.

The story of creation in Genesis is a story of creating boundaries. Separating light and dark, water and earth, woman from man. This implies then, that boundaries are good. Boundaries prevent  us from reaching beyond our limits and hurting ourselves. But, even the first humans broke boundaries by eating an apple they weren’t supposed to. People often see boundaries as a hindrance, when sometimes they are in fact good (This is not to say all boundaries are good. Open up, glass ceiling). But if we really think about it, it can be freeing – freeing from unhealthy and unworthy and hurt.

So if you think your boundaries are a little bit blurred, then have a think about where you want your boundaries and what you are protecting, what you value.

Written by Candice

February 14, 2017 at 11:55 am

Posted in Contemplate.

Tagged with ,