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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Are we human without our humanity?

I'm not sure there are many words that I can use right now that will do any sort of justice to the terrible sorrow I feel about all the terrorism going on in the world right now. I would however, like to share a poem that explores terrorism in the face of humanity, but I suppose more than that, the way in which we must break down stereotypes and prejudices in the face of a terror organisation that ironically does not kill based on any prejudice other than the fact that we are not them. I'm so tired of the relentless blame game and people attempting to throw their own suffering into the public eye as a way of diminishing another countries or cultures pain. We are all humans and as far as I am concerned, we are all in this together.

Are we human, without our humanity?

My flesh touches your flesh,
And from the outside, we appear no different.
I prick my skin on the thorn of a rose,
You do the same.
Our blood drips out a gleaming red-
It is the same.

I put my hand against yours
And turn them up towards the sun
We are different,
But innately we are the same.

I see all the things that make us different,
Through a distorted telescope
A lens clouded by misconceptions and prejudice.
Echo’s of lies and furious fervent feelings
That changes the color of my blood from yours.

When I strip down to just my flesh
What use will it all be?
For the blood of my people
And the blood of your people,
Will look the same on history’s tainted canvas.

And when the lies drain away,
But our morals stay the same –
My flesh that touches your flesh
Becomes our flesh.

Now the color red streaks through our cities veins,
We laugh as millions but cry as one,
We feel loss as one.
But we must remember, that our weapon –
One that is much stronger than any knife, gun or bomb –
Is our Humanity.

For it is our Humanity that makes us Human,

And being human that makes us all the same.

-LF, LR and MG xxx

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Sucked In To Social Media

I know its been a while since we have had a constant stream of posts, but there is no time like the present to get back into blogging.

An important issue that has cropped up especially in the last few weeks, is the power behind social media.

With the advance of technology, social media for the better or worse has become a big part in most of our lives. We check our Facebook, update our twitters and are posting pictures on Instagram before we have even taken in the moment.

The world we live in thrives off of instant gratification, we judge our popularity based on how many likes we obtain, and judge ourselves based on the superficial exterior that others give off, from their social media updates. We confuse our screens for real life and become lost in the trying to be something that we are not, because what we want doesn't really exist. 

The power of social media is immense. It dictates how we look, how we think and how we define the things around us. We become caught up in the externalities and often forget to work on who we are, off screen. It becomes hard to separate between on line and real life. Our expectations of who we are and what defines us, become blended into a mixture of filters, and Kylie Jenner's lips. We lose touch with reality and become consumed by what we think we should look like, based on a reality that someone else has created to reflect an ideal world. 

Time and time again you see girls and boys succumb to the pressures of the online world, unable to maintain the unrealistic expectations of what we should look like, or what we believe is aesthetically pleasing. 

That doesn't mean that I don't have Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. I am fully aware of all the positives of social media. However, I think that most of us are too sucked in to see some of the harmful effects that living life online can have as well.

I think that as a population, we spend too much time making sure that externally we are giving off the appearance of someone that will get lots of likes. We judge success on how many followers we have, not on what it means to be a good person. We are misdirected by a world that seems a lot more high definition of our own, and captivated by a culture that appears so much more fulfilling than it is.

The problem with becoming absorbed by social media is that we begin to live life in 2D. We live through a screen instead of experiencing the world first hand, and this inhibits our experiences in ways that we are too blinded to notice.

Sometimes it is good to just go offline for a few days. Take in the world around us and see beauty in things that don't have a filter on. I sometimes feel that our sensitivity towards each other and the way we explore things has become more and more superficial, because the place we most express ourselves is online. I'm not naive enough to think that we should all just switch off and stay that way, but I do think that every now and again it is good to just give it a rest. Extract yourself from a world that doesn't shut down for even a second, and look inwards at who you want to be, rather than online to see who you should be modelling yourself off of.

-LF, LR, and MG xxx